Cutting down a tree – permission required?

Gartenbista " Garden " Cutting down trees – permission required?

Chainsaw in use

Trees in the garden are not uncommon: they border a plot of land or stand solitary in the middle of the lawn or bed, where they provide shade, produce fruit or simply offer a beautiful sight. Now, however, sometimes the day comes when the garden owner wants to get rid of one or the other tree, whether because it has become too old, takes up too much space or no longer forms fruit. He courageously reaches for the chainsaw, but the question arises: Is he allowed to do that?? Are you allowed to cut down trees in your own garden?

Do you need a permit to cut down trees in the garden – Gartenbista clarifies:

Garden design is the responsibility of the garden owner

In principle, the design of a garden is the responsibility of its owner. This means that he can plant and sow what he wants – and may also remove these plants again. With trees, however, the legal situation is somewhat different: there are various laws and regulations to be observed, which are based on the Federal Nature Conservation Act. These lead to the fact that a landowner may not simply cut down a tree. Rather, he must make sure in advance that this is permitted. If the tree in question falls under the applicable tree protection ordinance, a permit is required to cut it down.

Obtain permission from the nature conservation authority

In each municipality and/or city there is a nature protection authority, a forest office or an office for order. These are the authorities a garden owner must contact if he wants to get permission to cut down a tree. Whether this is granted depends on various factors:

  • Tree species,
  • Tree size,
  • Time to cut down.

Which trees are subject to a felling permit varies from state to state.

In most federal states, trees with a trunk width of 60 cm fall under the tree protection ordinance or tree protection statute.

The timing is important in that the breeding and setting time of birds as well as the protection of animals and plants within the vegetation period take precedence over the interests of the garden owner. This means that, as a rule, a tree may only be felled in the autumn and winter months; from March to September, tree felling is generally prohibited.

What does an application for tree felling look like??

  • The application on the part of the garden owner must first contain explanations as to why the tree is to be felled. It is optimal if photos of the tree in question are enclosed.
  • In addition, a site plan is required, which shows the property including all trees. The one that is to be felled must be described extra (size, trunk circumference, etc.).
  • If replacement plantings are planned, these must also be specified in the application.

Is it allowed to cut down trees without a permit??

Some trees may be cut down without a permit being required. This is the case if the tree in question is demonstrably considered to be an unreasonable nuisance, which is the case, for example, on a building site if it would obstruct construction. Even if the tree poses a danger or is diseased, it may be cut down. However, the felling must be reported to the nature conservation authority.

What happens if you cut down a tree without a permit??

Some garden owners find this procedure too tedious and decide to cut down their tree just like that. If he is caught doing so, he faces heavy penalties: fines of up to 50.000, – € can be imposed.

Conclusion: A landowner is not allowed to cut down a tree just like that. Rather it requires for this the permission on the part of the responsible authority. Who does not obtain this and nevertheless cuts a tree, must count on high fines.

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