Once in a lifetime you should plant a tree, recommends an old proverb. A wise advice. Because both the environment, as well as the cityscape and landscape are positively influenced by the woody plants.
In addition, self-planted trees on our own land can contribute decisively to the sense of home for us humans. At a place, which one arranges in such a way, one is arrived and rooted.
Unfortunately, sometimes you have to part with your trees: When they are old and no longer stable, when they come too close to the house, when they stand in the way of planned construction work or simply because the garden is to be redesigned.
Cut trees with foresight and overview
The best time to cut trees is from November to early February. The woody plants now carry the least water and deciduous trees have shed their leaves. In many gardens, the vegetation under the trees is cut back and good access is possible.
Falling logs can also do the least damage in the garden in autumn and winter. Also, birds do not have breeding season now. According to the Federal Nature Conservation Act, in order to protect animals, it is only permitted in exceptional cases to cut down garden trees in whose branches birds are nesting in spring and summer.
In three cuts to the felled tree
Theoretically, cutting down a tree is quite simple. First, the angle of fall is determined, which should be oriented to open ground if possible. Then, after all reachable branches have been trimmed and removed, three cuts are required.
On the side to which the tree is to fall, the chainsaw is used twice and a 45-degree notch is cut into the trunk. It should be about a quarter of the diameter deep.
The third cut, the actual felling cut, is now carried out from the opposite side. If everything was done correctly, the tree falls in the desired direction.
With a strong line attached high on the trunk before the saw is applied, helpers can still influence the direction of the fall a little more. If necessary, wedges made of wood, aluminum or plastic are inserted into the felling cut for larger trees. Smaller trees can also be made to fall with a kind of crowbar.
An important rule for such tree work is: never take action in strong winds. Gusts can cause an overturn while the tree is still being sawn, or later affect the planned direction of fall.
Cutting down trees requires skill and knowledge
Actually, this sounds relatively feasible. Nevertheless: Even a medium-sized tree can easily overwhelm any garden owner. Cutting down a tree requires the right tools, mastery of the technique and a certain amount of experience.
The bigger the tree, the more difficult the task is. In case of doubt, it is better to hire a landscaper for this purpose. This is because tree felling is dangerous work that can injure people and damage surrounding buildings, fences, vehicles or other trees.
That’s why professionals also cut large trees into many individual pieces from the top down and rope the sections off one by one. The experts for garden and landscape remove on request with a stump grinder also the tree stumps up to some centimeters under ground level and dispose afterwards of the trunk and the branches.
To fill the resulting gap in the garden, a new tree can be planted right next to the stump or elsewhere on the property. Autumn and the frost-free winter days are also the ideal time for this purpose.
Tree protection: important when cutting down trees
Hobby gardeners often assume that they can do as they please around their own house. But this is not true. Because trees are – especially in areas with high population density – under a special protection.
What exactly a garden owner is allowed to do and what not, is regulated by various regulations. These can vary greatly from state to state and from municipality to municipality. Many municipalities have enacted tree protection statutes that prohibit cutting down woody plants above a certain size or age.
The protection tends to apply to deciduous trees and conifers that have a trunk circumference of about 60 to 80 centimeters. For fruit trees these regulations do not apply in most cases.
Cutting down older trees with special permission
Under certain conditions, it is of course allowed to cut down (or have cut down) large and old trees in one’s own garden. However, this must be approved in advance by the municipality.
The local landscape gardener knows the locally valid regulations, can advise on questions of the approval procedure and knows where, if necessary, the application must be made.
Exceptions are usually granted if a tree is diseased or if it is in danger of falling over. Furthermore, trees may often be removed if they are in the way of construction work.
If the property owner’s request is approved, some ordinances require the property owner to provide compensation for the tree that is cut down: Either new trees can be planted as replacements or a payment can be made to the municipality.
Not to be cut down: Trees as natural monuments
Occasionally it also happens that certain trees are considered natural monuments. This can z.B. Be oaks, tall yews, or other woody plants that are several hundred years old.
For the felling of such specimens, even the municipality can not issue a special permit. This is the responsibility of the monument protection authority, which only approves tree work under very limited conditions. Garden owners should be aware, however, that those who disregard municipal regulations or even historic preservation are liable to prosecution.
Removing a protected tree without permission can result in a large fine or even imprisonment.
Neighborhood and tree cutting operations
Sometimes, neighbors may also be required to give their consent before a garden tree is cut down.
For example, in the case of so-called border trees. If a grove is directly on the property line, it belongs to more than one owner. The same can be true for trees in condo gardens.
Even those who have a special right of use for a certain part of the garden should be cautious about cutting down a tree here. As a rule, this must first be decided by a majority of the co-owners at the owners’ meeting.
Who removes woody plants arbitrarily and without the consent of the other owners, makes himself if necessary. liable for damages.
Stay up to date and sign up for our newsletter. REGISTER HERE!