Tree Removal Ordinance

In most counties and cities around metro Atlanta you must obtain a permit to remove trees prior to beginning any project. This includes live, dying or dead trees. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to do this. ArborForce Tree Services can answer questions you may have about the application, but does not handle this part of the project. Below is a list summarizing local regulations and contacts. This is provided as a convenience and is not warranted as accurate. Please verify with local authority.

Cities & Counties

Alpharetta Tree Ordinances (city limits)

Permit Required: All living trees 6″+ DBH or if 6 or more trees being removed from one property. (No permit needed for dead/dying trees.)
Specimen trees: Understory (i.e. dogwoods) >=8″, Overstory (i.e. hardwoods) >=24″, Pines >= 30″ DBH
Specifies: A permit MUST be obtained and DISPLAYED during removal. Fax or e-mail application (Commercial property including churches have special ordinances)
Fee: none
Contact: Nancy Beckemeyer – Arborist • David Shostak – Arborist –
Phone & Fax: 678-297-6200 (x 1202) • 678-297-6200 (x 1229) • 678-297-6201 (fax)
Online Resource:  Additional Details Online Application Instructions


Alpharetta Tree Ordinances (city limits)

Permit Required: ANY tree over 6″. Exception: mimosa, tree of heaven, bradfords, nuisance trees >12″ need a permit. Exception: trees within structural root area – see separate chart for diameter and distance criteria
Specifies: Permitted trees include, dead/dying, hazardous, or in the way of a permitted construction project, or where structural root plate affected. (Must have password and submit online or in person)
Fee: none
Contact: Ainsley Caldwell – City Arborist main contact. Arborist is assigned by geographical area.
Phone & Fax: 404-330-6078404-658-6977 (fax)
Online Resource: Online Application

Berkeley Lake

Permit Required: Yes
Specifies: Homeowner to obtain

Chamblee (city limits)

Permit Required: None for homeowners

Cobb City

Permit Required: No permit needed

Decatur (Historic districts only)

Contact: Amanda Thompson
Phone & Fax: 404-370-4104
Online Resource: Additional Information

Dekalb City (Tucker, Brookhaven, etc.)

Permit Required: For specimen trees >30 dbh and if cutting more than 5 trees (6″-30″ dbh)(Generally homeowners are allowed to remove 5 healthy trees/year)The 5 trees do not include dead, dying, diseased, hazardous.
Specifies: No form – Fax letter describing scope and reasons (Letter from Certified Arborist). Curbside pickup if ‹4′ lengths
Fee: none
Contact: India Woodson –
Phone & Fax: 404-371-268404-687-3949 (fax)
Online Resource: Additional details

Doraville (city limits)

Permit Required: For every tree to be cut. Specimen trees (>23″) require Arborist’s Letter.
Specifies: Tree cutter must obtain permit from city. (Fill out City Form, hand deliver w/ checks)
Fee: $50/location, $500 deposit required
Contact: Steven Strickland – Arborist; located at City Hall, Park Ave/Buford Hwy
Phone & Fax: 770-451-8745770-936-3862 (fax)
Online Resource: Additional details

Duluth (city limits)

Permit Required: Nothing in ordinance.

Dunwoody (city limits)

Permit Required: Any homeowner desiring to remove a tree from their property must apply for a Residential Tree Removal Permit. Any deciduous tree with a diameter greater than 24 inches and any coniferous tree greater than 30 inches require a letter from a Certified Arborist for approval.
Specifies: Tree cutter must obtain permit from city. (Fill out City Form, needs homeowner signature, lot size, trees remaining, sketch of property – hand deliver or mail w/ photos)
Fee: none
Contact: Howard Koontz • Rebecca Keefer – 41 Perimeter Center East • Dunwoody, GA 30346
Phone & Fax: 678-382-6810678-382-6800770-396-4828 (fax)
Online Resource: Downloadable Application

Fulton City (unicorp)

Permit Required:
Specimens only: Any hardwood >= 27″ dbh, Pines, beech >=24″ dbh
Specifies: Fax info sheet
Fee: none
Contact: Gene Calloway (director)
Phone & Fax: 404-730-7800 • 770-777-6508 (fax)
Online Resource: Additional Details


Gwinnett City

Permit Required: None for homeowners (Commercial property including churches have ordinances)

Johns Creek

Permit Required: None, unless in protected zone (i.e. river coridor or stream buffer)
Specifies: No form – e-mail description and reason for removal
Fee: none
Contact: Jennifer Glenn –

12000 Findley Rd, Ste 400 • Johns Creek, GA 30097

Phone & Fax: 678-512-3290678-512-3199 (fax) • 678-512-3200 (main)

Marietta, Smyrna

Permit Required: None for homeowners. Generally only for developers.
Online Resource: Additional Details


Permit Required: All trees >= 15 in
Specimens: Any hardwood >= 27″ dbh. Pines, beech >=24″ dbh. No permit for dead trees; all trees within 50 ft of creek bed.
Specifies: Email request
Fee: none
Contact: Mark Law
Phone & Fax: 404-213-9484770-730-1759 (fax)
Online Resource: Downloadable Application Permit Application

Norcross (city limits)

Permit Required: Every tree > 6″ dbh
Specimens: >28″ dbh (not conifers)
Specifies: Permit application must be signed by Certified Arborist or forester. Picture, form, and letter for specimens
Fee: none
Contact: Open position – Director • Robert – Assistant
Phone & Fax: 770-448-2122770-242-0827 (fax)

Roswell (city limits)

Permit Required: For any trees removed from a 1 acre lot or more. For everyone else, specimen trees only.
Specimens: Hardwood 24″, Pine 30″, small flowering trees 10″ and greater (density left is important)
Specifies: Fax city form(s)
Fee: $50
Contact: Andy Pitner
Phone & Fax: 770-641-3780770-641-3741(fax)
Online Resource: Additional Information

Sandy Springs

Permit Required: Landmark trees > 18″
Specimen Trees: Hardwoods >= 27″ dbh, Pines >=30″ dbh. Homeowners must maintain 30% canopy cover (density left)
Specifies: Fax info sheet with specifics. For each healthy specimen tree removed, another tree must be planted
Fee: none
Contact: Michael Barnett • Sandra Dewitt
Phone & Fax: 770-206-1576770-206-1562 (fax) • 404-867-6266 (cell)
Online Resource: Downloadable Application


Permit Required: No jurisdiction on private property except street trees and stream/river buffers (25′, 50′, 75′)
Contact: Wes Rogers –
Phone & Fax: 770-945-8996770-945-2792 (fax)

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