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Tree laws in Ireland-- Legal requirements for tree felling.


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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Tree laws in Ireland-- Legal requirements for tree felling. Reply with quote

Tree laws in Ireland-- Legal requirements for tree felling.

Can I cut down an old tree Question
Are trees protected and can I be charged with a criminal act if I kill one. Question
Can I clear a tree from the front of my house building site Question
A tree seems to be in danger of falling in on my roof, can I remove it Question
Do I need a licence or some form of paperwork before I cut down a tree Question
A site has been bought near me, is there any law I can refer to which could prevent the cutting or destruction of the trees within the area Question


These and other similar questions are topics which regularly come up in discussions with gardeners, house owners, builders, farmers etc. At times the debate on these subjects can become quite heated, so I have decided to show where the law stands on these issues.

Section 37 of the Forestry Act, 1946.


Section 37 of the Forestry Act, 1946 states that it is illegal to uproot any tree over ten years old or to cut down any tree, unless notice of the intention to do so has been given in accordance with the Act.

Notice of intention to fell or uproot trees must be given in writing on a form known as a Felling Notice which may be obtained from any Garda Station or directly from the Felling Section of the Forest Service. On receipt of a completed Felling Notice, an Order prohibiting the felling of the trees is issued. This protects the trees in question while consideration is given to the issuing of a felling licence.

The prohibition on the uprooting or cutting down of trees does not apply where:

Arrow it is a hazel, apple, plum, damson, pear or cherry tree grown for the value of its fruit or any osier ( Note - this refers to any one of several willow species especially where grown for their rods for basket-weaving etc.).

Arrow the activity is covered by a limited or general felling licence and during the period during which such authority is exercisable.

Arrow it is less than 100 feet from a dwelling other than a wall or temporary structure;

Arrow it is standing in a County or other Borough or an urban district.

Arrow The tree is standing on land held by the Minister for the purposes of this Act

Arrow Other exceptions apply in the case of road construction, road safety and Such as the case where a tree is uprooted or cut down by direction of the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs on the ground that it is a danger or obstruction to telegraph or telephone wires. Another case could be where the tree is certified by a local authority as dangerous to road traffic on account of age/condition or in connection with road widening or improvement schemes or, building or constructional work

Arrow In the case of electricity supply operations the tree can be cut down under section 34 of the Local Government Act 1925 or section 98 of the Electricity Supply Act 1927


Penalties for illegal felling can be severe, ranging from fines of up to a maximum of €63.49 per tree to imprisonment for up to two years. In addition to any fine which may be imposed by the Court, the Minister may, by Order, require the person convicted to replant.

In 1989, the number of reported illegal felling cases was six. By 2002, this number had risen to 73. The figure for 2003 was 62 and for 2004, 60.
Many of the cases coming to the notice of my officials involve small-scale felling of trees by farmers and developers. It is my belief that the number of cases could be reduced significantly if people knew more about the circumstances in which a felling licence is necessary.

See here... Forestry Act, 1946

Research more in your own time......... Books on tree and hedge law


So there you have it, a brief overview of the legal requirements for tree felling in Ireland.
If you have any doubt as to the need for a felling licence or a need for clarification in relation to any aspect of this matter, contact should be made with the Forest Service - Felling Section, Department of Agriculture & Food, Johnstown Castle Estate, Co. Wexford; Tel: (053) 60170/60174/60175/60181.

Preserving trees and preventing felling.
It worth noting that a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) can be placed on a tree, trees, group of trees, or woodland, that the Local Authority considers should be protected in the interest of amenity or the environment. TPOs are regulated under the planning and development Act of 2000.

See here... Tree preservation orders and the Planning and Development Act, 2000

You can contact your local authority or local councillor if you consider you have a strong case to make for getting a TPO on a special or historic tree in your area.

Disclaimer: The Irish gardeners forum is for general information only and is not a legal advice forum.
We cannot guarantee the validity of any advice given to you.
So for all legal matters consult your local town/city council, solicitor, engineer, or relevant body/expert in that field with adequate liability insurances.
If you disregard this warning and proceed you do so entirely at your own risk.

Associated content........ Hedge laws in Ireland, Legal requirements for hedge cutting.

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Last edited by James Kilkelly on Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:10 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Blow-in
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:01 am    Post subject: Re: Tree laws in Ireland-- Legal requirements for tree felli Reply with quote

GPI wrote:
... it is standing in a County or other Borough or an urban district.....

I hope this isn't a stupid question but don't those categories ^ cover every square inch of the country ? Therefore all trees are exempt ......... which can't be right .
I am obviously missing something .
And the following extract suggests that you can't cut down a tree of any age altho' it is ok to uproot them once they are over 10 years old .
........ " it is illegal to uproot any tree over ten years old or to cut down any tree ....."
At what age does a sapling become a tree , then ? And would it be ok to poison it ?
Presumably the regs mean " don't destroy any tree over 10 yrs old without prior permission " ?
I know I am being pedantic but can anyone please clarify ? Laughing . Many thanks .

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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:01 am    Post subject: Re: Tree laws in Ireland-- Legal requirements for tree felli Reply with quote

Blow-in wrote:
GPI wrote:
... it is standing in a County or other Borough or an urban district.....

I hope this isn't a stupid question but don't those categories ^ cover every square inch of the country ? Therefore all trees are exempt ......... which can't be right .
I am obviously missing something .


You are missing the felling licence which will allow you to cut the trees, until you have it in your possession, all trees over ten years of age are protected

Blow-in wrote:
And the following extract suggests that you can't cut down a tree of any age altho' it is ok to uproot them once they are over 10 years old .
........ " it is illegal to uproot any tree over ten years old or to cut down any tree ....."
At what age does a sapling become a tree , then ?


In the eyes of the law, ten years.

Blow-in wrote:
Presumably the regs mean " don't destroy any tree over 10 yrs old without prior permission " ?


Yep, thats what I took from it.
In short, this is what it appears to be......
Do not cut down or kill in any way a tree over ten years of age without a felling licence.
The process of getting a felling licence.
Notice of intention to cut down or kill in any way a tree must be given in writing on a form known as a Felling Notice which may be obtained from any Garda Station or directly from the Felling Section of the Forest Service.
On receipt of a completed Felling Notice, an Order prohibiting the felling of the trees is issued.
This protects the trees in question while consideration is given to the issuing of a felling licence.
The tree is in a virtual safety zone until you receive the go ahead to cut it down or kill it.
If challenged on the tree removal, you will have to produce the felling licence or else face fines of up to a maximum of €63.49 per tree to imprisonment for up to two years. In addition to any fine which may be imposed by the Court, the Minister may, by Order, require the person convicted to replant.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to GPI for further clarification by pm .
The cause of my confusion was the meaning of the word "exempt" or , more to the point , what the trees are exempt from .
The regs mean that the trees are exempt from destruction . According to my education this would be a very unusual way of saying that they are protected .
I had taken it that they were exempt from the regulations which protect other trees , so they could be cut down . I think I am correct in saying that would be the normal interpretation in this context ----- if you are in the uk . Which the trees obviously aren't !
It all makes sense now that I understand how that word is used in Ireland . Many thanks Wink .
Reminds me that I once spent days looking for the "ditches" which border my bit of bogland . Ditches are obviously cuts in the ground , aren't they ? No . In IE they are walls . Blowins take note Wink Laughing

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:18 am    Post subject: Trimming branches Reply with quote

What are the legal requirements for trimming branches? A neighbour has overgrown evergreen trees and the branches have grown over the boundary fence and need to be cut back.
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paddy-s
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe you have the right to cut any branches that overhang your property but I would ask the neighbour first, firstly so that you are the nice neighbour who respects others and secondly that they might get the job done and save you the labour and disposal costs Smile
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cooler
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Basically, you have the right to trim the branches back to your neighbour property line. But here is the odd bit, you must return the trimmings to the neighbour as it came from his tree. The same thing with fruit, if his apple tree drops an apple in your garden you are not legally entitled to eat it as it came from his tree, even though the branch holding it may have spread into your property.

newabode, I would ok the trimming with your neighbour first as to how hard you are going to cut back etc. I have been told by a legal eagle friend that If the tree dies as a result of your poor trimming, your neighbour may have the right to damages from you. Shocked
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:59 pm    Post subject: Cutting Down Apple Trees Reply with quote

Hi GPI,

Just a question about apple trees.
It seems that you don't need a permit to cut them down, even if they are well over 10 years old.

South Dublin County Council have pulled down most of Baldonnell Orchard (they created a golf course).
The remaining trees are not being maintained and as far as I'm aware the council intend to chop these down also.

I'm not sure how old the trees are, maybe 20/30 years old. There's a few different varities.

Amazing when everyone is talking about getting food locally and the cost of transport.

It's really lovely to walk around among the apple trees and it would be very sad to see them go.

Also on trees, what's the storey with all the hedgerows being pulled up?
Is it just a matter of routine paper work getting a felling license?

Rach
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:13 pm    Post subject: tree trimming Reply with quote

Hi all,

Can a neighbour cut back cordyline tree leaves that cross a boundary fence, even if the leaf tips are over 6ft from the ground. Leaf trimming of cordylines can be damaging to the tree if done incorrectly.

thanks
artalis Smile
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Gautama
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the situation with the "felling" of dead trees? I own a copse of conifers that are 55 years old. They were never thinned and some of them have died but are still standing as they're being held up by neighbouring trees. It is possible to "fell" many of these trees by pushing them over. Would I legally be required to get a felling license for these trees?
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i wonder what the usual grounds are for refusing a licence; you can argue that the trees are (probably) not important from an ecological perspective, and that they're a danger...
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robineire
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:10 pm    Post subject: Dead tree felling Reply with quote

I,m in the same boat as Guatamo I have a small forest of softwoods that have never been looked after, some are dead and still standing others are wind blown and either hanging on other trees or on the ground. I,ve been busily chopping them up lol I just found this post so now am concerned.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm in the market for a house at the moment, and we've seen one which is on a busyish road, which is obviously a negative point against it.
however, it has three large (i'd say close to 60 foot tall) conifer trees (leylandii type) on the border with the road which shade the house out. their trunks would be about a foot and a half in diameter.

does anyone know how easy it is to get these felled, from a paperwork point of view? they're close to the house - they'd hit it if they fell over; but i would be concerned about the council refusing permission to fell them due to the proximity to the road. i suspect felling them could work out very, very expensive.
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Sive
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I honestly can't see why there should be a problem ( legally ) cutting these....what does anyone else think ?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i dont see a problem either.leylandii as far as i am aware are a nuisance tree and not on the protected list.if they were oak trees you may have a problem.
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