Rules regarding tree removal

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Our neighbor's VERY large tree limb has fallen into our garden. This happened in December, and my neighbor is claiming (among other excuses) she needs permission from the city of Munich to have this fallen limb removed. I believe this could be true if the tree is still standing and she wishes to cut it, but not the case regarding a fallen tree. The limb is a hazard to my small kids, and as the limb is too large to be physically moved in once piece, it must be first cut in pieces to be removed. Otherwise I would have moved it myself. Any advice? Thanks in advance...

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Technically, she's probably right. Trimming of any tree over 3m requires permission, and I guess she's worried that even though the branch fell off, she could be accused of illegal "trimming" if caught carrying a large branch out of the garden. However, I'd also say she's being unreasonable - she will need some professional to chop up the branch, and I'm sure he can help her get around the need for permision, e.g. by certifying himself it's a fallen bough. There are exceptional circumstances when a tree can be moved - when it's a danger to others, or when it's fallen over a road for example, so thiy may be your argument here. I'd suggest a quick call to the Bauamt or better the Naturschutzbehörde, Blumenstraße 28 b, 80331 München, Tel. (089) 233-28484 to check the rules, and at the very least a formal letter (this is Germany, remember) to her warn her of your concerns. (If your kids did have an accident then she is clearly liable)

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Would a picture suffice...it is obvious by the way the tree splintered that is was caused by a fall???

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I am a treesurgeon, arborist, aka baumpfleger and work for the city. PM me with details and I can get you a better answer.

 

If it is a limb that has broken off, seperated from the tree, then you are free to do what you want with it. If it damaged your property , that can be more complex.

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I am a treesurgeon, arborist, aka baumpfleger and work for the city.

Seems like a perfect solution. TT wins again...

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Out in the sticks it probably wouldn't be such a problem.

 

About 18 months ago, a building company removed four large (approx. 10m tall) pine trees from behind our house in order to "develop" the field they were in by slapping a load of houses in (improving our view no end!), despite the fact that these trees were right at the very edge of the field (up against people's fences) and despite their reassurances that they'd only remove trees that were in the way.

 

Needless to say they removed everything that looked even vaguely organic as soon as (or before?) the planning permission had gone through and left it that way for six months (until spring). Apparently they were well within their rights as our town doesn't have a Baumschutzverordnung.

 

And ironically (and/or cynically), they renamed this area "Klostergarten".

 

But that sort of thing isn't limited to Germany: In the UK, my sister lived in a property development called "Greenfields". You've guessed it: the last field in the area had had to make way for "progress".

</rant>

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are all trees protected here or is it similar to the uk where individual trees or groups of trees have Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)?

 

Asq, you talk about your town not having what looks to be the equivalent of an area TPO, is this the case in some towns?

 

the reason i ask is that we have a dirt great hybrid bitch of a cypress (as are so popular around here and totally inappropriate for garden sizes) in our garden which i'd quite like to lop to a reasonable height (with the landlord's permission). would i also have to look into whether this brute has a TPO equivalent too?

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@ grazzenger

 

I assume that this Baumschutzverordnung is similar to a TPO, although the Verordnung seems to be on a Gemeinde level, i.e. it applies equally to all trees in that town/area. So (I think) the Verordnung could state, for example, that all trees above a certain height or circumference cannot be cut down.

 

Trimming is a different matter, IIRC. Sometimes you have to cut trees back if they're taking too much light from your neighbours.

 

Your local Bauamt should be able to give you pointers on this.

 

If you live in Munich, I found this useful snippet of information in MunichFound:

 

 

Garden-owners who have trees on their property should familiarize themselves with the city’s tree protection act (Baumschutzverordnung). Before starting to prune (beschneiden) or even fell (fällen) a tree (Baum) in your garden, remember that trees (fruit trees not included), with a circumference of more than 80 cm—measured one meter from the ground—are covered by the protection act and you will need to apply to Munich’s local building commission, Lokalbaukommission (Tel. [089]23 32 28 48 84), for permission if you wish to cut them down, or be prepared to pay a hefty fine if you are caught. You may though snip back branches or pick fruit from trees that extend into your garden from an adjoining property.
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asq, many thanks for the feedback, i'll get hold of them. i can't really see there being a problem. from what you've copied in above, it sounds fairly similar to uk laws regarding trees bounding your property. and i'm sure this cypress doesan't have a dbh of more than 80cm.

 

cheers!

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Where I live in Unterschleissheim, the trees are protected. You can't take one down that has been marked as such on the town plan without approval and then, probably, you will have to plant another one to replace it(maybe somewhere else on your property). We're about to have a word with our elderly neighbors because several of their trees that are sitting on the property line are either dead or dying and are sitting much closer to our house than to theirs and could potentially damage our house if they fall. So, we're looking at the rules at the moment.

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Picked this thread to post my question in, hope it´s appropriate.

 

My question: as a property owner in Munich, are you allowed to cut down any trees on your property that you want or are they protected in some way?  I have read conflicting things.  If you claim the tree is sick, blocking your light, or the roots are damaging things, you can just cut it down or have some company cut it down?  Does anyone verify your claims or can you just do what you want if it´s your tree?  What about tree protection, or is that a myth?

 

My reason for asking: our next door neighbors had a beautiful beech tree which was probably over 75 years old, if not older.  It was twice as high as the house we live in, which is 2 floors.  This tree was seriously huge and wonderfully leafy.  I loved looking at it from our balcony and admired it almost every day of the 10 years we´ve lived in this apartment.  It also gave us privacy and prevented us from being able to see into the neighbors´ back yard (and them onto our balcony).  It was a perfect, beautiful tree and it enhanced living in our apartment in so many ways.

 

This morning, I woke up to chainsaws.  I went onto the balcony to find men in the backyard of the neighbors behind us cutting off huge branches of the tree.  I was upset because it seemed they were taking off every branch that hung into the other neighbor´s yard, making the tree look very silly.  But they specifically cut off eveything that hung into the other yard.  I figured that particular neighbor must be a tree Nazi and wanted all branches off his property.  I was sad, but the men seemed to be finishing up and so I went off to work.

 

I came home in the evening and went outside to have a look. I almost had a heart attack.  The tree was completely gone. Eradicated.  Cut down to a (huge) stump.  I was so shocked, I started crying.  I am heartbroken.

 

Does anyone know if this is fine?  Wouldn´t this tree have been protected because of its age and immense height?  Or can the neighbor do what he wants?  Is there any way to find out?  Would some Amt have to have given permission for the removal of the tree?  It looked completely healthy and vigorous.  Is there anything like tree protection or is that all just a hoax.

 

If the felling of this tree was in any way illegal, is there any action that can be taken?  Or is it all pointless because property owners can do what they want with their trees?

 

I am so, so sad.  If anyone knows anything about the relevant laws, I´d appreciate your input.  My husband said he would call the city of Munich tomorrow, but is there any point??

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The official Munich Baumschutz web page has all the details you want. 
Welche Bäume sind geschützt?   ( here in English via Google translate) gives the basics of which trees are protected.

In addition there are rules protecting birds. Unless there's a good reason (e.g. safety) trees can normally only be cut down during autumn and winter.

When a large tree has to come down in a populated area most people choose a professional company that can do the work without causing damage or injury. The professionals know all the regulations.

Nobody wants falling branches or trees to cause damage, injury or death or so people with large trees need to have them regularly inspected. Sometimes trees have internal structural problems and the moment an expert says there's a danger the owner has to take steps to deal with it. Your neighbour may be sad about it too.
 

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Thanks for the link!  I had read all the details already before posting and exactly for those reasons I feel this tree was wrongly chopped down. 

 

The link doesn´t answer my question, however: can a property owner in Munich under certain circumstances get around the Baumschutz rules.  Because this tree was certainly not sick or damaged or endangering anyone.

 

The neighbor doesn´t answer his door.  I already tried to simply ask him why he chopped down the tree, but he seems to be avoiding contact.

 

Therefore my question: how can I find out why this tree was chopped down and if it was done according to any laws that might or might not apply?

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Ah, it's quite common in Munich/Bavaria to quickly cut down an offending tree even though it was protected by regulations.

Owners somehow get away with it a lot, I'm afraid.

 

I definitely would inform authorities so he has to at least pay a fine. :(

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OK, my neighbour wants to re-do his front garden. I have a massive hazelnut tree just on my side of the fence, and its roots are obviously buggering up his paving. His boss explained to me (tree surgeon) that if they just cut the roots away, the tree will become unstable and probably not survive the next big storm. We are agreed that the tree must go. It will cost me 300€, which is kind of annoying, but hey.

 

Question: the neighbours reckon that as of this year, the rule about permission to chop big trees is gone AND it can be done now (after March 1st) without problem.

 

Is this all true? If it turns out not to be, is the Baumfäller in trouble, or me as the house owner?

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This would be governed by state law, not federal, so you need to look into the specific laws for Niedersachsen (and hence this post in the Munich forum is not really the right place).  

 

You as the land owner are responsible for all work which is performed on your land.  So if something is done illegally then you will be fined by the authorities.

If you received false/incorrect advice then you would have to sue those that gave it to you.  But then you would have to prove this in court, which might be difficult if it was only verbal.

 

Why not simply ask them for details on the laws so that you can check this, as you are "not aware of any changes and need to investigate".  

Or of course you could go to a lawyer (assuming you have law insurance).

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