Even your own tree must not simply be felled.

Theoretically, a tree can be cut down very easily: Three cuts with a chainsaw and it lies on the ground. But be careful: even in your own garden, you can’t just do Tree trimming by yourself. When tree felling is forbidden and what you have to watch out for.

A tree serves as a structural element in garden design and can be used as a shady seat in summer. Sometimes, however, the tree simply becomes too big. Or the trees that the previous owner planted in the garden have always been a nuisance. What you need to keep in mind when felling trees.

The right time

Trees in the garden are best felled between November and February. Then the wood contains less water. It dries faster and can be used earlier as firewood. Another advantage is that the deciduous trees do not have leaves and the vegetation around the trees is often cut back, which facilitates access and work. This is pointed out by the Bundesverband Garten-, Landschafts- und Sportplatzbau.

When do you get to cut trees?

From 1 March to 30 September, tree felling is generally prohibited. Then the Federal Nature Conservation Act protects nesting birds. Certain regulations regulate when trees may be felled. These can vary greatly from state to state and from municipality to municipality.

Especially in areas with a high population density, trees are under special protection. Woody plants from a certain size or a certain age are to be preserved then according to tree protection statutes. Tree owners should therefore always inquire first with the local government.

As an approximate rule of thumb is valid according to Federal association garden, landscape and sports field construction registered association. (BGL), the protection tends to be for deciduous and coniferous trees with a trunk circumference of about 60 to 80 centimetres. Fruit trees are excluded. However, special permits for felling are granted, for example, if the tree is sick or if they stand in the way of construction measures.

Example of tree protection statutes

In Frankfurt, for example, the following is regulated: “The tree protection statutes apply to deciduous trees, ginkgo trees and walnut trees with a trunk circumference of more than 60 centimetres and to coniferous trees with a trunk circumference of more than 90 centimetres. The circumference shall be measured at a height of one metre. It is forbidden to fell or destroy these trees without permission.” The unauthorized removal of protected trees can be punished with a fine of up to 100,000 euros.

Cutting down a tree in the allotment garden

Furthermore, trees with a trunk circumference of at least 30 centimetres may not be felled without permission. Which permits and legal regulations have to be observed can be seen in the municipalities or public order offices. By the way: fruit trees in allotment gardens are not subject to these regulations. Here other statutes apply. Walnut trees are not fruit trees, but deciduous trees, which means that they are treated like deciduous and coniferous trees.

Even more trouble threatens border trees

Sometimes it may also be necessary for neighbours to give their consent before felling a garden tree. This is the case with border trees, for example. If a grove stands directly on the property boundary, it belongs to several owners. The same can apply to trees in gardens of condominiums. Even those who have a special right of use for a certain proportion of the garden should refrain from sawing off a tree. As a rule, this must first be decided by the majority of the co-owners at the owners’ meeting. Who removes groves arbitrarily and without the agreement of the other owners, makes itself liable for damages under circumstances.

The tree falls after three cuts

When falling, make sure that no persons or objects are injured. The felling area must therefore be secured and it must be ensured that no passers-by can walk into the tree.

Then the angle of fall is determined. If possible, it is aligned to free terrain. After all reachable branches have been trimmed and removed, three cuts are necessary. In principle, the appropriate knowledge is of course required for work with the chainsaw.

Place the chainsaw twice on the side to which the tree is to fall. Saw a 45 degree notch in the trunk. It is about a quarter of the diameter deep. The third cut, the actual felling cut, is now made from the opposite side. If you have done everything correctly, the tree will fall in the desired direction. With a strong line, which was attached high on the trunk before the saw was attached, helpers can still influence the fall direction a little.

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