Cutting the hedge to create an opaque privacy screen is imperative. But when is it allowed and when is it forbidden? We explain here how the applicable law is interpreted.

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The Federal Nature Conservation Act stipulates that cutting hedges, reeds, shrubs and bushes is prohibited between March 1st and September 30th. The background to this regulation is that animals – such as birds and insects – use a hedge or other dense growth as breeding grounds and habitat. If the plants are cut back too much or even pushed back to the wood, the animals are immensely disturbed and robbed of their breeding grounds or habitat.

Therefore, radical measures should only be taken by February 28th or only be carried out again from October 1st. Otherwise, you have to reckon with sensitive fines, which can amount to up to 50,000 euros depending on the case.

cut type

The legal regulation in question is often misunderstood and interpreted in such a way that hedges and the like may not be trimmed at all between March and September. However, this interpretation is wrong. Excessive hedges can be an obstacle or even a hazard, especially on roads or sidewalks.

In addition, hedges may not exceed a certain height in some municipalities. Without appropriate measures, fines could also be due in some municipalities. But which cuts are allowed and which are forbidden?

Allowed are:

  • grooming cuts
  • pruning individual branches
  • controlling the height through gentle pruning measures

The bans are usually limited to significant interventions where much of the shoot length is lost and cut into the old wood. Cutting young shoots is usually possible. However, one should again pay attention to the specifications of the respective municipalities. Relevant information can be obtained from the following offices:

  • municipal office
  • citizen office
  • Rathaus
  • Board of Directors of the Garden Club
  • conservation associations

Maintain hedges gently

To ensure that hedges remain opaque and bushes grow as densely leafed as possible, some plants must be trimmed regularly . With a cutting ban from March to the end of September, this is only possible to a limited extent over the summer. We therefore recommend a more radical cut in February and gentle cuts back in summer. However, you should also pay attention to a few factors in order to proceed gently when cutting the hedge. It refers to:

  • use clean cutting tools
  • frequent cutting, but shortening only slightly in length
  • Avoid cutting in direct sunlight to prevent burns
  • use sharp scissors and knives for smooth cuts

In addition, it is better to use manual tools during the breeding and planting periods. As a result, there is no noise and animals living in the hedge are significantly less disturbed.

Note: If beeping or a clear buzzing can be heard from the plants, you should completely avoid the trimmings for a few weeks. Because these sounds indicate that birds are breeding in the plants or are raising young or that beneficial insects are using the plant as a shelter.

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