Group says Atlanta is losing too many trees to development

ATLANTA — If you walk the streets of Atlanta and come across a tree with a big ‘X’ painted on it, it’s probably going to be cut down.

A tree preservation group in the city says it’s gone too far.

The group wants a new ordinance with a little more teeth in it, to spare as many trees as possible.

Esther Stokes said there’s one thing that makes her town prettier than all the rest.

“When you fly over Atlanta you think, ‘My goodness! There’s a city there and it’s full of trees!’” Stokes said.

But she’s concerned that too many trees are being crossed out.

“It makes me sad because Atlanta is losing trees at an alarming rate,” Stokes said.

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Chet Tisdale is a member of the Atlanta Tree Conservation Commission. He’s been working with members of the city council to approve new rules to save more trees. He said when developers launch a new project, the ordinance needs to put trees first.

“We’re the fifth worst city in the U.S. in terms of tree loss. If we don’t do something soon, we’ll no longer be ‘The City In The Forest,’” Tisdale said.

Tisdale and Stokes said Atlanta has some very good developers who care about trees and aim to preserve as many as they can.

“But at the rate we’re going, that’s going to be altered terribly. So, we need to come together and find a way to have development and retain our tree canopy,” Stokes said.

The Atlanta City Council could vote on a new ordinance by next spring.