The following guidelines and resources will assist you in the lawful removal of dead, dying, diseased or hazardous trees from your property in Columbus, GA.
Columbus Ga Tree Removal Permit Process for Private Property
The tree removal process in the City of Columbus is extremely straightforward. The City does not regulate the removal or upkeep of trees on private property and there is no permit requirement.
After an emergency or when a property owner makes the decision to have a tree removed, it is highly recommended that a professional tree removal service is hired and they are licensed and insured.
It is the responsibility of the tree removal service to remove all debris from the property. If the City of Columbus is called for debris removal, they will charge for this service.
Trees on public or city property are the responsibility of the City of Columbus’ Urban Forestry Division, and further explained below.
Tree Emergency on Public Property, Sidewalks or City Streets
If a damaged tree drops its limbs in the roadway or fallen trees are discovered, the situation should be reported and will be handled by the Forestry Division via calling 311.
In the event a tree on public property falls onto private property, the city’s Urban Forestry Division should be contacted immediately through the 311 service line for assessment and removal.
City of Columbus Tree Preservation & Protection Ordinance
The City of Columbus recognizes the economical and environmental benefit of trees. To preserve and protect these organisms, the city set forth a tree preservation and replacement ordinance.
The purpose of the ordinance is to facilitate development while protecting species and maintaining a certain tree density. Article 6 of the Columbus tree preservation and replacement ordinance provides extensive detail, but here are some key highlights:
- Re-development (expansion or demolition of a building or a site) requires compliance
- On sites 2 acres of smaller, additions or expansions greater than 5,000 sq. ft. must comply with the applicable Tree Density Unit (TDU) requirements
- Development on Single-Family and Residential Lots require an approved tree protection and tree planting plan that complies with the appropriate tree density standards
- If planting season prohibits required plantings, you may submit a request for delay affidavit to the City Arborist
- Small maturing trees shall be a minimum of five feet in height, and have a caliper of at least one and one-half inches
- Large maturing trees shall be a minimum of eight feet in height, and have a caliper of at least two inches
These standards and the ordinance code demand compliance, and in the event of questions contact The Urban Forestry and Beautification Division Manager, which serves as the City of Columbus Arborist.
For the full Tree Ordinance code, see: Article 6 – Tree Preservation And Replacement
City of Columbus Arborist Information
The City of Columbus Urban Forestry & Beautification Division is the city’s Arborist and regulating body for all matters dealing with trees.
Urban Forestry & Beautification Manager
(706) 653-4000 or 311
Department of Engineering
420 10th Street 2nd floor
Columbus, GA 31901
Development Ordinance Code and Resources
Builders and Developers carrying out larger land development projects have more ordinance guidelines and requirements. Construction, installation of streets and site grading are classified as land disturbance activities. There is a required Columbus Application for Site Development necessary to obtain the proper permit. The City of Columbus has an erosion, sedimentation and pollution control checklist for Common Developments and Infrastructure Construction Projects.
For the full Columbus “Development” code ordinance, see: Chapter 8 – Land Development Activities
For the full Columbus “Plan Review & Permit” code ordinance, see: Chapter 10 – Development Review Procedures and Permits