Do You Need a Tree Removal Permit in Austin, TX?

tree removal austin tx

Many jurisdictions require permits for tree removal. Why? To preserve trees and maintain a balanced ecosystem.   

Do you need a tree removal permit in Austin, TX? The short answer is possibly. Monster Tree Service of Greater Austin has the in-house expertise to understand when permits must be applied for in each of the municipalities in our Central Texas area, how to apply for them properly and we are happy to handle this administrative coordination on our Client's behalf as part of our tree removal services.

What Are Protected Trees?  

The City of Austin regulates four classifications of trees for removal.  

Heritage Trees  

This is any tree over 24 inches in diameter at breast height (measured at 4.5 feet above the ground), including the following tree species:  

  • Texas Ash  

  • Cedar Elm  

  • American Elm  

  • Bald Cypress  

  • All Oak species  

  • Bigtooth Maple  

  • Texas Madrone  

  • Arizona Walnut  

  • Pecan  

  • Eastern Black Walnut  

Protected Trees  

This is any tree (regardless of species) 19 inches and larger in diameter.

Trees That Require Mitigation  

If you remove any tree 8 inches and larger in diameter, you must mitigate it.  

Trees That You Can Remove  

You may remove any tree in private property under 8 inches in diameter without a tree removal permit or mitigation, so long as it doesn't cross property lines.  

What Constitutes Tree Removal?  

The City of Austin defines tree removal as any of these four acts:  

  • Uprooting a tree  

  • Tree root damage  

  • Severing the main trunk (cutting it down)  

  • Excessive pruning  

If you have a dead or hazardous protected tree, you may remove it without a permit.   

Application for Tree Removal  

Any property owner or city arborist may apply for the removal of a protected tree on private property.   

Regarding protected trees on public property or on a public street or easement, the City department, public utility, or owner of the property adjoining the site of the tree may file a tree permit application.  

Any individual or body seeking to remove a protected tree in Austin, TX, must file a tree removal permit with the director of the Planning and Development Review Department.   

The written notice of intent to remove a tree must include essential information, such as the reasons for tree removal, the property’s address, and the species of the tree in question. Also, note that the city arborist shall promptly inspect a tree for which removal is requested.  

Bottom Line  

When tree removal becomes necessary, contact your local municipality to discuss tree removal permit requirements before proceeding.   

Alternatively, consult a certified arborist or design professional well-versed in local requirements. Adhering to local tree ordinances prevents legal repercussions, such as fines, and contributes to the city’s commitment to environmental conservation.  

Contact Your Local Tree Experts for Help  

When you need certified arborists who can help you achieve a healthy landscape that flourishes for years, trust Monster Tree Service of Greater Austin. We understand the challenge that comes with tree care. That’s why we offer the following comprehensive solutions to support your yard:  

  • Emergency tree removal services   

  • Plant health care  

  • Tree pruning and trimming  

  • Tree disease assessments  

Contact Monster Tree Service of Greater Austin at (512) 641-5638 for help with Austin, TX, tree removal permits or emergency services. We serve homes and businesses in Austin, including Cedar Park, Leander, and Lakeway.