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Tree Removal Regulations


A municipality’s authority to regulate tree removal is found in the Texas Local Government Code, Title 7 Regulation of Land Use, Structures, Businesses, and Related Activities; in Subtitle A. Municipal Regulatory Authority; at Section 212.905 Regulation of Tree Removal.

Tree removal regulations can vary significantly depending on the specific municipality in Texas.  Many cities and towns in Texas have ordinances in place to protect trees, especially those on public property or within certain zoning areas.  These regulations are often aimed at reserving the urban forest, maintaining environmental quality, and enhancing the aesthetic appeal of neighborhoods.

Here are some common aspects of municipal tree removal regulations in Texas:

  1. Permits: Some municipalities require permits for tree removal, especially for trees of a certain size or species.  Property owners may need to obtain a permit from the city before removing trees from their land.
  2. Protected Species: Certain tree species may be protected by local ordinances due to their environmental significance or rarity.  In some cases, special permits may be required to remove these protected species.
  3. Tree Preservation Plans: In areas undergoing development or construction, municipalities may require developers to submit tree preservation plans.  These plans outline strategies for protecting existing trees during construction and my require replanting or mitigation efforts if trees must be removed.
  4. Public Property: Trees on public property, such as parks, medians, or rights-of-way, are typically subject to stricter regulations.  Removal of trees on public property often requires approval from city departments or committees.
  5. Tree Size Limits: Some municipalities have regulations specifying a maximum size for trees that can be removed without a permit.  For example, trees smaller in diameter may be exempt from permitting requirements.
  6. Replacement Requirements: In certain cases, property owners may be required to replant new trees of a similar diameter after removal or pay into a tree fund that supports tree planting initiatives within the city or town. The municipality may dictate the species of trees to be replanted.
  7. Penalties: Violating tree removal ordinances can result in fines or other penalties imposed by the municipality.

It is essential for property owners to consult with their city or town government to understand the specific tree removal regulations that apply to their land.  Municipalities often have information available online or can provide guidance through their planning or parks and recreations departments.  Additionally, hiring a professional arborist or tree service company familiar with local regulations can help ensure compliance when removing trees from private property.

Please do not rely on this article as legal advice. We can tell you what the law is, but until we know the facts of your given situation, we cannot provide legal guidance. This website is for informational purposes and not for the purposes of providing legal advice. 

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