Tree removal permits in Houston TX

You will need a permit for the removal of protected trees in Houston, especially if they are near the property line. For property owners, understanding the tree removal laws Texas is crucial.

Below are the definitions of protected trees.


Protected Trees

The ordinance protects certain trees from removal. For instance, if a tree falls within the neighbor’s property, there are certain regulations to be followed. This also applies if tree branches from your tree extend into a neighbor’s yard.

Protected tree types

Right-of-Way: Trees along a public street’s right-of-way

Corridor Tree: Trees 20 inches or more in diameter in the building setback area
along a local street or major thoroughfare

Green Corridor: A portion of a major thoroughfare (at least one mile long)
designated by City Council with trees 15 inches or more in diameter

Designated Tree: Trees designated by City Council that have particular historical
or arboricultural significance. These trees can be located anywhere in the city

Parkway Tree: a) A tree, perhaps a neighbor’s tree, that’s 15 inches or more in diameter within a Green Corridor;
or b) A tree 20 inches or more in diameter outside of a Green Corridor located
between a street curb and an adjacent property line.

Removing Protected Trees

If you are the tree owner, and you want to remove a protected tree, you must complete the following steps:

  1. File a written notice of intent to remove the tree, especially if it’s a dead tree or if its tree roots are causing damage.
  2. Provide a site map showing the location of the proposed tree for removal and provide a plan showing where replacement trees will be planted. Submit both to the Planning Department 20 days prior to the tree’s removal.

City ordinance specifically preserves trees that are in the public right-of-way and requires that you get written permission from the Parks Department before removing certain species of trees or before you trim branches from those that are 11/2 inches or more in diameter on the street tree list and 20-inch caliper for all other species. This also applies to falling trees.

To obtain a permit, you can call the Urban

Forestry Division at (713) 867-0378 and a City forester will be sent to evaluate your situation.

Texas tree removal laws dictate that violations can result in a $500 per day fine and prosecution.
Any property owner who unnecessarily destroys a protected tree can be fined $90 per diameter inch.

Violations of the Tree & Shrub Ordinance carry a potential fine of up
to $500 per day for each violation.

Tree preservation ordinance Houston TX

Tree removal permit application form Houston TX

Tree removal permit & ordinance laws San Antonio TX

You will require a permit to remove a tree in San Antonio TX. The city arborist oversees all permissions for tree removal with the hope of retaining as much of the canopy cover as possible.

Below is a link to the application form. Once submitted and the fee is paid, the city arborist will be out to view your tree and hear your case for removal.

Note: For tree removal cost information in Texas, see our guide here.

san anntonio city logo

Tree preservation ordinance San Antonio TX

Tree removal permit application form Houston TX

Tree removal permits and ordinance in Dallas TX

You’ll need a permit to remove protected trees in Dallas, except on properties under 2 acres intended for single-family/duplex uses.

Trees with trunks larger than 8” in diameter at the breast height are protected, with exceptions for specific non-protected tree species.

There are some trees, however, that are considered as local pests and are not protected. They are listed below.

The following list consists of non-protected trees regardless of the size. You may remove them without a permit:

Chinese Tallow
Silver Maple
Siberian Elm
Arizona Ash
Black Willow
Tree of Heaven
Horseapple (female/fruiting Bois d’arc)

dallas city logo

Tree preservation ordinance Dallas TX

Helpful FAQ’s about tree removal

Tree removal permit application form Dallas TX

Oak Cliff Municipal Center
320 E. Jefferson
Room 105
Dallas, Texas 75206
Phone: (214)-670-5111

Tree removal laws and permits Austin TX

You will require a permit for the removal of protected trees in Austin.

What size trees are protected? A protected size tree is determined by measuring the tree trunk at 4.5 feet above the ground. This is commonly known as DBH (diameter at breast height). A tree within the Austin city limits is protected once it reaches 19 inches. Diameter = Circumference / 3.1416 and Circumference = Diameter X 3.1416.

If a protected tree is dead or is a hazard to persons or property you may remove a protected tree without a permit. It is advised you document the tree with photos just in case.


What is the review process for a tree removal permit?

When the development of a residential property contains a protected size tree, the tree review will occur simultaneously with the residential building plan. The tree permit will be created along with the residential building permit.

When a protected tree is not development-related but impacted by utility issues, disease, or other conditions, a Tree Ordinance Review Application is required.

Tree preservation ordinance Houston TX

Tree removal permit application form Houston TX

Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.