Permits

Note: The following are brief summaries of the laws in place to protect trees near Atlanta. They may be out of date or lack details to describe your situation. If you know of any corrections or have questions, please call Boutte Tree.

At Boutte Tree, Inc., we are a partner in ensuring that people and trees coexist well in the city. We offer many services to planners and developers to help them incorporate existing trees into their projects. There are many examples of such responsible development, and the end result is always a quieter, cooler, more peaceful environment. We are proud to help in such efforts by doing the legwork to get the permits organized for your treework as part of our arborist services.


Getting your City of Atlanta Permit

Contact us at Boutte Tree if you need to secure permits for tree removal. We submit dead or hazardous permit applications for free on behalf of potential clients. If such a permit is turned down, that means that in the view of the city arborist the tree is not hazardous enough to warrant removal. This decision can be appealed, but usually if you still want to cut the tree it’s best to go through the recompense process, which is described on the website. Please call Boutte Tree, Inc., or the City of Atlanta arborists listed below with additional questions.

David Zaparanick, MLA, Interim Arboricultural Manager | 404-865-8489
Gregory Ihle, Arborist | 404-330-6882
Peter Stovall, Arborist | 404-330-6077

Alpharetta

A permit must be obtained for the removal of any tree. Email an application to arborist Davis Shostak at 678-297-6229 or treepermits@alpharetta.ga.us.

Brookhaven

To get a tree removal permit in Brookhaven, email an application to permits@brookhavenga.gov with a photo of the tree, sketch of the property and an arborist letter.

Cobb County

Cobb County has a tree ordinance in effect. You may cut trees on private property as you like, but you must replant. There is no enforcement for residential property, and no permit is required.

College Park

College Park has a tree ordinance that prohibits the cutting of more that 25% of the trees on private property within a five year period. It cost $20 for a tree permit, in which you state that you intend to cut trees and that you will cut less than 25%. There is no arborist division.

Dekalb County

Dekalb County has a well-designed but complicated tree protection plan which seeks to allow homeowners some flexibility in cutting trees, but imposes strict requirements for new developments. For example, you may cut up to five trees a year on a private plot, as long as they are smaller than 30 inches in diameter, and you may cut as many trees as you like fewer than 8 inches in diameter, unless it is a precursor to earthmoving. In the case of earthmoving, which constitutes new development, a more complicated evaluation takes place, which emphasizes a certain level of tree cover for all new developments. You may not cut specimen trees in Dekalb County without a special permit, and the Dekalb County Department of County Planning and Development usually prefers to conduct an Environmental Plan Review. Our contact for tree removals in unincorporated Dekalb County is Greg Hubbard, who can be reached at 678-300-5259, or Russell Tonning , 404-371-2685, rwtonning@dekalbcountyga.gov

Duluth

Duluth values trees and vegetation, and believes that the presence of trees enhances the quality of life of the citizens of Duluth. Permits are not required for single-family residential properties, but commercial properties must seek a permit before removing trees or vegetation. Our contact in Duluth is the City of Duluth GIS Planner, Eva Kennedy, who can be reached at ekennedy@duluthga.net or 678.475.3519.

Dunwoody

Private property owners are allowed to remove trees on their property without a permit in Dunwoody, UNLESS the tree removal is part of a larger construction project, or when a healthy tree exists in a city stream buffer, however, they ask that residents fill out a form telling the city about the removal, so that property owners and the city can be aware of the codes and ordinances surrounding tree removal.

East Point

East Point’s tree removal permits are handled by Brenda White at the Department of Planning and Community Development, who can be reached at 404-270-7212

Fulton County

Permit required for specimen trees only, defined as any tree with a diameter of 27″ or greater. Contact Gene Calloway at 404-612-7531.

Gwinnett County

In Gwinnett County it is against the law to cut trees that shelter endangered species. In unincorporated Gwinnett County, if a tree is on a buffer zone, it is important to contact Clyde Shackleford at 678-518-6000, and share a letter from a certified arborist and photographs of the tree and site, demonstrating the reason for removal. For City of Lawrenceville queries, contact Josh Ferguson at 678-407-6400.

Hapeville

Hapeville does not need a tree removal permit, as such, but does require that you call Lemuel Eubanks, Water/Sewer Coordinator in the Department of Community Services, and the Police department and ask for Rick Glavosek for street closures, give them the specs and wait for a callback to confirm the tree removal or street closure.

Norcross

A residential tree removal permit or a commercial tree removal permit is required for the removal of any tree in Norcross. The permit application must be signed by a certified arborist or forester. Questions may be directed to the Department of Community Development at 678-421-2027

Roswell

You must obtain a permit for all trees on a one-acre or greater lot, and for all specimen trees, which are trees over 27″ in diameter.

Contact Andy Pittner 770-594-6293, apittner@roswellgov.com

Sandy Springs

A permit must be obtained for the removal of any tree. If the canopy coverage is pruned more than 35%, additional planting is necessary.  Contact Sandra Dewitt (770-206-1568) to notify her of your intentions. In the case of fallen trees or hazardous trees an attached photo may be acceptable to begin work.

Email Michael at: SDeWitt@SandySpringsga.gov