Distance hedges from the border

The hedge: green wall with many practical functions

A hedge is made up of a series of shrub plants or trees, grown side by side as if to form a dense and compact plant wall. There are different types and many very different species can be used, depending on the function for which the hedge is made. One of the main ones is to delimit a green space, a private garden or a public park, to which a defensive or shielding purpose can also be added, against sun, wind, noise, dust. Usually then, in addition to performing a practical function, the hedge decorates and brightens the environment in which it is inserted, especially if plants with abundant and fragrant flowering are used. There are very high hedges, even 10-15 meters, usually conifer windbreaks; medium height defensive hedges made with intricate and thorny plants; low hedges that barely reach the meter, very suitable for delimiting an entrance path or flower beds in the garden.

The distance of the hedges from the border according to the civil code

The matter of the distance of the hedges from the border is governed by municipal regulations and local customs, or in their absence by the civil code, in articles 892 to 896. These rules have the purpose of protecting the contiguous land from possible damage, but also its full enjoyment, a hedge can in fact take away air, light and sight. The distances are established based on the height that the plant can reach in the abstract and not on its actual development: – 3 m, for tall trees, such as pines, cypresses, poplars, i.e. trees whose trunk, before the branches , is capable of exceeding 3 meters in height; – 1.5 m, for non-tall trees, ie those whose trunk, before the branches, does not exceed 3 meters in height; – 50 cm, for vines, shrubs, live hedges, plants less than 2.5 meters high; – 1 m, for the hedges of stumps; – 2 m, for locust hedges. The distance is measured from the boundary line to the base of the trunk, at ground level. If there is a wall on the border, both common and of exclusive property, it is not necessary to respect the minimum distances, as long as the plants do not exceed the height of the wall.

The distance from the boundary of existing trees and hedges

What happens if you get hold of a land on which a hedge already exists? This eventuality is foreseen by article 895, and in fact the right to plant trees, and therefore hedges, at a distance less than the legal one can be acquired, practically constituting an easement weighing on the adjacent land. This can be done by contract, by destination of the father of the family, that is by dividing a previously unified land, and by usucapione, when the tree is tolerated for 20 years, without any dispute. In this case, the tree or hedge remains, but cannot possibly be replaced, unless it is a tree inside a hedge. If, on the other hand, the right has not yet been acquired, the general rule is followed, and the uprooting of plants may be required. The right to have the branches of trees stretched out, on the contrary, cannot be acquired by usucapione. A particular case is that of a hedge placed on a border, which is considered common unless proven otherwise, unless it fences a fund for its entire length, in which case it is assumed at Photo

Distance hedges from the border: What happens when the distances are not respected

One of the most frequent disputes between neighbors is precisely that concerning the distances between the properties, therefore if you want to create a hedge, in the choice of plants, their possible development must be carefully considered, also taking into account the foliage and the extension of the roots, which may reason for liability for damages. If the distance of the hedges from the border is less than the legal one, neighbors can demand that they be grubbed up, regardless of actual damage. The same thing happens for branches and roots that invade the bottom, the owner of which can even grind it himself. He also has the right to keep the fruits that fall from the branches for natural causes, but he cannot pick them. To assert your rights it is necessary to act immediately, so as not to accrue the usucapione, by sending a written request, to then eventually take legal action. In this regard, it should be remembered that if one’s right arises on the basis of a regulation, it is necessary to present the document to the judge, who is not required to know it as a secondary rule.

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