Most tree ordinances include a section establishing the community’s right to plant, maintain, and remove public trees on public property. A requirement that all city trees be protected is also often included.
A requirement may also be included that trees on private property that threaten the health, safety and welfare of the public must be removed by the property owner, and if not removed, the city may cause them to be removed and charge the property owner with the cost of removal.
Some sample language that addresses these issues can be found in the Arbor Day Foundation’s Sample City Tree Ordinance. Many communities include this language, customized to their situations, in their tree ordinances.
In addition, communities may set forth requirements for the development and maintenance of a community forest management plan, city tree plan, or a tree planting plan for public properties and street rights-of-way. Click here for more information on community tree plans.
One of the most significant requirements set forth in the public tree management portion of a tree ordinance is for the establishment of a community tree board, along with its authority and duties. Click here for more information on tree board establishment.
A few tree ordinances in Georgia establish an official tree, a favorite species that is promoted during festivals and Arbor Day activities and planted throughout the community. Click here for more information on communities that have designated an official tree.