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Starting July, it is permissible to plant tree avenues half a meter from adjacent fields

A new legal regulation will allow planting trees along roads that are at a distance of 0.5 meters from the boundaries of adjacent plots.

This amendment to the Road Act will have a positive impact on efforts to plant trees, tree avenues, and rows of trees along roads and paths. The amendment introduces an entirely new paragraph 3 to §15 of the Road Act, which includes exceptions to the general rules for tree distances from plot boundaries.

For planting trees along roads and paths, the general rule contained in §1017 of the Civil Code previously mandated that trees typically exceeding 3 meters in height could be planted at a distance of 3 meters from plot boundaries, and other trees at a distance of 1.5 meters, unless local customs dictated otherwise.

The rule contained in §15, paragraph 1 of the Road Act still applies, stating that roadside vegetation must not endanger the safe use of the road or unreasonably impede access, maintenance, or management of adjacent plots.

Starting this July, an additional paragraph 3 will be added to this provision- On road plots, the permissible distance of a tree from the shared boundary with adjacent plots according to the Civil Code will be reduced to the extent necessary to meet the requirements of paragraph 1, but not less than 0.5 meters. On plots that are adjacent to publicly accessible purpose-built roads, this distance will be reduced to the extent necessary to ensure the safety of use of this road, but not less than 0.5 meters.

Trees that will be planted on strips of land alongside roads can now be planted at a distance of half a meter from adjacent fields or other plots. Rules will be more relaxed for plots adjacent to publicly accessible purpose-built roads compared to planting along roads. Trees along roads can be planted at a distance of 0.5 meters from plot boundaries, with the only limiting factor being the safety of road use. In the case of planting along roads, trees must also not unreasonably impede access, maintenance, or management of adjacent plots. Roadside auxiliary land means a strip of land adjacent on both sides to the body of the road owned by the owner of that road.

The existing legal framework concerning tree planting along roads and paths has often been considered too rigid. This has led to practical problems where planting new trees was challenging and, in some cases, practically impossible.

The amendment emphasizes strengthening the protection of ecological functions in agricultural landscapes and introduces a comprehensive legislative framework for soil protection, now including the protection of landscape elements such as standalone trees, tree avenues, and rows of trees. This is a step towards better integration of greenery into road infrastructure. These changes will enable a more flexible approach to tree planting along roads and paths, which is crucial for preserving the landscape's character and ecological stability. In practice, this means that tree planting will be feasible along many roadways where it was previously not possible.

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