A tree removal permit may be required to remove a standing tree within the city limits of Alpharetta, Georgia. Below are specifics regarding the Alpharetta tree ordinance, how to deal with emergency tree situations, and the exact process for acquiring a tree removal permit.
Tree Removal Permit Regulations for Residential Private Property
According to this Alpharetta tree service, single family property owners within the City of Alpharetta ARE REQUIRED to obtain a removal permit for the removal of trees. The section below titled ‘City of Alpharetta Tree Removal Permit Application Process’ outlines how to apply and acquire a tree removal permit.
There are a few unique scenarios that are handled differently, and they are as follows:
Dead Trees – Live trees on private property require a removal permit, though prior to removing a dead tree, it is recommended you email the City Arborist at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Address where the tree is located
- Name of property owner(s)
- Name of tree removal company
- Reason for removal
- Date of proposed removal
- Photograph showing the tree is actually dead
Troubled, Diseased, or Dying Trees – Troubled trees must be conclusively dead to ensure their lawful removal, and again it is recommended you email the City Arborist at email@example.com. Failing to address trees in this condition is considered negligence, and in the event they fall, the property owner may be held responsible for all damages and repairs.
Tree Pruning, Health Assessment and Care – The City strongly recommends that all tree care activities, and especially health assessments, be performed or supervised by an ISA Certified Arborist that follows industry standards and best practices.
Power Line or Utility Interfering Tree – Trees that are interfering with power lines, contact Georgia Power by calling (888) 891-0938 and selecting/saying “dangerous condition”.
Note: Never make contact with a tree that is touching power lines. Trees in this situation may become energized and can cause serious harm or electrocution.
City of Alpharetta Tree Removal Permit Application Process
These steps will assist you in the lawful removal of dead, dying, diseased or hazardous trees from private single family property, commercial, or multi-family dwelling properties.
Step 1 – Download the Alphareta Tree Removal Permit Application Instruction form.
Step 2 – Create an account or log in to the City of Alpharetta Permitting Portal, then fill out the online tree removal permit application form. First, gather the following information:
- Address where the tree is located (required)
- Name of property owner (required)
- Name of tree removal company (optional but preferred)
- List of trees including type and size (required)
- Location of tree and reason for removal (required)
- Diagram and photographs of the property showing the tree(s) and their locations (required)
- Replanting plan for any zoning or density required trees (required)
- Arborist assessment for any Specimen size tree (required).
- Additional plantings may be required if a specimen size tree is approved for removal.
Step 3 – Submit the completed application – the City will grant a permit or deny approval after they verify the project and/or condition of your tree(s).
*All requested information must be provided before you will get an approved permit from the City of Alpharetta Arborist Division.
Emergency Tree Removal Scenarios – from Private Property, Public Property, Sidewalks or City Streets
In the event of a tree emergency in Alpharetta, contact the City Arborist immediately at 678-297-6229, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If the emergency occurs during non-business hours, before removing the tree, document and take photos of the tree emergency (non weather related) and all damages it caused. Submit a completed tree removal permit application and supporting documentation by the next business day.
Storm Damage Tree Removal – A removal permit is not required for trees that have toppled or broken due to severe storms. However, documentation of all storm-damaged trees must be reported and submitted to the City’s Arborist by email email@example.com or at 678-297-6229.
Tree from Private Property Falls Onto Neighbor’s Private Property – The property owner is responsible for removing the tree or portion that has fallen on his/her respective property. The emergency situation The fallen tree should still be reported to the City of Alpharetta’s Community Development Arborist via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Tree removal responsibility falls on the owner of the property where the tree lands, not where it stood or originated. Thus, a neighbors tree that falls on your property becomes your (or your insurance company’s) responsibility.
Tree from City Property Falls Onto Private Property – The City is only obligated to remove the portion of the fallen tree up to the property line. Removal of the remaining portion of the tree is the responsibility of the property owner where the tree lands, unless the property owner previously documented and reported the tree as a hazard to the City’s Public Works Arborist.
If the City determined the tree in question to be a hazard and took no action prior to its falling, the City may be liable to remove the fallen tree and repair subsequent damages.
Note: To report non-emergent issues and interfering trees on city owned property to the City of Alpharetta’s Public Works Arborist, use “See Click Fix” at alpharetta.ga.us/about/tools-available/seeclickfix, or call (678) 297-6200.
Tree from Private Property Falls Onto City Property – The property owner is only responsible for removing the portion of the tree up to their property line. The City is responsible for what fell on City property, so notify the City of Alpharetta’s Public Works Arborist of the fallen tree and its location immediately via “See Click Fix” or calling (678) 297-6200.
Tree Removal Permit REQUIRED for Commercial Property and Multi-Family Dwellings
Within the City of Alpharetta, notification of tree removal and the acquisition of a tree removal permit ARE REQUIRED for commercial properties, multi-family dwellings, and/or apartment buildings.
Non-Emergency Tree Removal – All non-emergency tree removals on commercial property and multi-family dwelling properties require a tree removal permit.
Landscape Improvement and Threatening Trees – For landscape improvement, or a dead or dying tree is in need of removal, you must complete and submit a tree removal permit application form.
Note: Special consideration is given for the preservation of specimen trees. See below for further information.
Contact the City’s Community Development Arborist with additional questions regarding tree removal or tree care at 678-297-6229, or by email at email@example.com.
Handling Tree Removal or Trimming on Public Property in Alpharetta
Dead, dying, nuisance or hazardous trees on City property or public right-of-way should be reported to the City’s Public Works Arborist using “See Click Fix” or by calling (678) 297-6200. Furthermore, these specific situations should be addressed as follows:
Tree Emergency on Public Property – When storm-damaged limbs or a fallen tree is encountered in the roadway (or on public property) after normal business hours and federal holidays, call 9-1-1.
Notification of Nuisance Trees – When you identify a nuisance tree on public property, it should be reported to the City’s Arborist. They will send an arborist to assess the situation and take necessary action(s). When the tree is located on private property, the property owner should be notified.
Inaction and Negligence – As previously mentioned, not taking action on a troubled, diseased, dying, or dead tree is considered negligence. In the event the tree falls onto public property, the property owner may be held accountable for its entire removal and all related damages.
Major Land Disturbance, Pool, Construction, and Tree Removal Permits
If you are planning to build an addition to your house, construct a pool, construct retaining walls, construction or any other residential land work that requires the removal of a tree within the City of Alpharetta, this may require a residential land disturbance permit instead of a tree removal permit.
Permitting for Private Development is completed through the Community Development Department, or contact the City Stormwater Reviewer at 678-297-6218. Further information on construction, permits, development inspections and the application requirements can be found at alpharetta.ga.us/government/departments/community-development
City of Alpharetta Arborist Contact Information
The City of Alpharetta Arborist Division protects the City’s trees and permits tree removal projects throughout Alpharetta, Georgia. Here is their contact information:
City of Alpharetta Community Development Arborist (private property)
City of Alpharetta Arborist
City of Alpharetta Public Works Arborist (public property & right-of-way)
Urban Forestry Program Manager
The City of Alpharetta Arborist’s office is located in the Community Development division of the Alpharetta City Hall.
Alpharetta City Hall
2 Park Plaza
Alpharetta, Georgia 30009
City of Alpharetta Tree Protection Ordinance – Specimen Trees
The City gives special consideration for the preservation of specimen trees on commercial and multi-family dwelling properties. Specimen trees are defined as follows:
Pine Trees: 30-inch diameter or larger for all trees in the Pinus (Pine) genus.
Coniferous Trees: 20-inch diameter or larger for trees in the cedrus (deodar cedar), Thuja (Arborvitae), or other ecologically similar trees,
20-inch diameter or larger for trees in the Fagus (Beech), Nyssa (Tupelo), Diospyros (Persimmon), Sassafras (Sassafras), or other ecologically similar trees,
20-inch diameter or larger for Magnolia grandiflora (Southern magnolia) and those cultivars that generally reach a mature height over 40-feet
24-inch diameter or larger for trees in all other genera
Overstory Trees: 30-inch diameter or larger for trees in the Liquidambar (Sweetgum) or Liriodendron (Tulip poplar) genus
Understory Trees: 8-inch diameter or larger.
10-inch diameter or larger for Oxydendron arboretum (Sourwood).
NOTE: SPECIMEN TREES ARE GIVEN SPECIAL PROTECTION BY LAW AND THEIR REMOVAL WITHOUT A PERMIT MAY INCUR ADDITIONAL FINES AND PENALTIES.
Like specimen trees, the trees and vegetation growing along water bodies (streams, creeks, lakes) are also protected, but handled on a case by case basis.
For concerns regarding these trees, contact the City Arborist with specific questions or go to this Conservation and Revegetation Requirements for State Waters PDF for more information.
Some information was provided courtesy of 72 Tree Alpharetta. View its original version here: 72tree.com/alpharetta-tree-ordinance-and-removal-permit-application/
For tree removal permit and ordinance info regarding other cities in Georgia visit: www.treeremovalpermit.com/georgia/
Disclaimer: This Code of Ordinances and/or any other documents that appear on this site may not reflect the most current legislation adopted by the Municipality. Tree Removal Permit provides these documents for informational purposes only. These documents should not be relied upon as the definitive authority for local legislation.