Rodental couple defend themselves against tree felling

It is one of those occasions when many of the people involved shrug their shoulders. But elke and manfred welsch do not do it. Symbolically speaking, they stomped on the ground with their fub, fighting for the existence of a stately oak tree in the residential area on mecklenburger strabe. But the chances that the tree will still be standing next year are not particularly high.

Last year, the owners' association decided that the tree had to be cut down. "The decision is legally binding and it is only a matter of time before the tree is cut down", says franz christ (chairman of the owners' association's advisory board), shrugging his shoulders. In the case of a community of owners, it is the majority that decides – and the majority has spoken clearly, only against the vote of the welsch family. But christ also admits: "it is the most beautiful and coarse tree in our plant."

Age: unknown
But if you look at the situation objectively, you have to admit: it's not well placed, the tree that stood roughly and prominently in the residential area some 25 years ago, when elke and manfred welsch moved from sonneberg to rodental. In the meantime, the oak has grown even more and, although it has already been pruned several times, it protrudes into the garage driveway of a house on cornflower way.

Whether the tree there is really, as was said at the owners' meeting, a massive threat to the structure of the garage and even creates dangerous tripping hazards with its acorns – no one can really say. Manfred welsch, whose bedroom is protected behind the oak tree, strongly doubts this: "this is false information"." If the tree really caused damage, welsch assures, then he too would bite the bullet and agree to its felling. But so? No!

Naturally, the struggle for the oak has meanwhile also reached michael leib, the manager of the real estate complex. But even he shrugs his shoulders and says: "I have the order of the community of owners. I have to implement it" even his personal opinion does not pay anything, adds the caretaker, who calls himself "a friend of the trees" designates. But legally there is nothing to stop the tree from falling. Also, because there is no tree protection ordinance in rodental. That's why leib has already set about implementing the order and solicited bids to fell the oak tree. "We are currently assessing the situation, and then we will see", says leib, who cannot give a time frame for the action.

Keyword: tree protection ordinance. In coburg, horst schunk was once chairman of the "baumschutz coburg" association the driving force behind the existence of such an ordinance there. If this was also valid in rodental, the tree in mecklenburger strabe could not be cut down so easily. Schunk was unable to comment on the specific case when asked by the tageblatt. But it's clear, said schunk, shrugging his shoulders: "without a tree protection ordinance, the tree can probably be felled." That is why he deeply regrets that so few cities and municipalities follow the example of the city of coburg.

A question of money?
"Maybe it's the costs that are causing the owners' association to ponder once again", hopes elke welsch. She and her husband have researched: the case could cost up to 5,000 euros – that's a lot of money.

Therefore, for the second time after 2009, manfred welsch wrote to all other members of the owners' association last week and asked them to reconsider their decision. Franz christ doubts that the owners will meet again and talk about the tree: "the organizational and ultimately also financial effort is too great." After all, the decision was made to combine the felling of the oak tree with a new planting. "But in no case in this place", franz christ clarifies. We will look for a corner with less potential for conflict – which should not be too difficult.


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