Cutting hedge: What is allowed when?

Cut hedge

Those who cut their hedge without first familiarizing themselves with the legal requirements risk a fine. Because this is not allowed year-round.

Cut hedge
Cut hedge – © Paolese – Fotolia.com

If you want to cut your hedge to a greater extent, you will have to wait for the next late autumn or winter. Because the legislator has set very precise deadlines when the hedge trimming is allowed and when not. These requirements serve above all to protect the birds, which prefer to breed in hedges. What all hobby gardeners need to know about the deadlines for permissible hedge trimming, tells this guide.

When is the hedgeback not allowed?

For the period from 1 March to 30 September, the Federal Nature Conservation Act issues a general ban on cutting off hedges or cutting them short to the ground. For bushes and other woody plants, this rule applies as well. A comprehensive pruning is therefore not permitted in the mentioned time window. Anyone who violates this law, commits an administrative offense, which can be punished with a fine of up to 10,000 dollar.

Be careful with a light care or shape cut

Less extensive care and shape cuts are allowed throughout the year. But even with this milder kind of pruning is from the beginning of March to the end of September caution. Since birds, as already mentioned, likes to nest in hedges, bushes and the like , it is important to take care of the animals even with a permitted pruning.

Even before reaching for the scissors, all hobby gardeners should therefore examine to what extent there is already a nest in the bush or in the hedge. If a nest can be identified, the pruning is ideally postponed for several weeks, so as not to disturb the birds unnecessarily during the breeding season.

The hedge trimming can be mandatory

Carrying out the hedge in time is especially important for homeowners who may even be required to cut their hedge. This can be the case, for example, with semi-detached houses and terraced houses or with individual houses if the own hedge on the side of the neighbor proliferates too much.

In hedge trimming, road safety takes priority over bird protection. For example, if a storm causes a hedge to be pruned or removed more extensively between March and September for traffic safety reasons, this is permitted. Nevertheless, in such a case it makes sense to obtain the permission of the competent nature conservation authority to be on the safe side.

Different rules for trees

When pruning, it is very important to distinguish between trees and hedges. The different communities in Germany have their own rules. If a tree is to be heavily pruned or even felled, this is permitted in many parts of Germany depending on the height of the plant with only one permit. Anyone who is unsure, so rather ask the local authorities before he reaches for the hedge trimmer or saw.

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