Guide to City of Gainesville, GA Tree Removal Permits and Ordinances
When a tree is damaged beyond repair—whether from age, animals, insects, wind, or storms—you need to have it removed before it presents a safety risk. If large branches fall from a diseased tree or if the entire tree topples over, it can cause significant damage and destruction. 

In this post, we’ll discuss the city of Gainesville tree removal permit and other ordinances. Keep reading to learn more about tree service and tree removal in Gainesville, GA.

Do You Need a Tree Removal Permit To Remove a Tree in the City of Gainesville?

Tree removal permits and ordinances seek to protect existing trees and encourage the growth of trees in the city of Gainesville.

On properties not exempted explicitly by Gainesville’s code of ordinances, anyone applying to remove or cause the death of existing significant trees and other trees ten inches or larger requires a permit issued by the director of planning and development. They also need an approved tree protection plan to obtain a city of Gainesville tree removal permit.

However, the city shall waive tree-removal permit requirements if you submit written evidence from a certified arborist or other qualified professional that you need trees removed because they’re damaged or endanger public safety.

Protection of Existing Trees

When there’s an option to choose which existing trees to save, the city emphasizes preserving significant trees over other trees.

What Are Significant Trees?

Significant trees comprise historic, specimen, or landmark trees. The removal or damage of a significant tree without prior approval by the director of planning and development will attract a penalty or fine.

Tree Protection Fencing

During construction, filling, excavation, or demolition preparations, each tree within tree protection zones or designated to remain on the property should be protected against damage with an orange barricade.

Fencing shall be either plastic area fencing, wire mesh, silt fencing, rails on posts, or high-visibility surveyors’ tape. For every 20 feet of fencing, signage with the words “Tree Protection Area-Do Not Disturb” shall be required.

Minimum Tree Units Required

Once a development project has been completed, all properties shall have the minimum tree units per acre of the development site (excluding the land area covered by the buildings). The total tree density should be no less than:

  • 20 units per acre for property in residential zones
  • 18 units per acre for property in commercial or industrial zones

Additional Tree Protection Requirements

No person shall excavate any trench or ditch within the critical root zone of trees to be protected or those within tree protection zones.

All building materials, construction equipment, or other objects that may cause soil compaction or above-ground damage should be kept outside the critical root zone of trees to be protected or those within tree protection zones.

As long as a tree is not counted toward the required minimum per acre of the development site, encroachment on the tree’s critical root zone is permitted where necessary for development.

No person shall pave with impermeable materials such as concrete or asphalt within the critical root zone of trees to be protected or within the tree protection zones.

The city prohibits raising or lowering the ground level within the critical root zone of trees to be protected or those within tree protection zones.

If you need more information on the city of Gainesville tree removal permit and tree protection, contact us today.

Are you looking for professional tree service in Gainesville, GA? Call Gordon Pro Tree Service at 770-285-1177 today to request a free estimate. We are a locally owned company committed to serving all your tree care needs quickly, safely, and professionally.


Our locally owned and operated company has been proudly serving the area for over 20 years now. Gordon Pro Tree Service in Buford, Sugar Hill, Dacula, Flowery Branch, Suwanee, Duluth, Cumming, Lawrenceville, Gainesville, Cumming, Oakwood, Braselton Hoschton, Duluth, Auburn and more.

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5126 Bristol Industrial Way
Buford, GA. 30518


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