Removing a tree in the City of Roswell requires more than just the right tools. Tree removal is an involved process that starts with getting permission from the city government. If you don’t want to face fines or possible jail time, you must acquire a tree removal permit. The City of Roswell, GA, heavily penalizes anyone who cuts down trees without first applying for and obtaining a permit.
Homeowners should also become familiar with the city’s regulations about how landowners can or cannot alter or remove protected trees (See Municipal Codes 12.1.3). To avoid trouble with the city, be sure to call a professional arborist! Here at Southeast Tree, we can provide expert tree removal services to help take care of your property’s trees with minimal hassle.
When Do You Need a Permit?
You’ll need a tree removal permit in Roswell, GA, to remove any healthy tree within the city limits. Specifically, you’ll need to apply for a permit to remove any tree with a diameter of 3 inches or above. Acquiring a permit may allow you to remove trees from your property as long as you have a documented plan for removal and compensation for the city.
However, the situation is different if you have a historic or specimen tree. The city is committed to protecting specimen trees, including relocating buildings and structures to retain the specimen trees. Anyone desiring to remove such a tree must explain in writing why the specimen tree needs removal, and this request goes through the City Arborist and Engineering Director.
Removal of speciment trees, if the Engineering Director approves, requires compensation by the applicant to the Roswell Tree Bank. Compensation is a means Roswell uses to maintain the city’s canopy.
The City Arborist has decision-making power over permits for the removal of non-specimen trees. The City Code guidelines allow for removal of these trees, according to the Code, when:
- The tree is located in an area where a structure or improvement will be placed, and the tree cannot be relocated on the site because of age, species or size
- The tree is diseased or structurally unsound
- The tree is injured or poses an imminent danger
- The tree interferes with existing utility service
- The tree creates an unsafe vision clearance for vehicular movement
A permit is not needed if you’re removing a tree that’s dead, dying, or hazardous; however, you must send documentation to the city arborist proving the tree’s poor condition.
What Jurisdiction Does Roswell Have Over City Trees?
While Roswell has no legal authority to order removal of healthy trees on personal property, the city does have the obligation to protect trees from unnecessary removal by homeowners and landowners. The city also has the final say on any trees with historical significance to the community (i.e., specimen trees).
Additionally, city arborists reserve the right to take down any trees on private property that threaten public spaces. They will first notify the property owner of any hazard and give them a set amount of time to get rid of the tree themselves. If the owner doesn’t remove the tree within the allotted time, city officials will step in and initiate the process.
The resident will have to pay any labor costs that the removal process incurs, plus interest, with the city prepared to take legal action against them if they refuse.
Roswell, GA, officials cannot settle neighbor disputes involving trees on private properties. The city tree ordinance gives you the right to trim the branches of a neighbor’s tree if they’ve extended over into your property.
Contact the Tree Professionals
If you have a tree in or around Roswell, GA, that you’re concerned about, please call our team at Southeast Tree at (770) 977-8733. We’ll be happy to provide a free consultation on tree removal.