Hedge cut forbidden in the summer? That's what the law says


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The right time to cut or clear hedges depends on a number of factors - not least the weather. What not everyone knows: Larger cutting measures on hedges are subject to legal regulations and are banned from 1 March to 30 September nationwide. Nevertheless, this law repeatedly causes confusion and is often misinterpreted! Here you will find answers to the most important questions around the cut ban on hedges in the Federal Nature Conservation Act.

Why is it forbidden to cut or clear your hedge all year round?

The background of the Federal Nature Conservation Act is the protection of domestic animals and plants as well as their habitats. In spring, many birds and other small animals take refuge in hedgerows and shrubs to build their nests and breeding caves. The prohibition of hedge trimming should allow them to undisturbed rearing their young. One of the reasons for the strict regulation is that the natural habitats of many plants and animals in Germany are decreasing.

For whom does the Federal Nature Conservation Act apply?

The prohibition to carry out major work such as cutting or scooping on its hedges affects all homeowners, garden owners and all small and home gardeners, as well as the municipalities as responsible for the maintenance of public green spaces. And the cut ban applies to woody hedges in the open countryside as well as in residential areas. The individual state governments may even extend the protection period stipulated in the federal law at their own discretion. Therefore, it is best to inform your local authority which regulations apply to your place of residence.

Which cutting measures is it about?

The prohibition covers all major cutting or reworking of hedges, trees and shrubs in the garden and on hedgerows, shrubs, reeds and reeds in the wild. With larger work here are the so-called "put on the floor", ie the complete pruning, as well as stronger pruning into the perennial wood of the plants meant. Even the complete removal of hedges and other trees is not allowed from March to September.

How high can the fine be?

A violation of the Federal Nature Conservation Act is classified as an administrative offense. This means that if you cut or clear your hedges before October 1, you may face fines of up to € 50,000.

Hedge trimmer in use

Smaller care and shape cuts on hedges can be carried out easily throughout the year

Which measures are allowed?

Although it is often claimed that smaller cuts in one's own garden are allowed during the spring and summer. You can also keep your hedges and bushes in shape during the period from March to September, taking into account the animals that live in the hedge. Similarly, the removal of wild-grown woody seedlings and a summer cut of the fruit trees are not prohibited. A pruning of the hedge may even be required in the context of road safety: Hedges belonging to the house may not be allowed to grow out on the sidewalk or on the street in order not to jeopardize traffic safety on the road.

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