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Old 27.09.2011, 17:01
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Cutting a tree

Are there any laws against cutting a few branches of a tree? I have a tree growing and one branch bashes against the house and the other hangs over the pavement and will shed leaves onto the public road.

I'm planning on getting some climbing rope, going up there and cutting off some branches.

Anyone know if there are laws against cutting tree branches (I'm not going to get rid of the whole tree).

Also, where can I get climbing rope?
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Old 27.09.2011, 17:04
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Re: Cutting a tree

Depends on the tree!!

Some are protected - most not. You'll need a good tree saw (bow ideally). Landi is your friend for such things.
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Old 27.09.2011, 17:04
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Re: Cutting a tree

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Also, where can I get climbing rope?

ok... first of all... how far off the ground are these branches you want to cut?

5 ft?
10 ft?
more?

have you ever worked , with sharp and possibly power tools, in a climbing harness before?
if not I wouldn't recommend you trying it.

really.
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Old 27.09.2011, 17:06
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Re: Cutting a tree

No ..... as long as it yours to cut.

I've had to cut of some big branches of my fruit trees in the past and taken a small willow down.

Mind you the method is all important - hanging by a rope doesn't sound ideal. A ladder staked at the bottom and tied to the branch it leans against (not the one you're about to cut) would be better.
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Old 27.09.2011, 17:07
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Re: Cutting a tree

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Old 27.09.2011, 17:09
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Re: Cutting a tree

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ok... first of all... how far off the ground are these branches you want to cut?

5 ft?
10 ft?
more?

have you ever worked , with sharp and possibly power tools, in a climbing harness before?
if not I wouldn't recommend you trying it.

really.
probably around 3 people-high.

i have a bow saw, but probably will try to borrow a chain saw for this if i can. not that i've used a chain saw before...

how hard can it be?
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Old 27.09.2011, 17:11
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Re: Cutting a tree

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No ..... as long as it yours to cut.
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Depends on the tree!!

Some are protected - most not.
I think how legal it is is best summed up with these two posts.


Unfortunately, I'd say that unless you own the land, you don't own the tree.

Best to contact either the council or the landlord.
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Old 27.09.2011, 17:11
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Re: Cutting a tree

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probably around 3 people-high.

how hard can it be?
you're right... how hard can it be... and you live in Switzerland so you've got insurance... go for it !!

here's your rope supplier http://www.transa.ch/de/kletterseile

btw... can I come watch?
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Old 27.09.2011, 17:12
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Re: Cutting a tree

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No ..... as long as it yours to cut.

I've had to cut of some big branches of my fruit trees in the past and taken a small willow down.

Mind you the method is all important - hanging by a rope doesn't sound ideal. A ladder staked at the bottom and tied to the branch it leans against (not the one you're about to cut) would be better.
Even if the tree is yours, it may be protected. Fruit trees and willows would not tend to be protected. This sounds like something more substantial.

Leave the work to professionals if they are beyond easy reach from the ground. It is not worth the risk.
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Old 27.09.2011, 17:15
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Re: Cutting a tree

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probably around 3 people-high.

given your estimation of 3 people high can I make another suggestion?

get two mates...
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Old 27.09.2011, 17:18
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Re: Cutting a tree

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Even if the tree is yours, it may be protected. Fruit trees and willows would not tend to be protected. This sounds like something more substantial.

Leave the work to professionals if they are beyond easy reach from the ground. It is not worth the risk.
yeah, it's a pretty big tree, taller than a 3 story house. but i had a look on gis.zh.ch and could see anything in the nature protection and tree section and so i'm hoping it's OK.

i guess here someone will come and complain if they see me cutting something i shouldn't.
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Old 27.09.2011, 17:22
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Re: Cutting a tree

You ask if it is forbidden? Probably not for the tree, but many big trees are protected. You can be fined for attacking a tree. You need to ask at your local building authority (I think they are the responsible department).

If the branches are interfering with traffic, about 3,5 meters above the road, or 2,5 meters above the path, then you probably must cut them. There are usually notices in the local paper in the Autumn reminding people of their obligations.

If the branch you are cutting will drop onto the pavement, I would think you might need to ask permission from your village, and get the police to cordon off the area.

If you employ a gardening firm then you won't have all the hassle, just the bill!

Members have moaned at me before, as I am so negative. But this is my opinion about how things work here, you can always choose to ignore it.
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Old 27.09.2011, 17:37
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Re: Cutting a tree

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If the branch you are cutting will drop onto the pavement, I would think you might need to ask permission from your village, and get the police to cordon off the area.

Members have moaned at me before, as I am so negative. But this is my opinion about how things work here, you can always choose to ignore it.
Or you get the old bloke with the chainsaw to speak to the local lumberjack who comes over cuts the tree down while you stand stopping traffic.

Phil - it all depends on the tree size, how many peope are helping, whether the tree is yours, what tools you have, the road you are on etc etc.
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Old 27.09.2011, 17:42
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Re: Cutting a tree

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You ask if it is forbidden? Probably not for the tree, but many big trees are protected. You can be fined for attacking a tree. You need to ask at your local building authority (I think they are the responsible department).

If the branches are interfering with traffic, about 3,5 meters above the road, or 2,5 meters above the path, then you probably must cut them. There are usually notices in the local paper in the Autumn reminding people of their obligations.

If the branch you are cutting will drop onto the pavement, I would think you might need to ask permission from your village, and get the police to cordon off the area.

If you employ a gardening firm then you won't have all the hassle, just the bill!

Members have moaned at me before, as I am so negative. But this is my opinion about how things work here, you can always choose to ignore it.
i will take a look when i get back. i suspect i might be obliged to cut it. calling the police to cordon off might be a bit extreme. i thought of getting a couple of friends to stand on either side of the pavement to stop people from getting hit by the falling branch.

i did get some sort of letter about this which i didn't understand and it had a diagram which is supposed to show when you need to cut, but since none of the diagrams had distances indicated, i wasn't sure if the tree fell within the rule or not.
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Old 27.09.2011, 17:44
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Re: Cutting a tree

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i thought of getting a couple of friends to stand on either side of the pavement to stop people from getting hit by the falling branch.
Technically - you have to go to the gemeinde, get permission to cordon off the road/pavement, cut the tree down - remove all the rubbish etc.

In practice you can get away with it if you are quick - and you have a good relationship with your neighbours.

And again - it depends on the tree and how much you are trimming. The Swiss aren't overly keen on an unqualified auslander climbing trees and cutting off random branches without the correct tools/training.
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Old 27.09.2011, 17:55
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Re: Cutting a tree

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probably around 3 people-high.

i have a bow saw, but probably will try to borrow a chain saw for this if i can. not that i've used a chain saw before...

how hard can it be?
I have a chain saw - once you know how it works and how the brake handle and kill switch work, it isn't so difficult. However I wouldn't recommend your first time of using one, to be dangling on the end of a rope.

It's like learning to drive or fly - fairly easy in its self, but it's knowing what to do when this or that happens unexpectedly - for this it's better to have your feet firmly on the ground - especially if the chain becomes clamped.

P.S. For big branches you shouldn't attempt to cut them in one foul swoop - sections at a time.
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Old 27.09.2011, 17:56
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Re: Cutting a tree

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Technically - you have to go to the gemeinde, get permission to cordon off the road/pavement, cut the tree down - remove all the rubbish etc.

In practice you can get away with it if you are quick - and you have a good relationship with your neighbours.

And again - it depends on the tree and how much you are trimming. The Swiss aren't overly keen on an unqualified auslander climbing trees and cutting off random branches without the correct tools/training.
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I have a chain saw - once you know how it works and how the brake handle and kill switch work, it isn't so difficult. However I wouldn't recommend your first time of using one, to be dangling on the end of a rope.

It's like learning to drive or fly - fairly easy in its self, but it's knowing what to do when this or that happens unexpectedly - for this it's better to have your feet firmly on the ground - especially if the chain becomes clamped.
so basically, i should use the bow saw, maybe at 3am when nobody is around to stop me?
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Old 27.09.2011, 18:36
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Re: Cutting a tree

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so basically, i should use the bow saw, maybe at 3am when nobody is around to stop me?
Yes - and once done - go to the toilet - and then flush it
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Old 27.09.2011, 18:43
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Re: Cutting a tree

I heard that it depends on the size and gae of the tree.
Yes, you've got to get permission (at least find out) even if it is your tree.
Ths seems to be a very old law.
When I was small during the 70s, we had a very tall pine tree right besides the house, the branches touched the windows and was perfect transportation for all kinds of creepy-crawlies. My parents wanted to at least contain it a little, but were not allowed to even prune it or cut any of the branches.

Ask your gemeinde for information.
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Old 27.09.2011, 18:45
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Re: Cutting a tree

OK. Here is the tree:

 




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