To remove, transplant or substantially prune* a tree, you need an Environmental Permit if:

  • the tree is monumental, or
  • the tree is in a protected area (see tree map)

* pruning more than 20%, such as removing a crown from the tree

Viewing felling applications

What should you do?

When moving, cutting or pruning a tree, you must always follow the rules of the Nature Protection Act. This means that you may not damage (protected) plants and animals.

There are 3 possibilities

  1. The tree is yours.
  2. The tree belongs to the municipality.
  3. The tree belongs to someone else, such as your neighbor or the housing association.

Below is what you need to do for each option.

1. The tree is yours

  • Is it a monumental tree? Or is the tree in protected area?
  • Protected trees are all trees (wood stands thicker than 10 cm):
    • on the business parks in Zoetermeer
    • in the Village
    • on the historic ribbons: such as the Voorweg, Vlamingstraat, Bleiswijkseweg, Zegwaartseweg, Rokkeveenseweg, Stationsstraat, Broekwegkade, Roeleveenseweg
    • trees in protected cityscapes such as the Koepeltjesbuurt in Meerzicht, the Meerpolder and along the Randstadrail, among others.
  • The landowner applies for the permit through the Environment Desk.
  • When cutting down a few trees, the landowner must submit a printout from the National Database on Flora and Fauna (NDFF). An ecological survey must also accompany the application.
  • Clearly state why you want the tree cut down or transplanted.
  • The tree technical specialist advises on the application.
  • The permits department will process the application within 8 weeks.
  • To process the application, you must pay.
  • We can attach rules to the permit. For example, a period may be determined in which you may not remove the tree because of the breeding season or you must replant (replant) new trees.
  • Permit approved? You may not remove the tree until the 6-week objection period is over. When applying for a preliminary injunction on an objection, you must wait to remove the tree until the judge has ruled on the request.
  • Permit disapproved? You can object.

2. The tree belongs to the municipality

  • Do you have (over)trouble with a tree belonging to the municipality? Then you can file a report.
  • The tree safety inspector will process your report within 8 weeks.
  • The inspector disagrees with you? Then the tree will not be removed.
  • The inspector agrees with you? Then we apply for a permit to remove the tree. The application will appear in the newspaper, on the felling request card and you will receive a letter.
  • If no one objects, the permit is issued and we remove the tree.

When can the municipality cut down trees without a permit?

In the following cases, the municipality does not require a permit:

  • Emergency logging ⇒ the tree is an immediate hazard to the surrounding area.
  • If the cross-sectional area of the trunk is less than 10 cm, measured at a height of 1.30 meters.
  • If the tree is dead.

3. The tree belongs to someone else (not yourself and not the municipality)

  • Only the owner of a tree can apply for an environmental permit.
  • The owner of the land on which the tree stands also owns the tree.
  • You can ask the owner of the tree to remove or move the tree.
  • Does the owner want to remove the tree? See further information under item 1.
  • Will the owner not remove the tree? Then you can go to court.


For consideration of an application for a preliminary consultation WABO:

Number of treesCost
1 to 5€ 120,80
6 to 10€ 181,20
11 to 25€ 241,60
26 to 50€ 262,58
more than 50€ 362,40

Price changes and typographical errors reserved.

If the assessment of the application requires an opinion from an external tree commission, the cost is € 302.00 per opinion.

How long will it take?

  • Within 8 weeks, you will be notified whether you will receive the permit.
  • The municipality may extend this period once by 6 weeks.
  • If the municipality does not decide within the deadline, you will automatically receive the permit.


If you disagree with the municipality's decision, you can object within 6 weeks.