Arborist / Tree Removal
The City Arborist is responsible for reviewing, approving and issuing tree removal permits for existing residential and commercial properties. City requirements are designed to achieve a balance of public safety, private property rights, and preservation emphasizing the best long term benefits for Powder Springs by providing for safety, the protection of existing trees and planting of new trees to encourage environmental benefits such as improved air quality, reduced air pollution, anchored soil and reduced storm water runoff, increased habitat for wildlife and decreased noise pollution.
Any new residential and commercial development must be in compliance with Article 5 of the Unified Development Code's Landscaping, Buffer's and Tree Conservation and shall contact Community Development. This Article also governs all development and houses approved after 1995 and specimen trees throughout the City.
A hazardous tree is a tree, or portion of a tree, that is in danger of falling and presents a threat to life, pedestrian and traffic safety, and damage to infrastructure or property. Sometimes the hazard posed by a tree is obvious, such as when a tree is in poor health or leaning precariously. Other times, serious conditions may exist that are not as obvious to the casual observer.
The following are some conditions which may indicate that a serious problem exists and may create a hazard.
- Dead branches in the tree or on the ground near the tree
- Mushrooms near the base of the tree
- Mistletoe in the crown (upper portion) of the tree
- Excessive leaf loss or dead leaves in the crown of the tree
- Areas of rotten wood or cavities
- Nearby trees have died or have significant damage
- Noticeable change in the leaning of a tree
- Unnatural heaving of ground around the tree
- Damage to the ground surrounding the tree from construction, erosion or storms
If you are concerned or witness a possible hazardous tree situation, please stay away from and never attempt to approach or touch trees or limbs that come in contact with power lines, as they are considered extremely dangerous.
- If there is immediate threat to life or a tree is blocking a public road please call Public Works at 770-943-8010 or 911
- If a tree has fallen across utility and/or power lines, please call 911 or the power company serving that location.
- Cobb EMC 770-429-2100
- Georgia Power 1-888-660-5890
- Greystone Power 770-942-6576
Application Review Process
A property owner should contact Community Development and file a Tree Removal Application. There are no fees associated with the Tree Removal Application process.
The City Arborist will contact the property owner to schedule a site visit. After conducting the visit, the Arborist will review the application and determine the appropriateness of the request. Concurrent with this review process, the Arborist will coordinate with Community Development and Public Works.
The Arborist will notify the property owner once the review process is complete. A letter, the submitted Tree Removal form and photos will be sent by the Arborist to the property owner.
The property owner will be in violation of City Code if a tree is cut and removed without submitting a Tree Removal Application and approval by the City Arborist.
Trees on Private Property
The City of Powder Springs has the authority to require the removal of trees and shrubs that are located on private property that threaten public property (public streets, sidewalks, school yards, public parks and other public property).
The responsibility for hazardous tree removal on private property lies with the property owner.
In addition, the property owner is responsible for the trimming and pruning of trees that overhang sidewalks and streets.
When there is a dispute between neighbors about a perceived hazardous tree, it is a civil issue and the City of Powder Springs will not intervene.
If a tree falls from your neighbor's property onto yours, it is a civil matter. However, each property owner is responsible for cleaning up any debris on their property.
In general, you have the right to trim, cut and prune any part of a neighbor's tree limb growing over your property, and to prune roots growing onto your property, as long as you don't permanently damage the tree. However, you should notify your neighbor beforehand to avoid legal problems. It is recommended that property owners contact their homeowner's insurance company.
- Trees and shrubs cut and removed from City right-of-way or easement by the City of Powder Springs Public Works Department
- The removal and/or pruning of trees by a utility company within dedicated utility easements, where necessary to install remove, repair, or maintain utilities within an easement.
- The removal of trees on public rights-of-way by or on behalf of any state, county, municipal, or other government agency with jurisdiction, where necessary to lawfully construct, maintain, repair, or improve public rights-of-way.
- The removal of trees, other than specimen trees, from detention ponds and drainage easements where necessary for the construction, maintenance, or operation of ponds or drainage improvements with drainage easements. A specimen tree is any tree trunk that has a diameter at four feet above the ground greater than 24 inches.
- Removal of any tree which has become or threatens to become a danger to human life or property, as determined by the City Arborist
- The removal of trees less than 6 inches, at breast height, unless a development or land disturbance permit is required by Community Development.
- Any dead tree as determined by the City Arborist.
In the event of a severe storm that causes trees to topple or break, the City of Powder Springs will not require a tree removal permit for the removal of these trees. Documentation of the storm damaged trees must be submitted to the City Arborist. Please provide photographs of all the damaged trees to be removed and email them along with your address and any other pertinent information to tcrunkleton@CityOfPowderSprings.org. If you do not have access to email, please take photographs for your records and call 770-943-1666 to let the City know that you are removing storm damaged trees. You will not need to submit a tree removal permit application and you will not receive any official notification of permission from the City. Removal of trees without providing the required documentation of the storm damaged tree(s) may result in a violation of City Code.