Plantations (hedges, trees, shrubs...)
Verified 13 July 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)
You can grow trees and plantations freely in your land. However, certain distance rules must be respected near your neighbor's property. The maintenance of adjacent or borderline plantations as well as the harvesting of the fruits of your plantations are also subject to specific regulations.
Plantations such as trees, shrubs and shrubs can be planted near the separating boundary of your land and that of your neighbor, provided that a minimum distance is respected.
if you do not know the exact boundaries between your land and your neighbor's land, it may be useful to have a land boundary..
This minimum distance may be fixed by local rules provided for by existing special regulations or by constant and recognized local uses.
To find out about the existence of these local rules, you must ask your local council.
Who shall I contact
If there are no local rules, the minimum distance to be respected from the neighboring land varies depending on the height of your plantation:
- Where the height of the plantation is less than or equal to 2 meters, the minimum distance to be respected in the neighboring property limit shall be 0,5 meters.
- Where the height of the plantation is greater than 2 meters, the minimum distance to be respected in the neighboring property limit shall be 2 meters.
The distance is measured from the middle of the tree trunk.
The height of the plantation is measured from the ground to the top of the tree.
If this distance is not respected
If the plantations do not respect the legal distances, the troubled neighbor may demand that they be torn down or reduced to the legal height.
He must send to the neighbor whose plantations do not respect the legal distances a registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt. This document template can be used:
In case of refusal of the neighbor, it is necessary to resort to an amicable approach to help:
- a justice conciliator (procedure is free)
- or mediation (paid)
- or participatory procedure (fee-for-service with legal counsel)
to take this step this is an essential preliminary step to take any action before the judge.
Who shall I contact
If this fails, the court must be seized of the location of the land.
Plantations existing for at least 30 years
If the plantations do not respect the legal distances, but they are located:
- within 0,5 meters of the property limit,
- or are between 0,5 meters and 2 meters from the property limit and have exceeded 2 meters in height for at least 30 years,
then only an amicable approach (seeking an agreement) can be envisaged with the neighbor whose plantations do not respect the legal distances.
The cutting of branches of trees, shrubs and shrubs belonging to the neighbor and advancing on your property is his responsibility.
You can force your neighbor to cut the branches of his tree if they advance on your property, but you have no right to cut them yourself. In order to succeed, the court must be seised of the location of the land.
Who shall I contact
If roots or brambles encroach on your property, you can freely cut them. Size must be at the limit of your property.
You can destroy the adjoining plantation to the limit of your property, provided you build a wall on that limit.
You are not allowed to pick fruits and flowers from a neighbor's tree that overflow your property.
On the other hand, you can pick up those that fall naturally on your property.
Half of the products of the terraced plantations (fruits, flowers...) belong to each of the owners.
Their collection must be made at common cost whatever its cause:
- natural (the fruits fall on their own),
- drop (e.g. by shaking),
- or direct picking.
- Civil Code: Articles 653 to 673Obligations relating to plantations: Articles 668 to 673
- Ask your neighbor to cut down his trees