Tree felling: authorization, price, sanction...

Want to fell a tree but don't know how? Is permission required? If so, which and to whom? How much does it cost ? We help you see it more clearly here.

  Slaughter of'arbre : autorisation, prix, sanction...

Several reasons can lead you to want to kill a tree on your property. He hides the light, poses security problems, has fallen ill or is the source of neighborhood conflicts... Whatever the reason, you will need to ensure that the tree is not protected or that its felling is not subject to authorization.

Do I need a permit to cut down a tree?

The felling of a tree is regulated by law. More specifically, three separate codes (Environmental Code, Forestry Code and Town Planning Code) regulate felling. Obtaining an authorization for the felling of a tree is not systematic. On the other hand, obtaining an authorization is mandatory in all the following cases:

  • if the tree is classified in the town planning regulations in force where you live. To find out if the tree you want to fell is classified, you must look at the graphic regulations of the PLU or PLUi, namely the zoning plan.
  • if the tree is located in a sensitive natural area. Here again, it is advisable to refer to the zoning plan of the PLU.
  • if the tree is located within a radius of 500 m around a historic monument, near an area for the enhancement of architecture and heritage, or in a site classified as a remarkable heritage. Find out either on the internet, where lists are available, or from the ABF (Architecte des Bâtiments de France), or directly from the town hall of the town where you live.
  • if a line of trees borders a lane. A discussion with the owner (municipality or department) of the road should be opened.

What type of authorization?

If the tree you want to fell falls into one of the cases listed above, you will need to obtain a felling permit. This is issued by the municipality. , after examination of the preliminary work declaration file that you have submitted beforehand.

For wood or forest owners, in the case of cutting for commercial use, another authorization is required. It's necessary complete an application for administrative authorization to cut wood or fell trees (Form 12530*3) . This request must be sent to the Departmental Directorate of Territories of the location of the forest property.

How much does it cost to cut down a tree?

If you call a professional , which is advisable insofar as the task is difficult and requires a certain expertise, the price depends not only on the size of the tree and that of the trunk, on the environment in which it is located (dense forest or isolated tree), but also included services. Does slaughter also include cleaning? Is stumping included? These different services in turn require the use of more or less expensive equipment (crane, basket, mini-excavator, etc.). So do your research well in advance.

In France, the average national price for felling a tree under stump removal varies between 200 and 500 euros . And, for stump removal, an additional budget of between 150 and 1000 euros should be provided.

Are there any penalties for cutting down a tree without permission?

Yes, there are penalties! And they are quite heavy. You may be ordered to pay a fine of between 1,200 euros and an amount equivalent to 6,000 euros per square meter of built surface (in case you have built).

More specificly, if you cut down a protected tree without authorization, you risk up to 3 years in prison and a fine of 150,000 euros (article L415-3 of the Environmental Code). If you cut down a standing tree in the forest without authorization, you risk 3 years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros. (Code forestier).