Forest Restoration

Out with invasive, in with native.


Forest Restoration works to improve the health of our urban forests. A healthy native plant diversity is essential for the ecosystem to properly adapt to urban stresses like climate change, habitat fragmentation, and pollution. Volunteers help by removing destructive exotic invasive plants, replanting with native species, and reducing erosion along waterways.

Preserving existing forests and improving the health of mature trees by clearing invasive plant species is critical to protecting our urban forest. We can better protect our urban forest by improving the ecological health of forests and creating better conditions for trees to thrive in forests, parks, and yards, as well as along roadways.

  • Protecting urban forests by removing exotic invasive plants
  • Planting native trees, shrubs, and vines
  • Fostering stewardship in community parks & forest through Greenspace Guardians
  • Educating citizens on the importance of forest restoration
  • Advocating for responsible landscape and management choices

Take Matters Into Your Own Hands


Our Forest Restoration team works year round to restore the ecological health of forested areas across metro Atlanta. Our work includes removing invasive plants and planting new trees and native plants.

We can teach you how to improve forested areas by removing invasive species and restoring the area with native plant species. Here are some options:

  • Identify and Remove Invasive Plants: Use this guide to learn how to identify and remove Atlanta’s most common invasive plants. The invasive plants in this guide are listed alphabetically by common names (along with a list by scientific names). This is an expanded and updated post to our very popular Resources:¬†Top 10 Invasive Plants That Harm Our Urban Forest and How to Remove Our Top 10 Invasive Plants.
  • Volunteer. Join us at an upcoming Forest Restoration volunteer project and learn hands on. We provide all the tools and instructions that you’ll need. Get ready for the next Conserve the 4-0-Forest project, too! 4-0-Forest promotes restoration work and community engagement in all 12 districts of Atlanta over two days. This event emphasizes the importance of removing invasive plant species that threaten the health of trees and our urban ecosystem.
  • Enroll in the next Forest Stewardship Training class. Our training program is scheduled in the Fall and is comprised of a series of classroom and field training. Read more about the Forest Stewardship class and sign up here.
  • Continue to expand your knowlege by checking out various Education programs throughout the year. Classes cover on the how, what, and why’s of protecting our urban forest. All programs are listed on our website calendar.

Featured Restoration Project:
Legacy Park, Decatur


The process of restoring a forest area overcome with invasive plants is a long-term commitment. Depending upon the size of the area and the scope of work, the effort can take many years to show significant progress.

Trees Atlanta is partnering with the City of Decatur to help improve and restore the forested areas of Legacy Park. We started work in late 2021, and you can view our ongoing progress on our storymap of the Legacy Park project. If you are interested in learning more about how you can get involved in the Legacy Park project, add your name to the project update list here.

Upcoming volunteer projects in Legacy Park, as well as other forested areas in metro Atlanta, are posted on our Calendar. Join us!

Learn more about invasive species

What are invasive species?

An invasive species is any species (including its seeds, eggs, spores, or other biological material capable of propagation) that is not native to a given ecosystem, and whose presence causes economic or environmental harm, or a threat to human health.

Learn more by reading about how to identify some of the primary species that threaten Atlanta’s forests.

Why are invasive species a problem?

In a new environment, invasive species are free from natural predators, parasites, or competitors found in their native habitats, and they often develop very high populations. These large populations can out-compete and displace native species or can reduce wildlife, food, and habitat. Some invasive species can reduce forest productivity by reducing tree growth rates, restricting tree seedling establishment, elevating fire hazard, and increasing site preparation costs.

What can we do about invasive species?

Trees Atlanta hopes to restore forests to optimal health by removing invasive species and replanting those that are native to our environment. The Forest Restoration Program includes educational programs, community-based volunteer projects, contractor spraying and removal, and organized replanting events. Trees Atlanta has produced a greenspace manual designed to guide citizens through evaluating, protecting, and improving their community greenspaces.

If you want to get hands-on at home, learn how to remove the Top 10 Invasive Plants That Harm Our Urban Forest using this resource.


Help restore Atlanta's forests!

Check out our project calendar to see how you can get help our forests by removing invasive plants and replanting native trees and plants!

Volunteer today!

Questions about Forest Restoration? Please contact: