Can I plant or remove a tree in the public Right of Way?

Trees that are located within the public Right of Way are public trees, and are regulated by the Public Works Department. Planting or removal of trees in the public Right of Way requires approval by the City of Austin.

My neighbor's tree limbs are growing over my property line - can I prune these limbs?

This can be a tricky issue. Prior to any action occurring neighbors are encouraged to interact and discuss their concerns. Legally, this is a civil matter between the property owners. Typically a landowner may remove vegetation that crosses their property line (or the air space directly above it). We encourage establishing a plan that has been approved by all parties. We also encourage using ideal pruning techniques. *Note - No more than 25% of the canopy can be removed without a permit if the tree is protected size.

Will the City pick up my tree and yard clippings?

The City's Austin Resource Recovery (formerly Solid Waste Services) manages these concerns. 

Will the City prune or remove my tree?

The property owner is responsible for tree removal or required maintenance. If the tree is located on public property the City may perform the work. 

Who can I contact about trees around power lines?

For questions about trimming around power lines contact Austin Energy's tree trimming hotline at (512) 322- 6771 or email Utilityforestry@austinenergy.com.  If a tree has fallen on a powerline, then contact the Austin Energy call center at (512) 494 9400.

Who can I contact about other problems with trees?

There are multiple tree-related concerns that will determine if the City can assist you. Are limbs hampering traffic flow? Is a fallen tree clogging a waterway? Has a tree fallen on utility lines? Is a tree blocking the alley? Is a tree creating a blind spot at an intersection? For any of these issues you can can simply call 3-1-1.

 

Is ball moss killing my tree? In most cases, the answer is no. For a full explanation, read our fact file on ball moss.

There is something wrong with my trees. Can someone come out and look at them? The City of Austin does not provide tree consulting for citizens. While we are happy to answer basic questions over the phone or via email, we can not provide a full diagnosis of what may be ailing your tree(s). We recommend consulting with a certified arborist for those questions. Below are a few links that can help you find a Certified arborist in your area.

Oak Wilt - Please view our Oak Wilt Suppression page.

Can you recommend a good arborist? While we can not recommend specific arborists, we can certainly help you find a certified arborist that specializes in what you need. First however, it is important to know the difference between a consulting arborist and an arborist that trims and/or removes trees. Many arborists may do both, but typically if you need a diagnosis for what is wrong with your trees, you should hire a consulting arborist. If you have a tree that has been storm damaged or is dead, you should hire an arborist that specializes in tree trimming or removal. These links below can help you find an ISA Certified arborist in your area.

Tree Planting and Tree Selection Information
Please view the videos listed below:

 

What are some benefits of trees? Trees supply character to a landscape, create a sense-of-place, provide a habitat for plants and animals, promote interacting within the community, temper local climate, reduce storm water runoff/erosion, diminish building lines, conceal unsightly views, provide solitude, assist in conserving energy, and increase property values.

Can you identify what type of tree this is? There are over 100 tree species in the Hill Country area. Access the following sites for additional information: Austin Grow Green and Texas A&M Horticulture - Texas Native Trees.

How do I measure a tree? See the Tree_Measurement_Diagram.

How do you tell the age of a tree? The Texas Forest Service states, "Every year a tree goes through a growing season when conditions are right for it to gain size. A ring forms on the inside of tree for each year that tree has been alive. A simple core sample can be taken using a special tool known as an increment borer. The rings on this core sample are then counted to determine the age of that tree."