Gwinnett County Tree Ordinance
Permit Required: NO (residential)
The fundamental goal of the Tree Ordinance of Gwinnett County is for the healthy preservation of trees as part of the land development, building construction, and grub and timber harvest processes. It is not intended to regulate individual properties or homeowners where activities do not require a land disturbance, building construction, timber harvest permit or do not encroach upon or disturb protected buffer zones and waterways.
Residential homeowners are not required to file for a permit unless the tree in question is a specimen.
To be classified as a specimen tree the tree must be in fair or better condition and either equal or surpass the following diameter sizes:
- Large hardwoods – 28” DBH
- Large Softwoods – 30″ DBH
- Small native flowering – 12″ DBH – Eastern Redbud, Flowering Dogwood, Serviceberry, Sourwood
Specimen Tree: Any tree which has been determined by the County Arborist, County Extension Services, or Georgia Forestry Commission to be of high value because of its type, size, age, or other professional criteria, and has been so designated according to administrative standards established by the Department of Environment and Community.
Specimen Trees must also meet the following minimum standards:
- A life expectancy of greater than 10 years.
- A sound and solid trunk with no extensive decay or hollow, and less than 20 percent radial trunk dieback.
- No more than one major and three minor dead limbs (hardwoods only).
- No major insect problem.
- No major pathological problem (fungus, virus etc.).
- Exceptional quality.
- Of historical significance.