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How Can You Help?

Join us in advocating for the trees in your neighborhood!
Please check out what volunteer needs we have and email us at for more information on how to get involved.

About Our Name

We call ourselves “The Tree Next Door” because we have found that people are most concerned about the tree next door to them that is marked to be cut down, not a tree on the other side of town which they never see. Because community concern tends to be strongest at the neighborhood level, it's important to have advocates all over the city who speak up for the trees where they live.

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latest news flash


First Quarterly Report

City Responds to Demand for Quarterly Reports

In response to a crescendo of requests, starting with The Tree Next Door's flier that was circulated in the fall of 2018, the City Arborist Department has finally released a quarterly report* showing the number of trees that were removed in the third quarter of 2019.

From 2008 to 2019, the City has had no data of tree loss and tree replanting, which means that for over a decade we have had no way to quantitatively understand how our tree canopy is being impacted. Now that the City can tabulate the records in Accela for a quarterly report, we hope they will use this data in the rewrite of the new tree ordinance.  Furthermore, this data can be used to help create a master plan which is also required by the tree ordinance but has never been written.  And finally, now that we can see what the current report doesn't tell us, we suggest that the new tree ordinance be more thoughtfully written so that future quarterly reports will be able to answer questions the current report doesn't. For more information, please click here.

75% of Lost Trees Not Replaced

The just-released third quarter 2019 arborist report* shows 71% of the trees permitted to be cut down were designated as DDH (dead, dying or hazardous), which means they did not have to be replaced or recompensed. Furthermore, while the report shows that 85% of the permitted healthy trees were replaced -- a percentage that seems high based on our personal experience – only 25% of the total trees lost (healthy + DDH) were replaced.  For more information, click here.

1 in 5 Trees Cut Illegally... and Are > 30% Larger

Of the 997 healthy trees removed last quarter, 206 were removed illegally, and were over 30% larger than the trees with permits. If 1 in 5 trees being cut down do not have a permit, our current tree ordinance is not effectively deterring illegal tree cutting. It may be that more education is needed to help people understand the permitting process, but for many, cutting trees without a permit is simply being used as an option to circumvent the permitting process, and in some cases, an appeal. For more information, click here.

*This quarterly report is for trees on private property only; therefore, we do not have this information for trees on public property, which falls under the purview of the Office of Parks.


Tree Ordinance Rewrite Update

New Consultant Joins Rewrite Team

A new consulting team, Urban Canopy Works, LLC, has been engaged by City Planning to assist Biohabitats, the Urban Ecology Framework consultant, in Atlanta's tree ordinance rewrite. The company consists of two women, Rachel Comte and Jenny Gulick, who, prior to forming Urban Canopy Works, created urban forest master plans and consulted on urban forestry projects with Davey Resource Group, Inc. 

Timetable for Rewrite - What's Next?

City Planning will be hosting a series of public engagement meetings in November to review the first draft of the tree ordinance; the times, dates and locations to be announced.  They will post the next round of materials on their website for review prior to the public meetings.  Click the chart below to see the expanded view of the crrent timetable for the tree ordinance rewrite.

august schedule update

Is City Planning Listening to the People?

City Planning recently updated their website with a summary of the feedback they received from the community on the Tree Ordinance Rewrite Draft Outline they presented in June. While their summary captures some of the feedback that residents and tree advocates have given, it fails to reflect the degree of opposition that was expressed towards two concepts they proposed in June:

  1. Eliminating the posting and appeals process, and
  2. Allowing one non-high value tree to be cut on a property each year for non-construction purposes.

Feedback to both of these concepts were overwhelmingly negative to the point of being deal breakers, yet, City Planning still had both concepts in the presentation they gave to City Council on August 22.

The City also floated a new concept -- the "Tree Bank" -- at the August 22 work session that was not part of the June TPO Rewrite Draft Outline, thus no broad-based community input on this proposal exists. A concern we have with a credit-based Tree Bank is that trees already are not being planted with the money collected from recompense fees assessed on removed trees. If the Tree Trust Fund is not succeeding in replanting trees to achieve no net loss of trees and we can't account for all the dollars being spent from that fund, why would a Tree Bank be any more effective or transparent?

A comparison of what the City and The Tree Next Door heard can be found here.  A detailed look at what City Planning and The Tree Next Door saw posted to the different concept boards presented at the June meetings can be found here.


Click here to contact your City Council representatives about the Tree Ordinance Rewrite.

Need to Look Up a Permit?

Click here for instructions on how to look up a tree cuting permit in Accela, the City of Atlanta's online permitting database.  If you already know how to use Accela, click here to go straight to the database.

Petition Update

Victory! Fulton County Modifies
Ponce de Leon Library Design

Kay Stephenson
Atlanta, GA

SEP 6, 2019 -- We are delighted to report that after several meetings between community members and Fulton County officials a revised plan has been submitted that preserves our beloved Oaks. Please click on the official statement below from Fulton County for more details. 

fulton country ponce de leon news release

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