Outlined below are guidelines that will assist you in the lawful removal of trees from public or private property in the City of Atlanta. Within this information are the regulations, permit application, removal process, and specific tree protection ordinances.
Tree Removal Permit Regulations for Residential Private Property
According to this Atlanta tree service, residential property owners looking to improve their landscape or remove distressed trees in Atlanta should note that a permit is required to remove all hardwood trees at least 6” in diameter and Pines at least 12” in diameter.
Filing an application to acquire a tree removal permit is straightforward. Read the information below to learn the permitting process for Atlanta, Ga.
City of Atlanta Tree Removal Permit Application Process
These steps will assist you in the lawful removal of dead, dying, diseased or hazardous trees from private property.
1. Submit an Application:
Fill out and submit a tree removal permit application. Applications can be mailed, faxed, emailed or delivered in person to the City of Atlanta Arborist Division (contact info on the PDF).
Generally, within 5 business days, an assigned arborist will visit and complete a field inspection. A list of the City’s inspectors (by region) can be found below.
3. Application Approval:
When the application is approved, the field inspection report will be returned to you and must be on site while the tree removal process takes place.
* In the event the permit application is denied, an appeal can be filed.
How to Appeal a Permit Denial
When a tree removal permit is denied, an appeal may be made to the Tree Conservation Commission. Valid appeals must provide clear evidence of misinterpretation of the facts.
- Download the Tree Conservation Commission appeal packet form instructions, then…
- Download the Tree Conservation Commission appeal form and submit it.
A public hearing will take place where you can explain your situation. Contact Kathy Evans at (404) 330-6235 or visit atlantatreecommission.com for further instructions.
Emergent Tree Removal on Public Property
The City of Atlanta Arborist Division regulates and oversees non-emergent private property cases. If a tree falls, is threatening, or has become a public risk, the removal process is different. Read further about handling public property tree emergencies.
Handling Emergency Tree Situations – Power Lines, Public Property, Sidewalks, City Streets
Listed below are instructions for handling fallen, hazardous, or interfering trees:
Emergency Tree Removal Blocking Road or Impeding Traffic – During business hours, if storm-damaged limbs or a diseased fallen tree is found in a roadway or on public property, the situation should be reported to the City of Atlanta Customer Service Call Center at (404) 546-6813. To report these occurrences after normal business hours and on holidays call 911.
Power Line or Utility Interfering Tree – Residents are encouraged to report any tree on public or private property which poses a hazard to power lines by visiting Georgia Power or by calling (888) 891-0938 and press option #3 – dangerous condition.
Public Tree Fallen on Private Property – When a tree located on public property falls onto private property, the City’s Customer Service Call Center at (404) 546-6813, should be contacted immediately for the removal of the portion in the public right of way. The portion remaining on private property is the responsibility of the property owner.
After cutting or hiring a tree service to cut the remaining portion on your property, the Office of Solid Waste Services may be used for debris removal. Contact their office at (404) 330-6236 for the debris removal requirements.
City of Atlanta Arborist Division & Inspector Contacts
The City of Atlanta Arborist Division is comprised of an Arboricultural Manager, Regional Inspectors, and Plan Reviewers. It can provide further clarification on the protection ordinance, removal permit, and tree density requirements. Use the below information to contact the respective arborist, inspector, and/or City department.
City of Atlanta Arborist Division
55 Trinity Avenue
3rd Floor – Suite 3800
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
David Zaparanick, M.L.A.
Interim Arboricultural Manager
Inspectors By Region:
Northeast (South of I-85):
Northeast (North of I-85):
City of Atlanta Tree Protection Ordinance
Atlanta’s Tree Ordinance strongly emphasizes that there will be “no net loss of trees in the city”. Legal authority is granted to the tree conservation commission in the assessment of penalties and protection of the City’s trees.
The following are pertinent excerpts from the City of Atlanta Tree Protection Ordinance:
The City of Atlanta Tree Ordinance – Sec. 158-101 states:
“No person shall directly or indirectly remove or destroy [or injure] any tree located on public property… or any tree having a diameter at breast height (DBH) of six inches or more which is located on private property… without obtaining a permit…”
Sec. 158-34 – Part (a) “Penalties” of the City of Atlanta Tree Ordinance sets forth penalties for violations of any of the provisions of the article. The tree conservation commission has the authority to determine when a person has violated the provisions of the ordinance and possess the authority to impose and enforce the following penalties or fines:
Where the number of trees upon which violations occurred is attainable, the fine for the first violation will be no less than $500.00. The fine for each subsequent violation will be $1,000.00. Each violation will be considered a separate violation of the Tree Protection Ordinance.
Where the number of trees upon which violations occurred is unattainable, a density of 1,000 inches DBH of trees per acre will be assumed. More specifically, it will be assumed that the lot contained 60 trees of 16.67 DBH per acre, resulting in a $60,000.00 fine per acre of land on which the violation(s) occurred.
The ordinance which regulates the protection, preservation, removal, and relocation of trees in Atlanta is located in its entirety here – City of Atlanta Tree Ordinance.
Some information was provided courtesy of Fast Tree Removal Services Atlanta. View its original version here: www.fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/tree-ordinance-and-removal-permit
For tree removal permit and ordinance info regarding other cities in Georgia visit: www.treeremovalpermit.com/georgia/