According to Orkantief "Friederike" checking the stability of trees

According to Orkantief

In the course of climate change, there have been violent storms in recent years Years in Germany increased sharply. Currently, the hustle & bustle & quot; Friederike & ldquo; caused damage in many parts of Germany. Insurance experts now advise to check the stability of trees. Failure to do so may qualify as a breach of compulsory insurance.

Garden Owners Must Be Mindful

Do trees stand on their own property and partially protrude into public areas, or fall within range of public and adjacent land Special attention must be paid to the so-called traffic safety obligation.

If after a storm a tree falls over or branches fall down without the owner checking the tree for stability, it is liable for consequential damage from its own pocket:

  • Property damage
  • Personal injury
  • Compensation claims

In addition, it is also advisable to treat damaged tree areas correctly. Open spots allow bacteria or fungi and other parasites to enter the tree more easily. This can weaken the tree or even cause the tree to wither.

Traffic Safety Obligation: What to Look For?

The duty to protect traffic is set out in BGB & sect; & sect; 535, 906 regulated. For tree growth on their own property is recorded there that the trees must be regularly examined for their stability. However, these checks need not be performed or certified by a specialist. A self-check is absolutely sufficient.

If the owner assumes that the stability of the tree is not sufficient, a specialist must be consulted. This can then give an expert opinion, which may be needed for the cost recovery in an insurance case.

Tailor-Tailor-Tables for Practicing Trees

Let's assume that there is an oak on a property that has been growing there for some 150 years. A violent wind force storm 12 breaks parts of the tree or even the whole tree and causes damage to the adjacent property. The assumption of costs must now be settled by a court decision.

First of all, it must be clarified whether there is a violation of the general duty of care. The legislature has already passed the following verdict:

BGH, judgment v. 16.5.2006, VI ZR 189/05 concerning safety glass on interior doors; Judgment v. 2.10.2012, VI ZR 311/11 concerning tree damage - The property owner must check the property for sources of danger. If hazards exist, he must take action to protect other people from them. The measures must be objectively necessary and reasonable according to the overall circumstances.

It is helpful to document the individual property reviews. It is best to use photographs with time information in order to prove the process. Keep in writing what state each area is in.

The duty of care does not require that every conceivable precaution be taken. It's just a matter of protecting against anticipated security risks:

  • Falling branches
  • Falling tree
  • Splintered bark

How is the tree checked for stability?

In order to define whether or not

  • tree was checked at regular intervals - by the owner, a trusted second person or a specialist.
  • A professional was commissioned with the assessment of the stability after the owner was not sure if the tree represents a danger source. This also applies to very old trees.
  • If these steps are taken, the neighbor can not claim damages from the property owner. For the latter has fulfilled his statutory compulsory insurance obligation.

When does a compensation claim from neighboring law apply?

For the determination of the cost recovery, the so-called no-fault compensation entitlement according to & sect; 906 BGB considered. In order to claim such a claim, a few things have to happen.

A property that is privately owned was affected by other land. This effect, in this case the fallen oak, must exceed the reasonable extent of an impairment that is to be accepted without compensation. It must also be given that the party concerned is not in a position to ward off this effect itself (BGH, judgment of 17.9.2004, V ZR 230/03).

If the effect was caused by a natural event, there are more Factors to consider. If the action was possible due to a failure to comply with road safety regulations, the landlord must pay for the damage caused.

So, after the property owner inspected the tree, a strong storm would break the tree and the landlord would not be at fault thus not liable for property damage. It is therefore advisable to take out comprehensive insurance cover against risks such as storm damage or snow load and landslide. So in case of emergency you are financially secure.


As a landowner, a regular check for possible sources of danger is necessary. In case of doubt, always consult a specialist. Comprehensive documentation of the examinations is helpful, you have to answer in court. If the traffic safety obligation is violated, this can result in high costs. Not only property and personal injury come into play here. In the worst case rehabilitation costs, compensation for pain or lifelong pension payments.

Artikelbild: watcharapol /