Tree Service FAQ’s

Do I need a permit to prune my tree(s)?

No, a permit is not required to trim or prune your tree(s).

I think my tree has a disease?

There are a number of tree diseases that destroy trees. Bacteria, fungus, and poor conditions are the leading causes of tree health decline. Discolored flowers, leaves and bark are often indicators, but it is best to contact a tree specialist to be sure.

Do I need a permit to remove a tree on my property?

All well and healthy trees with a DBH (diameter at Breast Height) of 6″ (six inches) or greater requires a permit for removal. Learn the Atlanta tree removal permit process.

What is DBH (Diameter at Breast Height)?

Diameter at breast height is a standardized forestry method of measuring the trunk of a tree 4.5′ (four and a half feet) from its’ soil grade. If you measure the circumference of the tree at DBH, then divide by 3.14 and you will have the diameter measurement.

Do I need a permit to remove a tree that has fallen over?

For any tree that falls to the ground, or falls on another tree or structure, does not require a permit to be removed. It is a best practice to take a photo of the fallen tree and retain it for your records. This safeguard will protect you in the event of an illegal removal complaint. Once you have the tree safely removed, you should contact your city’s Arborist Division to notify them of the removal and condition of the said tree.

How do I get a permit to remove trees on private property?

The City of Atlanta Arborist Division reviews and approves tree permit applications. There is not a fee for the application or permit.  We can submit the permit electronically.

A landscape permit can be obtained to remove trees, and for any trees impacted by construction, they are covered under the building permit. Your plan will be reviewed and approved by the Arborist Division.

What is recompense?

Recompense is a monetary amount assigned to give value to a resource occurring in nature. In simple terms, it’s the lost public value when trees are removed.

The City of Atlanta Arborist Divison uses a formula to determine that value. Replacing removed trees is valuable, and you are credited as long as your new trees meet replacement requirements.

Feel free to submit your tree removal permit questions at, or call (404) 220-9965 to schedule your free tree assessment and estimate.