Legal Requirements for Tree Felling
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine advise that, under Section 37 of the Forestry Act, 1946, it is illegal to uproot any tree over ten years old or to cut down any tree of any age (including trees which form part of a hedgerow), unless a Felling Notice has been lodged at the Garda Station nearest to the trees at least 21 days before felling commences.
A Felling Notice may be obtained from any Garda Station or directly from the Felling Section of the Forest Service of the Department. A copy can also be obtained on the Department's website.
The requirement for a felling licence for the uprooting or cutting down of trees does not apply where:
a) The tree in question is a hazel, apple, plum, damson, pear, or cherry tree grown for the value of its fruit or any ozier;
b) The tree in question is less than 100 feet from a dwelling other than a wall or temporary structure;
c) The tree in question is standing in a County or other Borough or an urban district (that is, within the boundaries of a town council, or city council area).
Other exceptions apply in the case of local authority road construction, road safety and electricity supply operations.
Penalties for illegal felling can be severe, ranging from fines of up to a maximum of €63.49 per tree to imprisonment for up to 2 years. In addition to any fine, which may be imposed by the Court, the Minister may, by Order, require the person convicted to replant.
For further information, please contact Felling Section, Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Johnstown Castle, Wexford. Tel: (053) 9170371/ 9170338/ 9165534/ 9170349.