The Importance of Knowing Atlanta Tree Removal Laws

Homes and businesses in Atlanta are literally surrounded by trees. It is no coincidence that the city is known as the city in the woods by some. Living in the Piedmont region of the United States means that there are plenty of beautiful trees that grow naturally throughout the area. Of course, seeing as we are inhabitants in this ecosystem, we are responsible for maintaining it. It is the reason why there are certain Atlanta tree removal laws that have to be observed whenever removing a tree in Atlanta. Knowing these laws can help to protect you and to speed up the process by which you can remove the tree from your property.

Why You Might Want to Remove a Tree

Before looking at the Atlanta tree removal laws, you may be wondering why you might want to remove a tree from your property. You may want to remove a tree on your property to free up the view you have or to prevent the possibility that the tree will fall at some future time. Obviously, the majority of reasons for tree removal are various and generally personal in nature.

Emergencies also constitute a reason why tree may be removed in Atlanta. If the tree is dying, dead, or has fallen, it is necessary to remove the tree as quickly as possible. However, you still need to follow the proper protocol.

Do I Need a Permit?

Atlanta tree removal

Atlanta tree removal

According to the Atlanta Tree Commission, the Atlanta tree removal laws state that when removing trees from a private property, you will need to obtain a permit for any tree that is 6 inches or greater. This means that if you notice that there are growing sprouts from existing trees in locations that are not desirable to you, you will need to remove them right away or face penalization from the city of Atlanta.

How Long Does the Process Take?

The process all depends on the state of the tree you are removing. It is possible to remove trees immediately if they pose an immediate danger or they have already fallen. Under Atlanta tree removal laws, you are still required to call the Arborist Division (Jorge Rivera, Arboricultural Manager, 404-330-6328, or Frank Mobley, Senior Arborist, 404-330-6076). You will still be required to document the tree removal with at least two pictures and you will need to obtain the permit for tree removal in five business days from the time the tree was removed.

If the tree is otherwise healthy, you will need to apply for the permit from the Arborist Division. You can call the office (404-865-8487 or 404-330-6874) or register for removal online. The permit will be listed on the City of Atlanta’s Tree Removal Postings page. The posting will need to remain for a total of 15 days before the tree can be removed in compliance with Atlanta tree removal laws. If someone objects to the tree removal, they can ask for a second inspection, which could lead to your permit being put on hold for three months before an additional inspection can be carried out. Generally, there is never an objection and the tree is legally removed at this time.

Do I Need to Plant a Tree?

It is always recommended to replace a tree that is removed to maintain the ecosystem, but there is nothing in the Atlanta tree removal laws that states that you are required to do so if the tree is dying or dead. It is up to the individual to decide what their position is on this argument to take the appropriate action in maintaining the ecosystem we all live in. Keep in mind that if you are removing a healthy tree, you are required to plant an equal amount of green space.

Is There an Easier Way?

The easiest way to assure you are following the Atlanta tree removal laws without having to spend all your time working on permits and being available for inspections is to hire a professional tree removal service. Atlanta Tree Arbors can help you to navigate through the permit process and assist with inspections and ultimately removing the tree for you. As part of the professional services offered, the tree will be removed completely and processed so it can be reused on your property for landscaping or other purposes. Even the stump will be removed in keeping with city ordnance, so you can enjoy your property.


Make sure you are staying in line with the Atlanta tree removal laws by using the tree services of Atlanta Tree Arbors. Call to get a free estimate and more information at 770-256-4599.

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