Tree Ordinances
& Permits

To discuss your project, call Atlanta: 404.299.5555 | Charlotte: 704.688.7237

Many Cities and Counties have implemented regulations to protect trees because trees are considered to be critically important to the welfare of communities.

These regulations often strive to maintain a specified percentage of overall tree canopy and typically mandate some measure of tree protection for trees within the boundaries of the community. Some tree ordinances only address publically owned trees while many have expanded their jurisdiction to include privately owned trees, even if they are growing in a person’s back yard. Some ordinances only address tree removal and require a permit to remove a tree while others deal with tree health and the protection of root zones during construction. With so many different jurisdictions, each with their own ordinances, codes, and regulations, the process of dealing with trees can become very confusing.

In addition, if these requirements are not followed, mistakes can become extremely expensive. It is common practice to implement a system of fines that penalize those who violate the law or remove or damage a tree illegally. Many ordinances require that recompense is paid to remove a tree or that an equal number of diameter inches be planted to replace a tree that was lost. This means that in today’s regulatory environment, compliance can cost money, time, and effort, and large fines may be levied for failing to abide by the law. There are numerous cases where fines for a violation have exceeded six figures and at least one case has been reported with a fine of over $300,000 for illegally removing trees!

Arborguard is the only tree care company in the country who has a specialized team of experts who help clients address these difficult and potentially expensive issues.

Our Construction and Development Team (C&D Team) includes a Registered Landscape Architect, a Board Certified Master Arborist, and an ISA Certified Arborist who work together to cut through the red tape and help protect our clients’ interests. We know and can interpret the details of any tree ordinance, and regularly work with numerous local government administrators and inspectors who respect our professionalism, interest in compliance, and getting things done right. In fact, we know local codes and ordinances so well that Arborguard has even assisted in writing them. Based on our experience, Arborguard’s C&D Team can often “fast track” a situation through the regulatory process saving money and time, while avoiding a devastating Stop Work Order or an expensive fine.

Whether the project involves a single home, a large residential development, a massive commercial project, campus, or a golf course, one of the first contacts made should be with one of our C&D Arborists. We will analyze a preliminary site plan or sketch, inspect the site, and make suggestions that will add to the success of the project while avoiding fines and preventing schedule delays. It is not unusual for our team to pay for our fees 10 times over in recompense savings alone, just with an accurate tree survey!