Despite the liberalization of the regulations on tree felling, in some cases such felling must be reported. However, many still forget about it and pay fines as a result. Sometimes very high.
The Business Insider Polska service recalls the turmoil of recent years regarding the regulations on felling trees in Poland. Until 2016, they were quite clear – to cut trees or shrubs above a certain trunk thickness, even if they are located on your own plot, you had to have a permit from the municipality (issued by the head of the commune, mayor or president of the city). The lack of such a permit – in the case of an inspection – resulted in a gigantic fine (the portal cites the history of owners fined PLN 145,000).
Deforestation. Liberalization of regulations
At the end of 2016, an act called lex Szyszko (after the name of the then Minister of the Environment) was introduced, which liberalized the law on tree felling – property owners were no longer threatened with penalties for felling. Mass grubbing-up began, and in the first two months alone, up to 1.5 million trees disappeared from the surface of Poland.
In this situation, the rulers decided that it was necessary to slightly tighten the regulations. Introduced, among others the institution of “notification of felling”. Such a notification is subject to all trees whose trunk circumference, calculated at a height of 5 cm from the ground, exceeds:
80 cm – in the case of poplar, willows, ash maple and silver maple;
65 cm – in the case of horse chestnut, black locust and London plane tree;
50 cm – in the case of other tree species.
The commune has 14 days to object to such felling. Then an official comes to the plot and inspects it. It checks the actual perimeter of the trunks and verifies the species of trees.
Cutting out four thujas cost them almost 8,000. zloty
Although the current regulations are much more liberal than seven years ago, there are still those who find out about the obligation to notify the municipality after the fact and, as a consequence, pay significant fines. The website reminds about a couple of pensioners from the Lublin region who had to pay almost PLN 8,000 for cutting out four thujas. zloty.
Business Insider Polska points out that felling permits are issued by the commune primarily in the case of investments carried out, for example, in communal areas, but also any felling in landscape parks or nature reserves. Removal can cost a lot. Rates depend on the type of tree or shrub and its thickness. The excerpt from the regulation of the Minister of the Environment cited by the portal (sets out the rates for each centimeter of trunk circumference, measured at a height of 130 cm from the ground) shows that, for example, for cutting a perennial yew tree with a circumference of 150 cm, you have to pay up to PLN 30,000. zloty.