Trees help to combat climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing the carbon in the trees, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. However, compared to trees in their natural environment, urban trees are subjected to more stress and pollutants. Falling branches and trees also damage property and cause injury. As such, urban trees in Singapore are regularly inspected, maintained, and replaced when necessary to ensure the continual health and safety of our garden city.

There are about 400,000 trees in all the Town Councils in Singapore which require pruning at least once a year. The pruning of the trees is done manually with one worker riding on a bucket attached to the arm of a crane or spider lift and using a chainsaw to prune the trees. The pruning process requires at least 3 workers - the worker performing the pruning, the crane operator and a safety supervisor. The cut branches are then transported away for disposal or mulched on the spot.

As more trees are planted in our garden city, more resources are required to maintain them. Thus, a solution is sought to safely and efficiently prune trees within our urban environment.

Desired Outcome

  • Solution should comply with NParks guidelines on tree pruning and Workplace Safety and Health Council (WSHC) guidelines on working-at-height & operation of a lifting equipment.
  • Solution should draw any power required from the motorised crane or boom lift, or a battery pack installed, and not require external power.
  • Fewer than three workers required to operate the tree pruning solution at any one time.
  • Accurate pruning of branches within 1 metre radius of lifting bucket.
  • Proposals should include information on any proof-of-concept (POC)/minimum viable product (MVP) that is non-sensitive.
  • Applicant should indicate estimated commercial price of solution, cost of operation/maintenance and cost-benefit analysis of the solution in the proposal.

Besides addressing the above requirements, the proposed solution should also fulfil thefollowing criteria:

  • Solution should not be readily or commercially available in the market.
  • Solution should, wherever applicable, aim to:
    • Enhance safety of operations;
    • Improve quality, consistency and service delivery;
    • Achieve cost-effectiveness

Development Timeframe

Solution development and test-bedding should take 6-9 months, and pilot deployment within 15 months.

Additional Info

EM Services will provide mentorship and test-bedding site for the solution.


Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge 2019


EM Services

Proposal submissions are open from 2 Jan 2020 12:00AM to 14 Feb 2020 12:00AM