The trees in shared courtyard

On the very day of the Planet Earth in 2015, citizens called the Green Phone of the Green Action with a request to help them save two Lombardy poplar trees and one cypress tree in the courtyard of their building, which several tenants wish to cut down.

In fact, ten days before receiving the Decision authorising the co-owners of the building to remove three trees in the shared courtyard. The reason stated by the tenants when send a Request for cutting down the trees was a potential danger of demolition, potential tearing of telephone wires that pass through the tree crowns, and “given that the deciduous trees make damage (the gutters are filled with leaves) and garbage is gathered in the yard of the house and neighbouring yards.”

We asked the citizens to urgently send us the Decision in order to help them write the complaint, and given that already more than ten days passed since the receipt of the Decision. With the help of the lawyers of Green Action, we wrote an appeal which the citizens submitted to the competent authority. When writing the Complaint, we had to be very imaginative with regard to very little time and opportunities we had at our disposal.

The most important facts that we stated in the Complaint related to certain provisions set out in the Decision. Specifically, the explanation of the approval for cutting down the trees clearly states that on-site inspection proved that the “trees have vital and unchanged statics”, therefore there was no danger that they would fall down and cause damage (as specified in the Request for felling) but they “may be removed” because the roots of the cypress can cause damage to building foundations. Instead of cutting, we proposed cutting the branches on the trees of Lombardy poplar and relocation of cypress to another location in the same yard, in order to eliminate the possible damage to building foundations.

Furthermore, we mentioned the fact that the planned cutting, according to the Property Act and other property rights, is an outstanding job which requires the consent of all co-owners of the property, which fortunately was not the case in this case.

On 13 November 2015 the citizens informed us that they received a Decision upholding our appeal. “You saved our tree, thank you!”