The City Arborist Program administers the City of Austin's Tree Ordinance and issues permits to remove or impact regulated trees. On private property, the City regulates three classifications of trees: 8- to 18-inch diameter, Protected Trees, and Heritage Trees. Tree preservation requirements are detailed in Section 3 of the Environmental Criteria Manual.


Levels of Tree Ordinance Protection

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8" and larger

  • Survey required on commercial and multifamily site plan submittals
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19" and larger are Protected Trees

  • All species are protected
  • Tree permit required for removal or impacts (residential and public)
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24" and larger may be Heritage Trees

  • Applies to Pecans, Bald Cypress, Eastern Black Walnut, American Cedar Elm, All Oaks, as well as a few less common species
  • Variance required for removal or impacts that exceed code requirements
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30" and larger Heritage Trees

  • Proposed variances must go through public process

Helpful Links

Trees on Residential Property 

Learn about regulated trees and the tree review process on residential property. 

Trees on Commercial and Multifamily Property 

Learn about regulated trees and the tree review process on multifamily properties and projects that require a Site Plan. 

Dead, Diseased, and Imminent Hazard Trees 

Apply for a permit to remove a dead, diseased tree, or an imminent danger to people or property. 

Report a Tree Violation 

What to do if you suspect unpermitted activity impacts regulated trees near you. 

Tree Terms Glossary 

We define some of the commonly used — though not commonly understood — terms in tree preservation and permitting.