Atlanta's Urban Forest

What are Historic and Landmark Trees?

Historic and Landmark trees are those which have developed exceptional historical, cultural, or aesthetic value because of their age, descent, legendary stature, expemplary representation of genus or species, rarity, or association with an important event or person. The City of Atlanta’s Tree Ordinance does not offer special protections for these trees at this time, but the ordinance does provide for the registration of these trees with the Tree Conservation Commission.

What are the Criteria for Designation of Historic and Landmark Trees?

  1. Age is an important criterion and will vary by species. While age cannot be determined precisely, an estimate of age is recommended, and candidate trees should be at least 50 years old.
  2. Historic Significance is an association with an important event or person. Please provide documentation.
  3. Location and Setting designates a contribution to a significant view or spatial structure of a setting.
  4. Size or Habit designates an exemplary representation of the characteristics of a genus or species.
  5. Specimen Status. Each Historic Tree should also be a "specimen tree" as defined by the ordinance.

Large Hardwoods such as oaks, poplars, and hickories in fair or better condition, with a DBH (diameter at breast height) greater than or equal to 30 inches, are specimen trees. Smaller understory trees such as dogwoods, sourwoods, and redbuds in fair or better condition with a DBH greater than or equal to 10 inches are specimen trees. Lesser sized trees of rare species, exceptional aesthetic quality, or historical significance may be designated as a specimen tree by the Tree Conservation Commission.

What is the Process of Designating Historic and
Landmark Trees

  1. Nominations may be submitted by any member of the community.
  2. Nominations should include: a. a photo (digital if possible) documentation of the candidate tree; b. a brief narrative explaining how the candidate tree fulfills a minimum of two criteria for historic designation (above); and
         a. a photo (digital if possible) documentation of the candidate tree;
         b. a brief narrative explaining how the candidate tree fulfills a minimum of two criteria
         c. a completed adobe_pdf_icon NOMINATION FORM as supplied by the Arborist Division
  3. The Tree Conservation Commission will review and evaluate all nominations.
  4. The Tree Conservation Commission will maintain a list of Historic and Landmark Trees in the city and register them with the Office of the City Clerk.
  5. The City Arborist will conduct a site visit to verify the condition and characteristics of the tree.
  6. DESIGNATED HISTORIC AND LANDMARK TREES IN ATLANTA