What Are The Tree Removal Requirements in Dallas?
Date December 22, 2020
When you live in a big, bustling city like Dallas, removing a tree from your property isn’t always as simple as grabbing a chainsaw, felling it, and chopping it into firewood. Depending on the size of your property, the zoning of your property, and the type of tree you’re trying to remove, there could be a little more red tape to navigate than that. Not to mention that taking down trees near homes or other buildings can be a tricky task. Unless you happen to be a pro at skillfully deconstructing large trees in densely populated areas, you might want to call in the certified tree experts for that part. However, if you do decide to handle it on your own, you should at least know the tree removal rules for your area. Below is a guide to tree removal requirements in Dallas:
Meet the City of Dallas arborists
The City of Dallas arborists are the people responsible for enforcing the guidelines for tree care and protection in Dallas, like the city’s Tree Preservation Ordinance. They work in the Building Inspection Division, and they do several important things like review landscape plans, verify tree surveys, perform landscape inspections, and investigate potential violations. They’re also the best people to ask if you have questions about what you can or can’t do with the trees on your property. Call 3-1-1 if you need to speak with a City of Dallas arborist.
What’s the rule for single-family homes and duplexes
The rules are pretty simple if you live in a single-family home or duplex on less than two acres of property. Unless your property is a part of a historic, conservation, or overlay district, you can do what you want with your trees; no permits are required.
It’s worth noting that also means your neighbors can do what they want with the trees on their property. If a tree is on the line between your property and your neighbor’s property, you should communicate before removing it. If your neighbor tries to remove, or succeeds in removing, a tree that’s located on the property line without consulting you, you should talk with your insurance company or consider taking legal action. It will have to be on your own dime though because the City of Dallas doesn’t mediate civil disputes between property owners.
When is a permit required?
There are three cases outlined by the City of Dallas in which tree removal requires a permit for protected trees: tree removal on vacant lots, tree removal on lot sizes of two acres or larger, and tree removal on lots with a structure that’s being demolished.
A permit is also required to remove trees on a lot within a planned development district with tree preservation regulations that deviate from the regulations outlined by the City of Dallas, as determined by the building official.
What about conservation, historic or overlay districts?
Dallas is a city with a long, rich history. To protect that history some areas and neighborhoods have been designated as historic districts or conservation districts, and those areas often have preservation regulations in place to help maintain certain characteristics of the district. Some of the regulations can be quite strict, especially within a historic district. Although most conservation and historic districts focus solely on architectural standards, some do include landscaping. The rules vary depending on the particular district, so if your property is part of a historic, conservation, or overlay district, look to the guidelines of that specific district for how to handle tree removal on your property.
Who is responsible for the trees between the sidewalk and the street?
Trees located between the sidewalk and the streets are considered to be on city property and require approval from the City of Dallas arborists in order to remove them. However, if the grass is across the sidewalk from your property, then you are responsible for the maintenance and care of the trees. The branches of these trees must be kept clear at a minimum of 8-feet over sidewalks and 15-feet over streets and alleys.
What about commercial property?
If you’re trying to remove trees from commercial property things are a little more tricky. Protected trees require a Tree Removal Permit or a Building Permit to remove and are subject to mitigation, meaning either replacement or fees. Permits are attained through the City of Dallas arborists.
Does a demolition permit count?
Nope, sorry. As mentioned previously, a permit is required for tree removal on vacant lots. In order for a demolition permit to be issued, the lot must be determined to be vacant by the building official. A demolition permit doesn’t count as a tree removal permit, so you’ll need to contact the City of Dallas arborists to get a permit to remove any trees on the property.
What’s involved in getting a permit?
To get a tree removal permit, you’ll need a completed building inspection application that includes the property owner’s signature, you’ll need a tree survey, and you’ll need a mitigation plan. There is also a $100 fee to apply. Contact the City of Dallas arborists for more information.
A list of non-protected tree species
According to the Dallas City Hall website, there are certain tree species that are not protected by the city and do not require a permit to remove. Those species are Chinese Tallow, Silver Maple, Siberian Elm, Arizona Ash, Black Willow, Hackberry, Chinaberry, Tree of Heaven, Horseapple/Bois d’Arc, and any trees under eight-inch diameter unless they were planted as mitigation.
Where to go for tree removal
There are many reasons to remove a tree from your property. For example, if it’s causing damage to your property or utility wires, or if the tree has been damaged beyond repair by disease or insect infestation. Whatever the reason, tree removal can be dangerous so it is imperative to use the proper techniques. If you have a tree or stump on your residential or commercial property that you’d like to have removed, TreeNewal can help. We are proud to offer the best tree and stump removal services in Dallas-Fort Worth. Our team members have professional training that equips them to work safely and efficiently to remove trees.
We’re a little different than the average tree services company.
Learn more about TreeNewal’s ISA Certified Arborists!
Healthy trees, healthy lives.