General species protection

The aim of general species protection is not to unnecessarily deprive birds of nesting and breeding sites during the breeding season between March 01 and September 30, either by felling or by pruning measures (§ 39 BNatSchG).

If necessary, the intended measure must therefore be organized in such a way that felling and pruning measures are carried out outside the above-mentioned breeding season.

Affected by this are basically first of all all shrubs, hedges and other woody plants, such as older ivy in the urban area, regardless of their location, and partly also trees.

However, some measures on woody plants are still allowed throughout the year. This does not mean, however, that the permit requirements under the Tree Protection Ordinance are overridden; in the case of the prohibitions under general species protection, it is only the timing of the measure and not the permissibility of the measure as such that is under scrutiny.

In particular, the following is permitted throughout the year against the background of the General Protection of Species:

  • Measures for the felling or care of trees in horticulturally used properties, which do not require an exemption according to the Tree Protection Ordinance, as well as for trees in the forest.
  • The gentle shaping and maintenance pruning of hedges and shrubs, in which the annual growth is removed. The complete removal of hedges and shrubs, on the other hand, must take place in the months of October to February.
  • The professional, gentle shaping and maintenance pruning of trees in green areas, sports fields, roadside ditches, in parks and park-like stands in residential complexes.
  • The felling of trees or the carrying out of pruning measures for the necessary prevention of danger.
  • The removal of minor woody vegetation in connection with the execution of a permitted construction project.
  • In the case of measures ordered or approved by the authorities, for example as part of a building permit, a felling permit or a zoning decision, but also only if they are in the public interest and cannot be carried out at another time or in another way

If, in individual cases, pruning measures that do not fall under the year-round permissible measures appear to be unpostponable in the period from March to September, then an application for exemption (§ 67 BNatSchG) can be submitted to the higher nature conservation authority (Government of Upper Bavaria). However, strict standards are applied here. There is only a chance of success if there is a predominantly public interest in the measure or evidence can be presented to prove an unreasonable burden and the deviation from the nature conservation standards is also compatible with the interests of nature conservation.


Legal basis