February 15, 2006

There's a New Ordinance in Town

Georgia's newest city is preparing to be a haven for tree-lovers. In keeping with the precedents of Atlanta and surrounding communities, Sandy Springs, the seventh-largest city in Georgia, also has a tree ordinance.

The Sandy Springs Tree ordinance currently looks familiar - it is nearly identical to the Fulton County Tree Ordinance from which it was born. Aside from some different administrative guidelines, the ordinance is the same. But don't expect it to stay that way. On February 18, the City Council will hold a public meeting to solicit input for revisions to the ordinance.

The City has hired Michael Barnett as the City Arborist. Barnett brings a wealth of practical experience to the adminsitration and enforcement of the City's tree ordinance. He was formerly an Arborist with Fulton County (working in the Sandy Springs area), and the Director of Horticulture at Zoo Atlanta.

Sandy Springs has traditionally been a hotspot of concern for trees. Groups such as Keep Sandy Springs North Fulton Beautiful, Inc., Big Trees Forest Preserve, Inc., and even the Sierra Club are very active in matters that relate to the Sandy Springs environment.

February 14, 2006

Homeowner saves $2,275

Gwinnett County, GA -

A Lawrenceville man nearly chipped away $2,275 when his property was mis-diagnosed as having a Southern Pine Beetle infestation. Preferring to remain anonymous, the homeowner reported that a tree removal company visited his property and told him that two of his small pines died from pine beetles. The tree removal company explained that the insects were actively munching away in his live trees, and that he was on the verge of a terrible outbreak. Before hiring the tree cutter to proactively remove all 29 of his pines, the homeowner decided to check with a Consulting Arborist first for a thorough inspection and diagnosis of the problem.

Onebark, a Consulting Arborist based in Atlanta, reviewing the entire property, found no recent evidence of any Pine Beetles and gave the homeowner's landscape a clean bill of health. Apparently, the two small pines were suppressed and unhealthy, and were not part of a large scale beetle infestation. The owner was relieved at the news, and quickly asked the tree removal company not to return.