Forestry Act 2014


Exempted trees

19. (1) A tree—

(a) in an urban area,

(b) within 30 metres of a building (other than a wall or temporary structure), but excluding any building built after the trees were planted,

(c) that is, in the opinion of the Minister, required to be removed—

(i) to control or prevent the spread of fire or a pest or disease,

(ii) to protect the integrity of the forest gene pool,

(iii) for forest survey purposes, or

(iv) to mitigate a threat to a habitat or other important environmental resource,

(d) that is, in the opinion of the Minister, planted and managed solely for its foliage or for decorative purposes, such as Christmas trees,

(e) removed by a public authority in the performance of its statutory functions,

(f) that is, in the opinion of the planning authority, dangerous on account of its age, condition or location,

(g) that is, in the opinion of the emergency services, required to be removed, including in the aftermath of an accident,

(h) less than 5 years of age that came about through natural regeneration and removed from a field as part of the normal maintenance of agricultural land (but not where the tree is standing in a hedgerow),

(i) uprooted in a nursery for the purpose of transplantation,

(j) of the willow or poplar species planted and maintained solely for fuel under a short rotation coppice,

(k) removed by or with the permission of the Minister or Teagasc, as part of a demonstration or for scientific purposes,

(l) on land held or managed by the Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for the purposes of the Wildlife Acts 1976 to 2012 and felled, uprooted or removed on his or her behalf,

(m) outside a forest—

(i) within 10 metres of a public road and which, in the opinion of the owner (being an opinion formed on reasonable grounds), is dangerous to persons using the public road on account of its age or condition,

(ii) the removal of which is specified in a grant of planning permission,

(iii) on an agricultural holding and removed by the owner for use on that holding, provided—

(I) it does not form part of a decorative avenue or ring of trees,

(II) its volume does not exceed 3 cubic metres, and

(III) the removal of it, by the owner for the foregoing purpose, when taken together with the removal of other such trees by the owner for that purpose, would not result in the total volume of trees, on that holding and removed by the owner for that purpose, exceeding 15 cubic metres in any period of 12 months,

(iv) of the hawthorn or blackthorn species, or

(v) in a hedgerow and felled for the purposes of its trimming, provided that the tree does not exceed 20 centimetres in diameter when measured 1.3 metres from the ground,

(n) in a burial ground maintained by a burial board or joint burial board under the Local Government (Sanitary Services) Acts 1878 to 2001 or the Local Government Acts 1925 to 2012, or

(o) of the apple, pear, plum or damson species,

shall be an exempted tree.

(2) A tree—

(a) within the curtilage or attendant grounds of a protected structure under Chapter 1 of Part IV of the Act of 2000,

(b) within an area subject to a special amenity area order,

(c) within a landscape conservation area under section 204 of the Act of 2000,

(d) within—

(i) a monument or place recorded under section 12 of the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 1994,

(ii) a historic monument or archaeological area entered in the Register of Historic Monuments under section 5 of the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 1987, or

(iii) a national monument in the ownership or guardianship of the Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 1994,

(e) within a European Site or a natural heritage area within the meaning of Regulation 2(1) of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 477 of 2011), or

(f) which is more than 150 years old,

shall not be an exempted tree, unless it is a tree to which—

(i) any of paragraphs (a) to (l), or paragraph (n), of subsection (1), or

(ii) subparagraph (i), (ii), (iv) or (v) of subsection (1)(m),


(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as removing any restriction on the felling or removal of trees under—

(a) the Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2013,

(b) the Wildlife Acts 1976 to 2000, and in particular section 40 of the Wildlife Act 1976, or

(c) any other enactment.

(4) In this section—

“public authority” does not include Coillte Teoranta;

“urban area” means any area that the Minister prescribes for the purposes of this section and an area that comprised a town or borough under the Local Government Act 2001 before the amendment of that Act by the Local Government Reform Act 2014 may, without prejudice to the Minister’s power to prescribe an area comprising a similar or greater conurbation for those purposes, be prescribed for the purposes of this definition.