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Yes, utility line clearing is necessary to keep service reliable, trees healthy and people safe. Pruning methods are regulated by Athens-Clarke County.
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It will depend on the size of your lot, where the tree(s) are located and what your zoning is. Please refer to the Tree Removal Flowchart to determine if a permit is necessary to remove trees from your property.
Athens Clarke County does not have the ability to mandate tree removal. If the tree poses a threat to streets, sidewalks, or utilities, the Community Forester can evaluate the tree and issue a notification letter via certified mail. If public property is not at risk, the Community Forester can provide a limited evaluation, but a notification letter will not be issued. Additional information:
The Community Tree Program offers tree management consultations to Athens-Clarke County residents to help with their management objectives. There is no charge for our staff to come meet with you as these consultations are a tax-funded service. Please contact Landscape Management staff to schedule a consultation.
At this time, only trees in the Tree Preservation Area located along Milledge Avenue between West Broad Street and Lumpkin Street are protected. The Tree Preservation Area is located between the front facade of the principal building on the lot and the front property line and any tree 8" in diameter or larger are protected. These trees require a separate permit and approval from the Planning Department prior to removal.
Athens-Clarke County does not endorse any particular tree service; however we do recommend that you consider using a Certified Arborist for work on living trees. Check out the ISA website to find a Certified Arborist in our area:
Tree species selection depends on a number of factors including your location and your objectives. Use our ACC Tree Species list to find a tree that best fits your needs and have fun with it!