We make every effort to make sure the information posted below is correct and up to date. A link to the tree ordinance can be found here.
Do I have to obtain a permit to cut down a tree on my property?
A permit may be required, in some cases. Individual homeowners are not required to obtain a tree removal permit unless that tree is located in a required Zoning Buffer, Conservation or Open Space, the Chattahoochee River Corridor or designated Tree Save Area.
Note: If you believe you have a specimen tree on your property please refer below.
What Is A Specimen Tree
A tree that loses its leaves in the fall, such as a maple tree, is considered a hardwood tree. Any hardwood tree 28 inches or larger in diameter is considered a specimen tree. A tree that is green all year such as a pine tree is considered a softwood tree. Any softwood tree 30 inches or larger in diameter is considered a specimen tree. A native flowering tree 12 inches or larger in diameter is considered a specimen tree such as a dogwood tree. Note: The diameter of a tree is measured at 4.5 feet above the ground. To roughly
estimate the diameter you can measure half the circumference.
Hazardous Trees on Private Property
The Gwinnett County Property Maintenance Ordinance, effective January 1, 1999, requires adherence to certain minimum maintenance requirements. The ordinance was adopted to promote and protect the public health, safety, convenience, order and general welfare of the citizens of the county. The ordinance applies to all existing structures and premises within the unincorporated areas of the county. Dead trees shall not be allowed to exist on any premises. Upon a finding by a registered forester or certified arborist that a tree is in danger of falling upon adjacent lots or public streets due to the death of the tree, the property owner is required to have the tree removed. Tree stumps greater than 12 inches in height, felled trees, slash, and tree limbs must be removed within 14 days after being cut. Exceptions to this requirement include neatly stacked firewood less than 3 feet in length in the rear yard, property zoned RA-200 and property greater than 1 acre in size.
Violations of the ordinance are prosecuted in the Environmental Division of Recorder’s Court and are subject to a penalty of up to $1000 and/or 60 days in jail per violation per day (minimum fine is $250). To report possible violations, please call the Quality of Life Unit Hotline at 770.513.5004 or click here to report online.