San Antonio’s Tree Ordinance

As long as you live in a home where all construction is done, no tree permit or coordination with the City Arborist is required for tree removal. A homeowner can prune or remove trees on your property but if you hire a contractor, they are required to have a valid, city-issued Tree Maintenance License. If you have a concern regarding a tree on your property, it is recommended to hire a private Certified Arborist for a consultation and required work.

As the property owner, you are responsible for the care and maintenance of trees and shrubs on your property, abutting streets, sidewalks, and alleys (city right-of-way). Make sure all overhanging limbs are trimmed (14 feet clearance over street & 8 feet over sidewalks), debris is removed, and that trees and shrubs are not blocking access to the sidewalks and streets. Neighborhood brush collection is provided free of charge twice a year. You can also drop off brush, leaves, and grass clippings at the Bitters Brush Recycling Center to be recycled into nutrient-rich mulch.

Never trim trees near electric lines! For your protection, and to prevent power outages, CPS routinely trims tree limbs and removes vines that grow on utility poles and into power lines.

If your tree(s) need to be trimmed away from electric lines, call CPS at 210-353-2222 or use their Residential Service Request Form.

You CAN trim your own trees if they interfere with the service line (the electric line from a utility pole to the home.) However, CPS does ask that the customer call 5 business days before the work is to begin so that they can temporarily remove the service line.

Tips On Oak Wilt

Ronald F. Billings, Texas A&M Forest Service ,    licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Oak Wilt is a deadly fungal disease that infects and disables the water-conducting system in oak trees. All Oaks are susceptible to this disease, but some species are more than others. The City’s Oak Wilt Ordinance includes some requirements to help prevent the spread of Oak Wilt:

  • All cuts and wounds on oak trees shall be painted within 30 minutes.
  • Firewood from oak wilt-infected trees shall not be brought into the city at any time.
  • Make sure contractors doing tree pruning have a valid, city-issued tree maintenance license and proper training.

In addition, our City Arborist has some tips you can follow:

  • Minimize pruning oak trees between February 1 and July 1. This is when the Oak Wilt fungus is most active.
  • The best time to prune trees is either in the middle of the summer, when temperatures are the hottest or in late fall/early winter months when temperatures can be the coldest.
  • Remove Red Oaks identified with Oak Wilt.