Your Guide to the Different Types of Protected Trees in Georgia

Building a new house or business is a lot of work. You need demolition permits, building permits, and even tree removal permits. That’s right, if you want to remove a tree from your property, you must get it approved.


It’s because there are several types of protected trees in Georgia. Even the loss of one can have drastic effects on the local biodiversity and ecosystems. Before you start construction, read this guide to familiarize yourself with the endangered trees in your area.

Types of Protected Trees in Georgia

There are twenty-nine federally protected trees and plants in Georgia. This does not include plants with a state-protected status.

Most of the plants on the list are types of grasses, bushes, or wildflowers. Only one tree made the cut, and that is the Florida Torreya. The state, however, has its own list of endangered trees in Georgia.

Florida Willow

These small deciduous trees are native to both Georgia and Florida. At their highest, they are around 20ft tall and grow around streams and wet woodlands. The leaves are green on top with a pale and fuzzy underside.

Oglethorpe Oak

The Oglethorpe oak is native to the United States. It is a part of the beech tree family. This tree is characterized by its white or greyish bark and long oval leaves that turn red-brown in autumn and winter.


Corkwood, also known as Leitneria floridana, is not simply one of several protected trees in Georgia. It is also the only species in the world in the genus Leitneria. This tree is known for its lightweight wood, humble size, and affinity for coastal areas.

Atlantic White Cedar

This coniferous tree is found from Georgia up the coast to southern and along the Gulf of Mexico. The Atlantic white cedar can grow up to 115ft tall. It is identifiable by its green or blue-green foliage, with a flat, feather-like appearance.

The Rarest of Them All

With only 200 or so Florida Torreyas left, this critically endangered tree is globally recognized as one of the rarest conifers in existence. It is also the only federally protected tree in Georgia. Florida Torreya is found in four counties, three in Florida and only one in Georgia.

Common names for this tree include stinking-cedar, gopher wood, and Florida nutmeg. It prefers moist, shaded areas located near running water. The leaves of the Florida Torreya are bright green and needle-like.

Do Your Part

Being able to identify endangered trees in your area is the first step to preserving the state’s biodiversity. But remember, these are just the protected trees in Georgia. There is also a wide range of rare plants and wildflowers to consider as well.

Don’t risk destroying an endangered species. Instead, call in the professionals.

At Southern Tree Pros we have the experience and equipment required to do the job right. Our services include tree removal, land clearing, hauling, and more. Call us today for a free estimate.


Southern Tree Pros

Our company provides a range of services that covers everything from small residential tree maintenance jobs to large commercial projects. Our Atlanta tree service staff is fully trained and equipped to meet your needs.

Contact Us

2743 Orchard Knob Dr Atlanta, GA.
(770) 841-1684

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