Tree Removal Permit

Do I need a Tree Removal Permit?

As stated in the city's Code of Ordinances, a permit is required to cut or remove any tree that is 6 inches in diameter or larger for small trees or 12 inches in diameter or larger for large trees. The list of protected trees is below. The exemptions are:

  • The owner of a legally conforming single-family residence may remove or subject any tree on that property to a Tree Impact Activity, without a permit and without mitigation.
  • Trees that are not part of a Tree Disposition Plan or required for the landscaping of a commercial development.
  • A Tree Disposition Permit may be issued, without requiring mitigation, to remove a Protected Tree if the tree is:
    • Injured, dying, diseased or infested with harmful insects to the extent that it is not likely to survive as determined and documented by the City Arborist, or;
    • In danger of falling, interfering with utility service or other creating a hazardous or dangerous condition as determined and documented by the City Arborist.
  • If the owner of a Protected Tree believes that an emergency situation exists that requires the immediate removal of said tree to protect the safety of persons or property, the owner may subject the tree to a Tree Impact Activity or remove the tree without a Tree Disposition Permit, but only to the extent necessary to eliminate the dangerous situation. A person that claims this exception shall:
    • Apply for a Tree Disposition Permit on the next working day, and;
    • Be able to substantiate the claim of an emergency situation to the reasonable satisfaction of the City Arborist by providing evidence of the dangerous condition such as, but not limited to, a letter from a Certified Arborist and/or digital images.

How do I get a tree permit?

How to Measure a Tree

Standard professional practices dictate that trees are measured in this same fashion. The steps are as follows:

  • Take any form of tape measure and measure around the trunk of a tree (the tree's circumference),
    approximately four and a half feet above the ground. This is also known as dbh (diameter at base height). 
  • Then take the measurement of the circumference of tree and divide it by 3.1415 (Pi). The resulting  
    number will be the diameter of the tree trunk, also known as caliper inch.

Protected Tree List

Large Trees
Common Name

Botanical Name
American Sycamore
Plantanus occidentalis
Bald Cypress
Taxodium distichum
Bur Oak
Quercus macrocarpa
Chinquapin Oak
Quercus muehlenbergii
Live Oak
Quercus virginiana
Loblolly Pine
Pinus taeda
Longleaf Pine
Pinus palustris
Mexican Sycamore
Plantanus mexicana
Nutall Oak
Quercus nutallii
Overcup Oak
Quercus lyrata
Pecan Carya illinoenses
Post Oak
Quercus stellata
Red Bay
Persea borbonia
Red Maple
Acer rubrum
River Birch
Betula nigra
Sawtooth Oak
Quercus acutissima
Shumard Oak
Quercus shumardii
Southern Magnolia
Magnolia grandiflora
Southern Red Oak
Quercus falcate
Swamp Chestnut Oak
Quercus michauxii
Sweet Bay Magnolia
Magnolia virginiana
Trident Red Maple
Acer Rubrum 'tridens'
Water Oak
Quercus nigra
White Oak
Quercus alba
Small Trees
Common Name

Botanical Name    
Chinese Pistache
Pistacia chinensis
Easter Redbud
Cercis canadensis
Little Gem Magnolia
Magnolia grandiflor 'little gem'
Mexican Buckeye
Ungnadia speciosa
Mexican Redbud
Cercis canadensis 'mexicana'
Mexican Plum
Prunus mexicana
Texas Mountain Laurel
Sophoria secundiflora
Texas Pistache
Pistacia texana
Texas Persimmon
Diospyros texana
Texas Redbud
Cercis canadensis 'texensis'

Invasive Tree List

Common Name
Botanical Name       
Melia azedarach
Chinese Parasoltree
Firmiana simplex
Chinese Tallow
Triadica sebifera
Glossy Privet
Ligustrum lucidum
Golden Rain Tree
Koelreuteria paniculata
Lead Tree
Leucaena leucocephala
Mimosa / Silk Tree
Albizia julibrissin
Princess Tree
Paulownia tonentosa
Russian Olive
Elaeagnus angustifolia
Saltcedar Tamarix spp.
Tree of Heaven
Ailanthus altissima


Ask the Arborist