Frankfurt district court ruling

German walnut trees allowed to shed their nuts

Last Friday, a German district court in Frankfurt ruled that a woman who sued her neighbour for close to €4,000 in damages to her car, simply has to deal with nuts falling from trees.

According to the claimant, walnuts and branches bearing walnuts fell onto her vehicle due to strong winds one night in October 2013, “causing dents to the body, hood and roof.” The woman then sued her neighbour for €3,866 to cover the costs of repairs for the damage to her vehicle, along with interest.

According to, as the defendant argued that he regularly cut back the tree's branches, the only way to prevent the nuts falling near his neighbour’s properties was to cut back the fruit-bearing tree entirely or to surround it with a safety net. This option would be unreasonable as well as undesirable in German cities, the judges ruled.

Walnut trees may shed their nuts, judges in the court concluded, adding that this autumnal occurrence is “a fact of nature” and must be tolerated.

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