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Section 158-35(c): Metal Tree Fencing

“Saved” trees are being destroyed due to lack of proper tree fencing.

According to Section 158-35(c), fences must be installed around root save areas before any land disturbance, demolition, or construction starts. While mesh fencing is allowed to protect trees in the rear of single family residences, chain link or substantial wood fencing is required to protect trees on non-single family residential properties and the front yards of single-family homes.  These sturdy fences are also required for trees with a critical root zone impacted by over 20%, trees saved through an appeal, and whenever the City Arborist finds a significant risk to a saved tree's critical root zone.

Unfortunately, we have discovered that the Arborist Division isn't consistently ensuring these fences are installed properly. It can take many weeks for them to enforce proper tree fencing after a citizen complaint, at which time the "saved" trees may already be destroyed. 

Sec. 158-35(c)Tree protection. Fences surrounding root save areas must be erected before the commencement of any land disturbance, demolition or construction. Fences must comply with City of Atlanta arboricultural standards and must be constructed of chain link, wood, or substantial mesh material, with a minimum height of four feet. Chain link or substantial wood fencing must be used in the following circumstances:

(1) All commercial, multi-family residential, and mixed-use development projects;

(2) Protection of trees in the front yards of single-family residential properties;

(3) Protection of trees that have been approved for CRZ impacts greater than 20 percent;

(4) Protection of trees for which an appeal of the tree's destruction was appealed to, and upheld by, the tree conservation commission; or

(5) Any other situation where the city arborist finds a significant ant risk of damage to a saved tree's critical root zone. The city arborist may require these measures at any time, including after commencement of site disturbance.

No activity, including construction material storage, shall occur in areas protected by tree fences. Tree protection fences must remain in place and upright until such time as final landscaping of a site requires their removal. The arborist may assess recompense against the violator if, in the arborist's opinion, the incursion has converted trees from the status of saved trees to the status of injured, lost, or destroyed trees, as set forth in this section above.

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