The Supreme Court saves ten trees from felling in Vega de La Laguna

The Supreme Court (TS) has saved ten trees located in the Tenerife municipality of La Laguna and more specifically in La Vega from being cut down by appealing to historical reasons that have existed in an enclave where the specimens have traditionally been used for reasons aesthetic and to guarantee the privacy and security of the neighbors.

The Supreme Court agrees with three brothers in the lawsuit filed by a couple in which it was alleged that the roots were causing damage to the pavement and they asked for its felling by the defendants.

The Supreme Court ratifies a sentence of the Provincial Court that uses several poetic phrases to justify the conservation of the copies such as:

The magistrate refers to plant species as “semi-centennial beings that flood the place with life” and uses phrases such as “if there are stars, the tree also flies” or “a yellow leaf remained on the tree behind the sky.” .

In the first instance, the Court ordered the heirs to “immediately” and from their pocket proceed to remove the trunk and roots of these ten specimens that are half a century old.

Specifically, it is a fayal, a fig tree, a palm tree and seven poplars located on a farm owned by the brothers and less than two meters from that of the complainants.

In that 2019 sentence, the brothers were ordered to pay almost 4,000 euros in compensation for the damages suffered, but the final amount would be set from the end of 2018, the date on which the lawsuit was filed until the first ruling was handed down.

In the second instance, the Provincial Court pointed out that when the couple bought the house in 2010 the trees were already there and even the Chamber wonders: “Who knows if its beauty was an incentive to buy it?”

At that time the new owners made a wall in whose perimeter they included one of the specimens.

Before the Court, both parties raised the same Supreme Court ruling in which the criterion that felling is only possible if the plantation is after the creation of the farm and the trees are less than two meters from the farm was applied. But in this case the properties came from the same urbanization that over the years was progressively segregated.

In the second instance, it appeals to the ancestral custom existing in the Vega Lagunera -which the Chamber erroneously includes in the area declared a World Heritage Site that in reality only covers the historic center-, where “since time immemorial the estates have been delimited respecting the botanical species”.

What’s more, these specimens have served as boundaries between farms “as an ideal, aesthetic and legitimate means” to protect the privacy of neighbors, coexisting with walls or enclosing fences “for an elementary security issue.”

The Chamber considers that this fact is corroborated by “the precious photos” that the convicts initially provided, which would also show that on the opposite boundary there is a tree that grows on the other neighbor’s wall, without any problem ever having arisen.

In the case of this conflict, the Court concludes that there is no prejudice of any kind, attacks the first sentence that it describes as “abstruse, obtuse and contradictory” and annuls the fine of 4,000 euros, “as if it were not enough” to run with logging costs.

In the report presented by the three residents convicted in the first instance, who are later agreed with, it is pointed out that the damage to the pavement that the roots supposedly caused is actually due to construction failures and that in any case complainants will always be able to cut down any roots or branches that enter their properties

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