Texas Tree Legislation

Texas Tree Legislation

Article written by
Richard Alles, Forests/Trees Conservation Leader

Alamo Group of the Sierra Club

(210) 494-2088




Bills Would Reduce Tree Mitigation Requirements Across Texas

Two bills in the Texas Legislature would reduce tree mitigation standards for new development. SB 744 and its identical companion bill, HB 2052, would preempt mitigation standards in all 77 local tree ordinances across the state.

In a nutshell, the bills allow builders and developers to plant fewer trees or pay less mitigation fees than are currently required. The bills were written by the Texas Association of Builders (TAB).

Where are the bills today (on 4-13-17)?

SB 744 was passed unanimously by the Senate. HB 2052 is awaiting a public hearing in the House Committee on Urban Affairs. This hearing will likely occur April 18th or 25th.

Lack of opposition in the Senate results from an agreement among major cities, TX Municipal League and TAB. Cities agreed to drop opposition to the bills in exchange for TAB’s pledge not to move the tree clearcutting bills.

These “clearcutting” bills would allow developers to clearcut trees, even old heritage trees, and strip most of the authority cities currently have to regulate tree removal. For reference, the clearcutting bills are SB 782 & its companion HB 2535 by Bill Zedler (R-Arlington), SB 898, and SB 1082 by Konni Burton (R-Fort Worth).

Who can I contact?

There are two Representatives from the DFW area on the House committee:

Rep. Jeff Leach | email | Austin office phone: (512) 463-0544

Rep. Bill Zedler | email | Austin office phone: (512) 463-0374

You can contact your state Senator and Representative by entering your address at Who Represents Me?

What is tree mitigation?

Municipalities typically require tree mitigation to compensate for excessive and/or unnecessary tree removal from development sites. It can take many forms, but the most common are payment of fees into a tree planting fund or replanting of new, smaller trees.

Standards vary widely among municipalities. In San Antonio, mitigation is required when more than 65% of trees larger than 6” diameter are removed for a new residential subdivision. In addition, every heritage tree (larger than 24” trunk diameter) removed must be mitigated. Mitigation is not required for any trees removed for streets, easements or rights-of-way.

Citizen Forester Report

Citizen Forester Report

First Quarter 2017 CTUFC Newsletter
Citizen Forester Report
By David Coke

The Citizen Forester Liaison to the CTUFC Board resigned in January.  The Citizen Forester Leadership has presented to the Board a revisited the definition of that position and is working on finding a replacement.  We thank Camille Drinan for all of her contributions to the Citizen Forester program and to the CTUFC Board.  We wish her well in all of her future endeavors.

Patsy Miller has accepted the position of Arlington Citizen Forester Coordinator and is already working with the Arlington Forestry staff and others to bring more activities to the Arlington area.

The first quarter of 2017 was busy.  Eleven Citizen Foresters attended the CTUFC annual convention, eighteen attended the First Quarter Citizen Forester Meeting, and Denton’s Citizen Forester Training session has twenty two students.

Citizen Foresters aided by Fort Worth Botanic Garden volunteers, pruned The Grove and over the parking lot behind The Gardens Restaurant in January.  We also pruned trees on the south side of Lancaster west of the old Post Office in January.  The next time you are in the Botanic Gardens or in the south of downtown Fort Worth be sure to admire the work done at those locations.

Citizen Foresters also aided at the Arlington Tree Farm and at the Fort Worth Tree Farm.

The Citizen Foresters contributed a total of over 171 hours of volunteer time and continuing education time during the first quarter of 2017.

Local Celebrations

Local Celebrations

Local Events

TCC South East Campus Arbor Day Celebration

April 28,2017 10am-1pm

TCC celebrates Arbor Day and Tree Campus USA with a fun filled celebration which includes- 250 Free Trees, Education, Food Trucks, Music, Chalk the Walk contest, Ceramics Contest,Scholarships for Contest Winners, Cookies and Drinks.

May 4th-7th

Mayfest is the biggest party in Fort Worth! Four days of live music, festival food, carnival rides, performing arts, pet adoptions, more than 60 Art and Gift Market vendors, free children’s activities, special attractions – the list goes on and on! Held on the first weekend in May on 33 glorious acres in Fort Worth’s Trinity Park, Mayfest is one event you won’t want to miss!

Mayfest is produced by Mayfest, Inc., a 501(c) 3 organization. The proceeds from each year’s festival are given back to the community in support of programs from three of Mayfest’s founding organizations – The Junior League of Fort Worth, Inc., Streams & Valleys, Inc., and The City of Fort Worth Parks and Community Services. Mayfest, Inc. is proud to have given back more than $7.1 million to benefit the city of Fort Worth and it’s citizens. https://www.mayfest.org/

April 21 – 23 Fair Park Dallas, TX

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on environmental education and awareness, Earth Day Texas has created the world’s largest annual forum for sharing the latest initiatives, discoveries, research, innovations, policies, and corporate practices that are reshaping our world. 

This three-day free event is held in April to celebrate progress, hope, and innovation and is the largest event in the world of its kind. Earth Day Texas brings together environmental organizations, businesses, academic institutions, government agencies, speakers, interactive programming, and subject matter experts along with live music and sustainable beer and food pavilions. Earth Day Texas creates a fun and engaging atmosphere for thought and experiential learning while encouraging attendees to be the change they wish to see in the world.   http://earthdaytx.org/#engage

2017 Urban Forestry Conference

2017 Urban Forestry Conference


The Crosstimbers Urban Forestry Council and Trinity Blacklands Urban Forestry Council would like to thank The Summit and the City of Grand Prairie for hosting our 2017 Urban Forestry Conference.

This was a great conference with almost 200 in attendance, 14 sponsors and 6 speakers.

For Conference Details Click here

Thank you to all of our speakers

Elden LeBrun with Bartlett Tree Care, Guy LeBlanc with Arbor Vitae Tree Care, Dave Appel with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, Darrell Downey with Engineered Watering Solutions, Matt Klippstein with Husqvarna and John Giedraitis with ISAT.

We would also like to thank all of our sponsors, who make this conference possible.




Arbor Vitae

Tree Care

Guy LeBlanc

Big Tree Tour

Big Tree Tour

Our Tree Tour is Full

Tour of Famous Trees of North Texas

April 29, 2017 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fort Worth Heritage Trees and Big Champion Trees
Tour Guide Courtney Blevins, CF, CA -Wes Culwell, BCMA


If you would like to be on the waiting list or need more information, Click Here
9:45 Sam Houston Campsite Oak, FToT, 1842.  Grapevine Springs Park in Coppell.  Here, Republic of Texas President Sam Houston negotiated with about a dozen Indian tribes and forged the first treaty between the Rep. of TX and the Indians.    Great tree and the flare looks like a huge garlic bulb.  Wonderful rolling hills park with multiple springs and rock work done by the WPA. ON SITE: Parkinson Diary of the event, Jesse Chisholm influence.

10:40 Parker Oaks, FToT, 1855.  Along Hwy10 just east of E820.  The trees overlook the Trinity River and located next to the Parker Family Cemetery.  The dogtrot house that sat here, the Isaac Parker Cabin, is the oldest structure in Tarrant County, about 1845, and is now located at Log Cabin Village.

ON SITE: Log Cabin Village book that has a photo showing our two trees off the front corner of the house.  Cynthia Ann Parker came here after her recapture.  Will tell her story when here.

11:20 Traders Oak, FToT, FWHT, 1849, Henry Clay Daggett and Archibald Franklin Leonard built a log cabin trading post, Fort Worth’s first, below this tree.  It was located 1 mile from the fort so they could do business with the military. Tarrant County’s first election (1850) was held below this tree and Birdville was chosen as the county seat and built a courthouse.

ON SITE:  How Fort Worth became the county seat.

12:50 Turners Oak, FToT, FWHT, 1866.  Texas Rangers Captain Charles Turner was one of the five men Sam Houston chose to determine the location of the new Fort, Fort Worth.  Capt. Turner was a founding father of Fort Worth and settled where Greenwood Cemetery is today.  He became the beef quartermaster in the Civil War and coordinated with local ranchers to provide beef for the soldiers.  He was asked to convert his gold into Confederate currency.  Instead, he hid his gold beneath this tree and used it for Ft. Worth reconstruction after the war.

2:00 Tannahill Oak, FToT, FWHT, 1854.  Two story rock dogtrot with walls 20” thick from stones gathered on the property, 1874. The home is still occupied.  Post Office.  County Judge during the Civil War.  First stagecoach stop west of FW and along the world’s longest stagecoach route in the world in the late 1870’s.  The canopy is much smaller than normal.  Appears a bad tornado broke off many of the major limbs many years ago.  Cavities were filled with mortar which resulted in huge swellings where the limbs once were.  Very interesting tree and the house isn’t too bad either.  ON SITE: Tree wounds with mortar, exterior house viewing.

2:45 State Champion Black Willow, FWHT, This tree became state champion a few years ago when the current champion(White Rock Lake) suffered severe storm damage and was removed.

3:10 Civilian Conservation Corps Post Oaks, FWHT’s, 1934-1937.  The “Tree Planters” planted over 3 billion trees.  They built 800 state parks in the US, 48 in Texas.  They developed four national forests in Texas: Davy Crockett, Angelina, Sam Houston and Sabine.  There are three trees, two with some incredible galls up and down the trunk.  Rock memorial with an overhead photo showing the camp layout.  The base of the water tower and the flagpole area can be seen onsite.

ON SITE: Memorial, Camp Layout, tree galls.

3:45 Charbonneau Live Oak at 199 and Azle Ave., no official designations. This tree enjoys more notoriety than any tree in the area.  Mr. William F. Charbonneau (1900-1965) was a very generous man and donated the land for all Lake Worth Schools and most of the churches.  He was a Harvard Law School graduate and raised Percheron horses, large draft type horses.

ON SITE: Viewing of this incredible tree

Return to the parking area by 4:15-4:30