Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

Planting in the border area of properties often gives rise to disputes between neighbors. Many a property owner would like to use the garden area and plant a tree right up to the property line. Others simply underestimate the growth of the trees. If the plants then reach a size that the neighbor feels disturbed by, a dispute can arise. Against this background, the legislature has created a legal situation that seeks to avoid such conflicts.

Legal situation

In order to avoid a conflict with neighbors, the regulations of the federal states regarding the boundary distance of trees, hedges and shrubs should be observed. These limit distance regulations are described in more detail in the state law on neighboring rights. The specified distances to the border of the neighboring property do not only apply to plantings, but also to wild growth.

Measurement of the limit distance

The regulations in the neighboring law apply to shrubs as well as to a tree or a hedge. Some federal states have also included distances for hops and grapevines. By the way, you don't have to keep a limit distance with perennials and other plants. The required distance to the property line depends on the height of the wood. The distance describes the shortest connection to the border line. Is measured:

  • in a tree: in the middle of the trunk
  • in the case of a shrub or hedge: measured from the shoot closest to the border
  • Hops and vines: from the hop pole or the riser wire
  • the point at which the shoot or trunk comes out of the ground is decisive
  • Branches above ground are not taken into account
  • Trunk inclinations are not taken into account

Exceptions:

  1. There are no limit distance rules for plants behind a wall or dense fence, insofar as they do not protrude or do not significantly protrude beyond the fence.
  2. Most federal states do not require a distance to public streets and squares
  3. However, the distances for border planting do not apply to bank planting, to protect slopes and embankments.
  4. Other regulations apply in most federal states for properties with forests, agricultural properties or areas with rail traffic.

Laws and regulations of the individual federal states

In individual cases, it may be necessary to review the regulations in detail when planting borders, as there, for example, individual tree and shrub species are classified according to growth height. When in doubt, professional advice should always be sought.

Baden-Wuerttemberg

Baden-W├╝rttemberg has included a legal regulation on the limit distance of plantings in neighboring law in order to promote good neighborly relations with a reliable legal situation.

  • large trees (over 12 m): 8.00 m
  • medium-sized, narrow trees (up to 12 m): 4.00 m
  • Fruit trees over 4 meters tall: 3.00 m
  • Pome fruit and stone fruit trees with a maximum height of 4 meters: 2.00 m
  • other trees of similar size (up to a maximum of 4 m): 2.00 m
  • Shrub types up to 1.8 meters growth height: 0.50 m
  • Shrub types over 1.8 meters growth height: 2.00 m
  • Hedge up to 1.8 m high: 0.50 m
  • Hedge over 1.8 m: 0.5 m + additional height over 1.80 m
  • Espaliers up to 1.8 m high: no spacing necessary
  • Espaliers over 1.8 m: additional height over 1.80 m
  • Soft fruit bushes and trunks: 0.50 m
  • Roses, ornamental shrubs and other small trees: 0.50 m

Bavaria

In Bavaria, the owner of a property can demand that larger plants be planted at a certain distance on the neighboring property. The following laws continue to apply to border planting:

  • Trees, shrubs, hedges, vines under 2 meters tall: 0.50 m spacing
  • all plants over 2 meters: at least 2.00 m apart
  • this also includes vines and hops, which are guided upwards on scaffolding

Berlin

In Berlin, however, the limit distance for plants is described in more detail. Finally, individual tree species are provided with distances to the neighboring border. The tree and shrub species are listed in detail in Section 27 of the Neighborhood Act. The general rule:

  • fast-growing tree species: minimum distance of 3.00 m
  • standard fruit trees: 1.00 m
  • all other tree species: 1.50 m
  • Shrub species: 0.50 m
  • Hedge over 2 meters high: at least 1.00 m
  • Hedge less than 2 meters high: 0.50 m

Brandenburg

In Brandenburg, the following regulations apply to plots of land outside the forest for the limit distance for plantings with a regular growth height of more than 2 m:

  • Fruit trees: 2.00 m
  • other trees: 4.00 m
  • the following applies to all trees and shrubs: at least a third of its height above the ground
  • the double distance applies to agricultural and commercial horticultural properties

Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania

In Bremen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Hamburg, no state regulations on the limit distance of planting have been issued to date. In Bremen and Hamburg, the legal situation of the federal state of Lower Saxony generally applies to border planting.

Hesse

The Neighbor Rights Act in the state of Hesse stipulates that when planting a tree or shrub on his property, the owner must maintain the following boundary distance to the neighboring property:

  • very fast-growing park and avenue trees: at least 4.00 m apart
  • Strongly growing avenue and park trees: 2.00 m
  • Pome fruit trees on strong growing substrate, sweet cherries and grafted walnut trees: 2.00 m
  • all other tree species: 1.50 m
  • strong-growing ornamental shrubs: 1.00 m
  • Brambles: 1.00 m
  • Hedge over 2 m high: 0.75 m
  • Hedge up to 2 m high: 0.50 m
  • other ornamental shrubs: 0.50 m
  • Hedge up to 1.2m: 0.25m

Lower Saxony (with Bremen)

The boundary distance provisions apply to shrubs, a hedge and a tree. Depending on the growth height of the planting, minimum distances to the neighboring property must be observed, which are broken down as follows:

  • up to 1.2 m growth height: 0.25 m
  • up to 2 m in height: 0.50 m
  • from 2 m to 3 m height: 0.75 m
  • up to 5 m in height: 1.25 m
  • up to 15 m in height: 3.00 m
  • over 15 m in height: 8.00 m

North Rhine-Westphalia

Where people live close together, every neighbor must show consideration. This also applies to border planting in North Rhine-Westphalia. For trees and vines, however, the following distance must be maintained from neighboring properties:

  • fast-growing tree species: 4.00 m
  • all other tree species: 2.00 m
  • strong-growing ornamental shrubs: 1.00 m
  • all other ornamental shrubs: 0.50 m
  • Pome fruit trees on strong growing substrate, sweet cherries, walnut trees and chestnuts: 2.00 m
  • Pome fruit trees on medium-growing rootstock, as well as stone fruit trees (except sweet cherry trees): 1.50 m
  • individual vines: 0.50 m
  • Pome fruit trees on weakly growing rootstock: 1.00 m
  • Brambles: 1.00 m
  • all other soft fruit bushes: 0.50 m

Rhineland-Palatinate

In Rhineland-Palatinate, owners of a property or their users must comply with the following limit distances when planting:

  • very large tree species: 4.00 m
  • fast-growing tree species: 2.00 m
  • all other tree species: 1.50 m
  • Hedge up to 1.0 meter high: 0.25 m
  • Hedge up to 1.5 meters high: 0.50 m
  • tall shrubs: 1.00 m
  • all other shrubs: 0.50 m
  • Hedge up to 2.0 meters high: 0.75 m
  • Hedge over 2.0 meters high: 0.75 m + additional height of 2.0 m

Saarland

Anyone who owns or manages a property in Saarland must comply with the following distances when planting borders:

  • very fast-growing tree species: 4.00 m
  • Hedge up to 1.5 meters high: 0.50 m
  • fast-growing tree species: 2.00 m
  • all other trees: 1.50 m
  • fast-growing shrub species: 1.00 m
  • Hedge up to 1.0 meter high: 0.25 m
  • all other types of compression: 0.50
  • Hedge over 1.5 meters high: 0.75 m

Saxony

On the other hand, in Saxony, the distance regulations for neighboring properties are very clear. The following applies:

  • Distances of all tree and shrub species as well as a hedge with a growth height of over 2 meters: 2.00 m
  • all shrubs up to 2 meters high: 0.50 m

Saxony-Anhalt

The following limit distance applies to the border planting for properties in Saxony-Anhalt for a tree, a shrub or a hedge:

  • up to a height of 1.5 meters: 0.50 m
  • up to a height of 3 meters: 1.00 m
  • everything over 15 meters growth height: 6.00 m
  • up to a height of 5 meters: 1.25 m
  • up to a height of 15 meters: 3.00 m

Schleswig Holstein

The owner or user of a property in Schleswig-Holstein must maintain the following distance from the border with plantings over 1.20 meters high:

limit distance = one third of the final growth height of the tree

Thuringia

The federal state of Thuringia has enacted the following laws for border planting and their distance to neighboring properties:

  • very fast-growing tree species: 4.00 m
  • Hedges over 2 meters: 0.75 m + additional height over 2.00 m
  • Hedges up to 2 meters high: 0.75 m
  • fast-growing tree species: 2.00 m
  • all other trees: 1.50 m
  • fast-growing shrub species: 1.00 m
  • other shrub species: 0.50 m
  • Hedges up to 1 meter high: 0.25 m
  • Hedges up to 1.5 meters: 0.50 m

Plantings directly on the property line

For hedges that are planted as border plants between two properties, there are no rules on the border distance. If a shrub or tree stands directly on the property line, it is therefore a border tree. In the case of a tree, the key is the trunk, namely where it emerges from the earth. It does not matter whether the property line runs through the trunk in the middle or on the side. In any case, both neighbors are entitled to equal shares of the fruit and wood of a border tree. Each of the two neighbors can also demand that the tree be removed, provided that it does not serve as a boundary sign. The same rule still applies to a border shrub.

If the branches or roots of a border tree or border shrub cause a significant impairment of the use of the property (e.g. damage to the sewage pipes), they may be removed. However, fallen seeds or leaves do not represent a significant impairment.

Replacement plantings in a hedge

If individual plants in a continuous hedge are to be replaced or replanted because they have died, they may be planted back in the row. This also applies if the row of hedges does not comply with the prescribed distance from the border. In this case, however, only if the limitation period for disposal has already expired. However, if the entire hedge or large parts of it are renewed or newly created, the legally applicable distance must be observed.

assert claims

If the prescribed distance to the border is not observed, the neighbor can demand that the tree, bush or hedge be removed or cut back to the permissible height. It is not relevant whether there is a restriction by the plant or not. Such a claim can in any case be asserted informally. But what you must not do is cut back the wood yourself.

statute of limitations

If a claim for removal or pruning is not asserted in the event of a violation of the boundary distance, it automatically becomes statute-barred after five years. Incidentally, the limitation period begins at the end of the year in which the violation of the distance becomes apparent.

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

Category: