top of page

Don't Forget About the Trees!!!


Here in Atlanta, trees are taken very seriously. It wasn't until I moved to Atlanta, I realized how serious it is removing trees, trimming trees, impacting trees, and/or destroying trees. Protecting trees during construction is a must. You must also consider trees on the adjacent property as well during construction. The city call them boundary trees. Boundary trees are trees on adjacent property with a critical root zone that crosses the property line.

When it's time for construction, DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE TREES!

Make sure to check with the city's arborist if you have any questions about any trees. Or get a private arborist to come and take a look at the trees on your property. Never

cut down trees without the proper approval. Removing trees without approval will result in a high fine. Trust me you don't want to do it. I always recommend my clients to save as many trees as possible. A tree is only saved if the impact to the CRZ is less than 20%. Getting a tree prescription will save a tree that is impacted over 20%, but not more than 33%. Saving trees during construction will make the inspection process easier and less expensive when it's time to pay permit fees. Saving a tree will consist of following the Tree Protection ordinance. Arborist fines can go up to the thousands. I have had clients pay over $3k in arborist fines for destroying or removing a tree during construction. Even with proper approvals there can still fees (recompense) for removing trees. There are ways to avoid arborist fines.

One way to avoid arborist fines or to not pay fees to remove trees is to get a Dead Dying and Hazardous (DDH) permit. A DDH permit is for trees the owner believe is dead, dying, and/or hazardous. For example, you may have a tree in your front yard where its roots are growing under or through plumbing pipes. This is considered hazardous. The tree can be removed with a DDH permit, and you won't have to pay any fines or recompense for the removal to the city. You can add however many trees to a DDH permit. With this process a city arborist will come out to the site and inspect the trees marked for DDH. If trees are in fact DDH, they will be approved. If the trees are not DDH, you won't be able to remove them for free as DDH, but you can still remove them if you need to and pay a recompense.

A second way to avoid arborist fines is to not destroy any trees or remove them. I know sometimes during construction things happen. If anything comes up during construction that may harm trees call the arborist before moving on. Don't remove or cut trees. Removing trees can trigger fines and cutting trees can cause it to die will triggering fines. A tree is considered destroyed when the structural root plate (SRP) or critical root zone (CRZ) is impacted more than 33%.


There is some good to the bad of the fines. What if I say the city will pay you for every replacement tree planted back? Yes, that's right. You can get a credit if trees are planted back. The owner shall plant replacement trees on site that equal the total number of trees being removed, destroyed, or impacted, provided that where the removed, destroyed or injured trees were located on public property, the cumulative DBH of the replacement trees shall be equal to or greater than the cumulative DBH of the trees removed, destroyed and/or impacted.

If you are in doubt about trees on your property, give me a call. I can have an arborist come out and inspect any of those trees. Never cut, trim, remove or prune trees without speaking to an arborist. Lastly, don't forget that trees on your neighbor's property can also be affected during construction. So keep that in mind. Hire me today to help you get pass arborist review and inspection with no problems.


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page