First afforestation; application for a permit

The afforestation of land not previously used for forestry purposes with forest trees is an initial afforestation. This requires a permit, as does the planting of ornamental brushwood and Christmas tree cultures as well as short rotation plantations.


The afforestation of a plot of land not previously used for forestry with forest trees by sowing or planting is subject to permission in accordance with Art. 16 (1) of the Bavarian Forest Act (BayWald). The same applies to the planting of ornamental brushwood and Christmas tree cultures outside of forests as well as the planting of short rotation plantations. The lower forestry authority, the Office for Food, Agriculture and Forestry (AELF), decides on the permit in agreement with the district administrative authority (Art. 39 Para. 2 Sentence 1 BayWaldG).

Applications must be submitted by the owner of the afforested area to the lower forestry authority (AELF) in writing or on record (Art. 42 BayWaldG). There are differences in the application process between agricultural enterprises (greening-obligated and non-greening-obligated enterprises) and other landowners. If you have any questions regarding the application process, the foresters of the Bavarian Forestry Administration will be happy to help(Forester Finder).

The first afforestation permit can be denied or restricted by conditions if, for example, landscape plans of the municipalities are opposed, essential interests of nature conservation and landscape management are endangered or considerable disadvantages for surrounding properties are to be expected. Conditions can include, for example, keeping certain partial areas free, the exclusion of non-native tree species or adapted border distances.
Depending on the size of the initial afforestation, it may be necessary to carry out an environmental impact assessment.

For unauthorized initial afforestation or if conditions are not met, the removal of the afforestation may be ordered. An unauthorized first afforestation is considered an administrative offense, which can be punished with a fine (Art. 46 Para. 2 No. 2 and 3 BayWaldG).

Special notes

Consulting and funding

The first afforestation with stable, climate-tolerant mixed stands is financially supported by the Free State of Bavaria within the framework of the Forestry Support Program 2020. The foresters of the Bavarian Forestry Administration will be happy to advise you on questions of initial afforestation, such as legal issues, application, tree species selection and funding opportunities (to the forester finder).


If no other time limits are specified, the permit shall expire if the execution of the project has not commenced within five years of its granting or has been interrupted for five years (Art. 16a para. 1 BayWaldG).

The 5-year period can be extended by up to three years if the application is received by the lower forestry authority (AELF) before the permit expires (Art. 16a para. 2 BayWaldG).


Administrative court proceedings; information

administrative claim

Status: 28.04.2022

Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Forsten

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