Q: Did the city of Atlanta ever own Lincoln Cemetery on Simpson Road?

Q: Did the city of Atlanta ever own Lincoln Cemetery on Simpson Road?

— Darryl Pitts, Atlanta

A: The cemetery, where notable Atlantans such as the Revs. Ralph David Abernathy and Hosea Williams are buried, always has been under family ownership, said Mike Helmase, chief financial officer of Lincoln Cemetery. The 113-acre cemetery had its first burial in 1925.

Q: Is it still within the law to remove the tree limbs of your neighbor’s tree that are extending over your property?

— Sally Harris, Atlanta

A: Yes. This remedy has been recognized as being appropriate in most Georgia jurisdictions when an owner’s property is penetrated by roots or branches from vegetation growing on neighboring premises, said V. Justin Arpey, attorney with Atlanta-based Davis, Matthews & Quigley P.C. There are limits, though. The branches are allowed to be removed only up to the property line. A landowner who removes encroaching vegetation may not keep or use the fruits, nuts or other products of the tree. Municipal and/or county codes or regulations or neighborhood covenants also might affect a landowner’s right to alter a tree, he said. In Atlanta, a property owner must obtain a permit to directly or indirectly remove, destroy or injure a tree. The city’s code specifically defines what it means to “destroy” or “injure” a tree, and penalties for violating these rules include monetary fines, which can be severe, Arpey said.

Lori Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2022 or e-mail lori@fastcopy.biz (include name and city).