Atlanta Owners Guide to DIY Tree Removal

When it comes to the trees growing in your backyard, there’s a fine line between attraction and nuisance. When trees become overgrown, or get old and start to rot, they can become a danger as well as an eyesore. Unfortunately, the city of Atlanta does not remove trees located on private property, regardless of how dangerous they may be. The good news is do-it-yourself tree removal can be an educational, rewarding experience, not to mention a good workout!

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Laws and Permits

In the interest of protecting the natural ecology of the area, the City of Atlanta requires you to possess a permit to remove hazardous or dying trees, and also insists on inspecting your trees before you chop them down to ensure they are in fact hazardous or dying. Fortunately, both the permit and the inspection are completely free, which is great because there is nothing worse than having to pay someone for the privilege of doing work. The process of obtaining a tree cutting permit Atlanta GA is simple: just visit www.atlanta.gov and navigate to the Arborist Division, where you will find forms both for requesting a permit and for scheduling an inspection. On the off-chance that the inspector determines your trees do not meet the criteria for removal, you may want to consider calling a local tree specialist, an expert specializing in maintaining trees and keeping them healthy. Sometimes, trees that appear to be beyond saving can actually be restored with proper care.

Tools and Know-How

Before even considering DIY tree removal, make sure you own a functional chain saw and know how to use it. You’ll also need all the standard safety gear: a solid helmet, face screen, and ear muffs. Felling wedges also come in handy for larger trees. If this is your first time doing this sort of work, study up and make sure you know how to gauge where a tree will fall and how to spot dead branches that might fall on you when you try to cut through the trunk. Consult with an experienced friend or call a tree specialist. If you feel really unprepared, it might be worth it to hire a tree removal service for one tree, then watch them work so you know how to handle the rest of your trees on your own.

Safety Considerations

When the time comes to start cutting, make sure there are not more people around than is absolutely necessary. Falling trees can be unpredictable, so err on the side of caution. That said, it is a good idea to have at least one other person present, observing from a safe distance. Somebody needs to call for help if you get knocked unconscious. Finally, know your limits! If at any point in the process you realize that you are in over your head, there is no shame in backing out and hiring an expert. No amount of pride or money is worth more than your health.