Tree Removal Trends

Click on the picture below to see the latest tree removal numbers.

2021 3rd qtr

Arborist Sign Postings Now Online!

The orange and yellow sign property postings on private property are now listed by zip code on the City Arborist Division's website. Please click here to see which trees may be coming down near you, and when the deadlines are to file an appeal.

Sign postings on public property may be found here.

Find out where trees may be coming down near you!

Text TREES to
(404) 637-0080… 

to view all arborist records for past 3 weeks on properties within a ½ mile of your home, including:

  - DDH Permits Requests
  - Plan Reviews
  - Complaints
  - Illegal Activity
  - Appeals

You will be sent a new text each time someone near you applies for a tree removal permit or files a complaint or an appeal.  Cancel text messages at anytime.

latest news flash


How to Fix Proposed Tree Ordinance

After months of consulting with various neighborhood and tree advocates, The Tree Next Door has published a list of recommendations on how to fix City Planning's proposed Tree Ordinance.  We hope that these recommendations will be incorporated in the final Ordinance that comes before City Council for a vote. 

In talking with the various tree advocates in Atlanta, we find that we are mostly in agreement with what needs to be changed about the proposed Ordinance, although there are some differences in our recommendations.  To make it easier to see everyone's feedback all in one place, we have linked each group's feedback to their logo on the right hand side of this page.  Simply click on a logo to see what that particular group has to say about the proposed Ordinance.


A Rewrite of the Tree Trust Fund Ordinance

The Tree Next Door has submitted their rewrite of the Tree Trust Fund section of the City's proposed new tree ordinance to the Atlanta City Council Community Development and Human Services Committee.  Our rewrite remains true to the core principles of the Tree Trust Fund. It recognizes legitimate competing demands for Tree Trust Fund resources, and  -- most importantly -- implements safeguards consistent with the conclusions and recommendations of the City's Tree Trust Fund Performance Audit (October, 2020).

Our proposed Tree Trust Fund Section:

  1. Focuses on tree planting, forest purchases, tree education, and resources for low-income homeowners. It provides institutional support for these goals.

  2. Reduces allocations for personnel unrelated to these goals while adding an administrator for budget preparation, creation of the Urban Tree Master Plan and oversight of the Tree Conservation Commission (TCC).

  3. Empowers the TCC to review budgets, tree planting plans and purchases of forested property. (The TCC is the only City commission with both the geographical and professional representation necessary for these tasks.)

  4. Creates procedures to improve data tracking and reporting of Tree Trust Fund revenues to ensure transparency and accountability as recommended by the City's Performance Audit.

  5. Responds to future climate challenges by implementing a science-based Urban Tree Master Plan. This plan is also needed to address unequal spending across city quadrants, city parks and other public spaces.

This proposal is necessary because the City Draft violates both the spirt and the letter of the City Audit findings. It specifically:

  1. Increases annual expenditures from $50,000 to $100,000, but sets no percentages or dollar amounts for tree planting or forest purchases.

  2. Reduces the role of the Tree Conservation Commission.

  3. Makes financial reporting even less transparent while reducing all other reporting to a single annual report.

  4. Does not specify which positions in either the Planning or Parks Departments are to be funded by the TTF.

  5. Places decision making in the sole hands of the Commissioner of Planning.

  6. Drastically dilutes the purpose of the TTF by expanding funding for broad projects initiated by other departments.

  7. Fails to provide meaningful guidance for the creation and implementation of the Urban Forest Master Plan.

Given that our investigation into prior mismanagement of the Tree Trust Fund resulted in an internal City Audit documenting $3 million in diverted funds and $2.1 million in uncollected fines, our rewrite of the Tree Trust Fund Section will provide the transparency and accountability that the Tree Trust Fund has been sorely lacking. 


Ordinance Z-21-27 Removes NPUs from Variance Approval Process to Save Trees

The Neighborhood Planning Units (NPUs) were asked to VOTE during the month of April on Ordinance Z-21-27 which allows an administrative variance to zoning setbacks for the preservation of trees. Although this ordinance would appear to be a good thing for tree preservation, we oppose this variance as currently written because it removes the NPUs from the current variance approval process that allows builders to encroach upon the setback in order to save a tree over 8" in diameter at breast height (DBH). With this new ordinance, City Planning and Zoning will be able to approve administrative variances on single-family or two-family residential lots to reduce zoning setbacks by up to 80% of their width to save trees as small as 6" in DBH.

"Administrative" means that the City can grant these variances without any neighborhood input. We feel that most people would want their neighborhood to be consulted before setback reductions as severe as 80% were made for a property next door to them. For example, as the City's fact sheet on this ordinance demonstrates, a property zoned R-4, a common single family residential zoning, could experience one or more of the following setback reductions without any neighborhood input or notification:

Front yard setback: 35 ft up to 80% (28 ft) = 7 ft front yard setback
Side yard setback: 7ft up to 80% (5.6 ft) = 1.4 ft side yard setback
Rear yard setback: 15 up to 80% (12 ft) = 3 ft rear yard setback

City Planning says this amendment is a "companion legislation to 21-O-0063 the Tree Protection Ordinance rewrite", but there is nothing in the tree ordinance rewrite that requires setback variances to exclude neighborhood input.

NPUs are already allowed to grant setback variances to save trees in buildable area and we think their approval rights should be preserved.

Click here for the full text of the ordinance the NPUs are being asked to approve.

The Zoning Review Board (ZRB) is scheduled to hold a public hearing on this Ordinance at 6pm on May 6, 2021 or May 13, 2021. The hearing will be held via Zoom and simultaneously broadcasted on Channel 26. Members of the public are allowed to attend but are not allowed to participate or present during briefing.  More meeting information as well as Zoom dial-in instructions can be found here.


See a tree coming down? Click here for what to do!

Tree Advocacy Groups' Feedback to City's Proposed Tree Ordinance

The Tree Next Door and other Atlanta tree advocacy groups have serious concerns with the City's proposed new tree ordinance, presently scheduled for a City Council vote on May 17th.  Click on the each logo below to read each group's feedback:

The Tree Next Door 

transparent logo png

 trees atlanta 

livable buckhead 

 south river watershed alliance

 inman park tree watch boxed

city in the forest

Click here to contact your City Council representatives about the City's proposed new tree ordinance.

Need to Look Up a Permit?

Click here for instructions on how to look up a tree cuting permit in Accela, the City of Atlanta's online permitting database.  If you already know how to use Accela, click here to go straight to the database.

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