According to the Texas Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, about 50 Texas cities—including major popula- tion centers like Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio—have adopted burdensome regulations that restrict or prohibit a property owner’s right to prune or remove trees on their land.

The city of Austin requires private landowners to request and receive the city’s permission to remove any tree with a trunk diameter of 19 inches or more. Further, Austin forbids the removal of “heritage trees”—trees of particular species with diameters of 24 inches or more—unless the landowner can prove to the city that the tree is diseased, a fire safety risk, or that the tree prevents reasonable development of the land.