How to cut a tree legally and without a fine

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Do you want to remove a tree in your area or an overgrown bush in front of a high-rise building does not let light through the windows of the first floor? Do you want to do everything in accordance with the law, but do not know where to start registration? This article will help you.

How to cut a tree without breaking the law

In light of the increasingly deteriorating environmental situation in the world, the conservation of trees and shrubs as natural keepers of climate and air quality is of a state nature. A lot of laws, regulations are being passed, a myriad of bills are being considered throughout the country, and all of them are aimed at the fact that every tree should be preserved.

The most important in the list of thematic normative acts, perhaps, is the Federal Law of 10.01.2002 N 7-FZ “On Environmental Protection”. According to article 16 of this document, any negative impact on the environment is paid. And chapter 14 of this law is completely devoted to responsibility for violations in the field of nature protection. So, for failure to comply with certain norms, you can get not only a property penalty, but also fall under administrative or criminal punishment. The Forest Code of the Russian Federation of 04.12.2006 N 200-FZ is no less important in preserving the ecological heritage. Chapter 13 also establishes liability for illegal use of forests and damage to green spaces. A person who has caused harm by his actions is obliged to compensate for it. More details about the methodology and rates for calculating the amount of damage can be found in the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of 08.05.2007 N 273 “On the calculation of the amount of damage caused to forests due to violation of forest legislation”.

How to cut a tree without breaking the law

No matter how important it is to preserve nature and, in particular, trees and shrubs for the country, there are situations when it is simply impossible to do without removing a particular plant. This is the construction of new houses and communications in cities, the laying of power lines in forests, the removal of dry and potentially dangerous trees, and much more. There are other examples of the use of woody vegetation: procurement of fuel and commercial timber. Consider how these types of work should be formalized in each case..

Removal of green spaces on your own site

Many people believe that if the land is their property, then all vegetation can be destroyed at will. However, this opinion is not supported by anything and refers to a greater extent to fruit trees and shrubs in summer cottages. So, if a currant bush died in your garden and it was decided to plant a pear instead, there is no need to go for permission. But if it comes to maple or oak growing on the site, or other trees, then it is not always possible to do without the registration of the relevant documents. In Moscow, for example, obtaining a felling ticket for both removing trees and pruning them is mandatory for everyone, regardless of the territory. And even if you yourself once planted this tree, it still belongs to the city’s green fund, protected by law to the fullest extent. Of course, you can cut down the plant “on the sly”, but there is a risk of being responsible for the violation. Especially if the neighbors want to join the ranks of fighters for the ecology of the area at your expense.

How to cut a tree without breaking the law

In the vast expanses of our country, there are also regions where, at the municipal level, the owners of private households are given the right to independently manage vegetation within the boundaries of their site. Usually this is stipulated in the rules for the maintenance and protection of green spaces for a particular settlement or region. But if you are not sure that such a document has been adopted in your area, or do not know about the current changes, it is better to still apply for permission. If the removal of trees is not prohibited, you will receive a refusal completely free of charge, motivated by the absence of the need to obtain any permits. This document is also a kind of “permit” and with its help it will be possible to defend your innocence in front of the neighbors, who stood up to protect the environment at the cost of your tree.

How to cut a tree legally and without a fine

If permission is still required, you will have to contact the competent authorities. In different places this function is performed by various organizations: administrations of districts and cities, executive committees, etc. The preparation of the permits themselves are often carried out by departments of environmental protection or ecological control. In Moscow, felling tickets are issued on a “one-stop” basis by the Department of Natural Resources. Your appeal will be considered within 30 (working) days from the date of registration. However, one should not rely too much on a certain period. In the absence of a specific list of documents, your application will simply not be accepted or will be accepted, but the first notification will be about the absence of the necessary papers. In the second option, the term begins to be calculated from the moment the complete set is provided.

How to cut a tree legally and without a fine

To obtain a permit, it is not enough just to send a request; it is often required to organize and, importantly, pay for a survey of the removed tree or shrub. Experts will determine the breed, thickness and condition of the plant. Based on the survey results, an action plan for landscaping will be drawn up and compensation payments will be calculated. Instead of one removed unit, several new ones are usually planted. And in the text of the permission it is indicated that it is possible to remove such and such a plant at such and such an address, subject to the transfer of funds in the calculated amount to the administration. It should be noted that many people confuse the survey act with the permit itself. The basis for action is only a document received in a certain way: a felling ticket or a permit (depending on location).

How to cut a tree legally and without a fine

However, this is a common case. Most often, the removal of trees on the sites of citizens is associated with any inconvenience: the tree has dried up and threatens to fall, the branches rest against the roof of the house, the bush creates a thick shadow, and sunlight does not enter the living quarters. In most such cases, compensation payments and planting are not made, and the tree can be removed without spending too much money on ecological restoration. In special cases, when the tree is officially recognized as emergency, it can be cut, having in hand only an inspection report with a corresponding mark.

Removal of green spaces on leased plots

The algorithm of actions will be the same as in the variant with its own site, but there are some peculiarities. So, upon obtaining permission, the package of documents will be slightly increased and you will need to provide the following:

  1. Letter of application from the owner of green spaces on the need to issue a permit to the competent authority.
  2. Inspection report of the green spaces indicated in the application, drawn up in accordance with all the requirements by the relevant authorized organization.
  3. A list of green spaces planned for felling or pruning, certified by the signature and seal of the owner of the territory.
  4. A plan of the area with an indication of the cut down and the plants to be cut, certified by the seal of the owner of the territory.
  5. Contract with a contractor for cutting or pruning vegetation.
  6. Power of attorney for the right to obtain a permit, drawn up by the owner of the site in accordance with all regulations.

How to cut a tree legally and without a fine

The situation is slightly simplified if the lease agreement provides for the right to handle green spaces at its discretion and this is clearly spelled out in the text. In this case, an application for a permit can be drawn up on your own behalf, and instead of a power of attorney, attach a duly certified copy of the agreement.

Removal of green spaces in areas owned by unauthorized people or third parties

If everything is more or less clear with the removal of vegetation on its own territory, then what to do when your house is threatened by a tilted neighbor’s tree – the question is not so simple. Nobody will give you permission to cut vegetation on someone else’s plot, therefore, the issue must be resolved with the owner of the territory.

How to cut a tree without breaking the law

First, you should write a letter to your neighbor (or an organization next to you) asking them to remove the emergency tree. In order to prove this fact later, when transferring the paper, you can ask the recipient to sign the copy. In case of refusal, the letter is sent by mail with acknowledgment of receipt. Quite often, neighbors balk and do not want to do the work at their own expense. If you do not want to spoil the relationship, you can solve the issue by paying for the work from your wallet. However, when such an offer is not accepted or you do not intend to pay for what, in fact, the owner of the territory should be responsible for, the next step is to write complaints. For this, an organization that manages green spaces in your area and issues permits for their removal and pruning is suitable. It is this office that, in addition to agreeing, can write a prescription that will oblige a negligent neighbor to get rid of vegetation on the site. If a tree does not just cast a thick shadow on your windows, but is a potential threat to life and health, you can write a statement to the prosecutor’s office. In this case, the criminal liability of the owner of the ill-fated plant will be considered..

Removal of green spaces on state land (territories of cities, towns, forests, common land)

Removing vegetation on lands with a specific owner is a necessary thing, but rather rare. Most of the questions arise when you have to cut a tree on state-owned land. And not only in the case of interfering with housing, but also in the case of harvesting wood, firewood and other things. All this requires your permission. Let’s consider some cases in more detail.

Case No. 1. A tree growing on urban land shades apartment windows

First, it is necessary to establish the fact of deterioration of the illumination of the apartment by sunlight. This is confirmed by the sanitary and epidemiological conclusion about the non-compliance of the premises with the standards for insolation. To carry out the appropriate measurements and the subsequent registration of the document, you should contact Rospotrebnadzor. If the fact is established, then the next step is to write a letter of petition to remove the plant to the organization in charge of this territory. This can be the housing department, the district administration, the management of the garden partnership, and others. Your application must be considered by the commission with an appropriate decision: removing the tree or cutting it before the apartment reaches the standards for insolation.

How to cut a tree legally and without a fine

If a considerable period of time has passed after your appeal, and the administration has not begun any actions, you can write a statement to the environmental control authorities. This organization will issue an appropriate order. It should be remembered that the responsibility lies not only with the citizens trying to illegally cut down the vegetation, but also with the officials who do not follow the laws and allow the wrong maintenance of green spaces. Undoubtedly, it is pleasing that the fines for officials are an order of magnitude higher.

Case No. 2. You decided to lay communications to your site, but shrubs and a tree growing on public land interfere with you

This case is a little more complicated than those discussed earlier. Here, in addition to permits and acts of inspection of the area, it is necessary to submit for consideration some sections of the project. When considering, all options for preserving green spaces, including the possibility of replanting, will be taken into account. The absence of the latter greatly simplifies the collection of documents and construction work. And the responsibility for transplanted and dead trees will not please anyone.

How to cut a tree legally and without a fine

In general, the following must be provided to issue a permit:

  1. Application letter from the customer of the construction, that is, from you indicating the contact phone number and contact details of the contractor (yours or your representative) in full.
  2. Building permit issued and executed in accordance with the established procedure.
  3. Lease agreement for the land on which the construction will be carried out.
  4. Master plan with dendroplane, agreed with the owner of the territory through which the communication will pass.
  5. Conclusion of environmental expertise for the developed project.
  6. Conclusion on the dendrological part of the documentation.
  7. Green space inventory.
  8. Confirmation of payment for registration and compensation payments.
  9. Copies of contracts with companies that will carry out cutting or transplanting plants in the specified area.
  10. The act of marking trees intended for removal.
  11. Addresses of transplanting green spaces, if the transplant is provided for by the project.
  12. Improvement project of the territory specified in the application.
  13. Compensatory landscaping project (not necessarily the same area).

How to cut a tree legally and without a fine

If you are planning not new construction, but only the repair of existing communications, the list of documents will be somewhat shorter:

  1. Application letter from the customer of the construction, that is, from you indicating the contact phone number and contact details of the contractor (yours or your representative) in full.
  2. Master plan with dendroplan, agreed with the owner of the territory with a clear indication of the areas of work and the security zone of existing communications.
  3. Conclusion on the dendrological part of the project.
  4. Environmental impact assessment (in case some of the utilities follow a new trail).
  5. Confirmation of payment of compensation for destroyed plant objects.
  6. Copies of contracts with companies that will carry out cutting or transplanting plants in the specified area.
  7. Addresses of transplanting green spaces, if the transplant is provided for by the project.
  8. Improvement project of the territory specified in the application.
  9. Compensatory landscaping project.

How to cut a tree without breaking the law

Often people, planting a particular tree, do not think about harming communications. If a plant grows in a protected zone or for other reasons violates the requirements of regulatory legal acts – its removal is carried out without compensation for compensation, including compensation plantings.

Case No. 3. Harvesting wood in the forest for their own needs

A shed that has been ramshackle from time to time or a structure damaged by fire requires replenishment of timber for repairs. The best option, in the opinion of many, is to independently procure materials, as they say, right on the spot. Especially if the forest is within easy reach. On the territory of the Russian Federation, the current Forest Code provides for the right of citizens to harvest timber for their own needs by concluding contracts for the sale and purchase of forest plantations. This is stipulated in article number 30.

How to cut a tree without breaking the law

To draw up a contract, you must send a written application to the forestry or forest park, on the territory of which timber harvesting is supposed. When signing this document, a representative of the forestry and a representative of the harvesting company must visit the logging site to identify and mark the trees intended for felling, and draw up a technological map for the development of the cutting area. Before closing the contract, a citizen is obliged to call a representative of the forestry to the place of work for an examination. It presupposes:

  1. Assessment of cleaning the felling site from branches, wood residues and other debris.
  2. Compliance with the procurement technology specified in the technological map.
  3. Compliance of the volume of harvested wood with the volume specified in the contract.

After the survey, a permit is issued to export harvested timber from the forest.

Case No. 4. Harvesting firewood by clearing the forest from windbreaks and windblown trees

Many believe that you can independently clear the forest of fallen and dried trees: it is both good for yourself and for nature. However, the legislation of the Russian Federation does not assign such a right to its citizens. On the contrary, unauthorized harvesting and removal of wood from windbreak and windfall plants is punishable by considerable fines and confiscation of the harvesting tool (usually a saw or ax) if you are caught at the scene of a crime.

How to cut a tree without breaking the law

The preparation of firewood is drawn up, as in the previous case, with an appropriate payment. True, the cost of such wood is quite low due to its suitability only as fuel and will not hit the pocket that much. If the harvesting of a windbreak is carried out without the appropriate permission and assessment, it will be used to calculate the damage at the cost of commercial timber. Together with the confiscation of the saw and the payment of the fine, the amount will run up a significant amount, much more than the payment of the annual supply of firewood that has already been chopped and brought to the place.

Removal of green spaces in protected areas

According to the Federal Law “On Specially Protected Natural Areas”, territories are established where special legislation is applied for the protection of green spaces.

So, on the lands of reserves, it is often not allowed not only to damage vegetation, but also the very stay of strangers. National parks are more loyal and allow citizens to harvest timber for their own needs. This law also covers parks and health resorts, as well as places equated to them. Responsibility for violation of the regime of specially protected natural areas is provided for only criminal. It should also be noted that when imposing a sentence, a court may also provide for a rather large confiscation of property involved in violation of the law. In particular, it can be not only tools, but also vehicles.

How to cut a tree without breaking the law

In conclusion, I would like to add a few words about responsibility. So, chapter 26 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, namely Articles 260 to 262, provides for criminal penalties for offenses against vegetation. Here and large fines and correctional labor, in some cases imprisonment is also provided. I would like to note the tightening of liability for violation of the law by a group of persons by prior conspiracy. This amendment is applied most often, since harvesting wood and even a simple sawing of a tree alone is an almost impossible undertaking. Administrative penalties are provided for by Art. 8.28 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation, but they are applied only for minor offenses. When harvesting firewood and timber, building and simply cutting trees, local legal documents governing the protection of green spaces should be clarified. Due to the size of our homeland, differences in local regulations can be completely opposite..

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