“Examine each question in terms of what is ethically and aesthetically right, as well as what is economically expedient. A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” - Aldo Leopold
The City of Dallas landscape zoning ordinance originated on March 1, 1986 under Chapter 51. On April 25, 1990, the City Council passed a resolution 'to support the protection and preservation of trees across the city.' The amended current version of the landscape ordinance under Chapter 51A, attached to a new tree preservation ordinance, became effective on May 25, 1994. There have been a few amendments to the three divisions of Article X (General, Landscape, and Tree Preservation, Removal and Replacement) in the years since its inception. On June 27, 2018, the Dallas City Council unanimously approved the Article X Landscaping and Urban Forest Conservation ordinances. It is in effect as of July 2, 2018.
The demonstration of the ordinance here is intended solely for educational purposes. This is not an official city website. Through this review of ordinances, the intent is to assist the reader in understanding existing city code as well as to present different concepts and processes. Comments and discussions presented in these pages in no way represent the official position of the City of Dallas or of the opinion of the director or building official.
A site to help locate a private certified arborist and tree service in the DFW area.
City of Dallas Departments and Links
1994 ARTICLE X, as amended
Article X Chapter 51A of the Dallas Development Code
This is the landscape and tree ordinance with minor amendments from 1994 to July 1, 2018.
See List of Arborist Recommended Shrubs for potential uses (NOT official). Contact city arborist for selections.
10.130. Tree Preservation, Removal and Replacement.
Amendments effective as of July 2, 2018!
The links and text provided below are a representation of the final approved Landscape and Urban Forest Conservation ordinance passed by the City Council on June 27, 2018. Comments and directions on this and associated web pages are provided for informational purposes to help guide citizens and customers in using the regulations. Any additional direction or statements should not be considered official city policy or guidelines without confirmation by the Chief Arborist. Different sites have varied conditions which may require further analysis. Use the site wisely and ask questions if an item is not clear.
2018 ARTICLE X
Article X Chapter 51A of the Dallas Development Code after July 1, 2018.
10.100. General.Arborist Recommended Shrubs for potential uses (NOT official). Contact city arborist for selections.
10.130. Urban Forest Conservation.
Additional related city ordinances
Go to DallasCityAttorney.com for the full list of Planned Developments, Form District regulations, and other ordinances.
Conservation Easements (also, Community Unit Development)
PD 366 - Buckner Boulevard Special Purpose District - has been amended by Council
Phase 2 in effect October 1, 2013
Tree Planting Details and Specifications (Open Source)
Development Excellence Technical Tools (Center for Development Excellence, NCTCOG)
Green Infrastructure - ASLA
Conservation Tools (Pennsylvania Land Trust Association)
Fort Worth Amended Landscaping and Tree Ordinance
Texas Municipal Tree Ordinances (ISA Texas)
San Antonio Tree Ordinance (May 2010) - pdf - large file.
City of Dallas
Contractor information for landscapers (other than irrigation) and tree services or demolition companies who work to service or remove trees in Dallas.
DEMOLITION CONTRACTOR means a person engaged in the business of site preparation, such as excavating and grading, demolition of buildings and other structures, earth moving, and land clearing for all types of sites (e.g., building, nonbuilding, mining). This includes blasting, building demolition, foundation digging (i.e., excavation), concrete breaking and cutting for demolition, foundation drilling, and trenching.
LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR means a person that is engaged in the business of constructing, maintaining, repairing, installing, or subcontracting the development of landscape systems and facilities. A landscape contractor prepares and grades plots and areas of land for the installation of any architectural, horticultural, and decorative treatment or arrangement.
TREE SERVICE CONTRACTOR means a person engaged in the business of tree service work that includes cutting, trimming, pruning, removing, grinding, or otherwise modifying established trees in accordance with the ANSI A300 Standard Practice for Trees, Shrubs, and Other Woody Plant Maintenance and the ANSI Z-133.1 Safety Standards. (Ord. 28096)
1102.1 General. A contractor listed in Section 1101 who is not registered by the city may not obtain any permit required by this chapter for work defined in Section 1101. (Ord. 28096) [$120 fee. Application and payment in Room 118, OCMC]
1103.1 General. To register with the city as a contractor listed in Section 1101 to perform work described in Section 1101, a person shall apply to the building inspection division in writing on forms furnished for that purpose. The contractor may apply in person or send an agent to apply on behalf of the contractor.
1103.2 Established place of business. Each applicant for registration shall maintain an established place of business at a permanent location. If the established place of business is within the city, a certificate of occupancy must be secured as required in the Dallas Development Code. (Ord. 28096)
1106.1 Suspension or revocation. The building official shall suspend or revoke a certificate of registration granted under this subchapter if the building official finds the contractor or the contractor’s authorized agent:
1. Obtains a certificate of registration or permit by the use of fraud or deceit;
2. Intentionally violates a provision of this chapter; or
3. Exhibits incompetency or commits gross negligence or misconduct in the performance of construction work within the city. (Ord. 28096)
City of Carrollton (June 2013)
Report: Sustaining America's Urban Trees and Forest (US Forest Service)
Urban Watershed Forestry Manual, Part 1: Methods for Increasing Forest Cover in a Watershed (pdf)
Urban Watershed Forestry Manual, Part 2: Conserving and Planting Trees at Development Sites (pdf)
Urban Watershed Forestry Manual, Part 3: Urban Tree Planting Guide (pdf)
Maryland Tree Laws - MD Dept. of Natural Resources
Urban Tree Canopy Assessment - LiDAR (USFS - NRS)
Water Sense (EPA)
Recommended Landscape Plant Materials for North Texas (Agri-Life Extension)
Helpful City Information Web Pages:
- Find your property and zoning.
Dallas City Attorney's Office - Web link to the City of Dallas attorney's office with access to the Dallas Development Code, including Volume 4 (Planned Developments). It also includes Public Deed Restrictions.