Tree & Vegetation Removal

For several decades, the City of West Lake Hills has had various ordinances in effect regulating the removal of trees and vegetation in order "to promote and enhance a superior community environment, to maintain the rural character, to maintain air quality and ecologic balance, to maintain property values, and to ensure the maximum preservation of the valuable natural features and scenic rural/wooded character." (West Lake Hills City Code 22.03.301 (a)) The relevant sections of our Code (commonly referred to as our Tree Ordinance) are intended to "be administered with the foregoing purposes in mind and specifically so as to:

(1) Ensure, insofar as practical in permitting development of land and minimizing fire hazard, the maximum retention of natural vegetation to aid in protection against erosion of top soil, preservation of natural scenic qualities and healthy ecosystems of the city through good conservation practices, protection from flooding or landslides, noise absorption, maintenance of privacy, and in providing habitat, shade and color;

(2) Protect mature trees and significant stands of trees in order to retain as many as possible consistent with the purposes set forth herein and also consistent with reasonable economic enjoyment of private property. In this context, privately owned trees have an impact on the quality of life for the entire community; and

(3) Require the removal of all confirmed dead brush, vegetation, and trees from all properties in order to reduce the risk of wildfire. In the case of dead trees and dead understory, the city inspector must confirm that the vegetation is indeed dead prior to its removal in order for the owner to avoid replacement requirements as described in section 22.03.304(d)." (Emphasis added; Section 22.03.301 (b))

The Tree Ordinance requires the property owner to secure a free permit from the City's arborist prior to removing or trimming vegetation – including trees, bushes, scrub brush, or understory. The Permit is necessary to insure that no vegetation is being removed beyond what is allowed by Code. Contact the City at 512-327-3628 to request a permit.

The City encourages property owners to hire a qualified contractor to conduct large-scale vegetation removal or tree trimming. The City does not endorse any specific contractors, but have a list of businesses who completed training with the City arborist regarding the City's very specific vegetation removal requirements.

For more information regarding tree and vegetation regulations and requirements, visit Section 22.03.304 of the City of West Lake Hills Code of Ordinances.

Tree Removal Requirements Document

List of Arborists / Tree Trimmers / Brush Pickup Contractors

Tree & Brush Removal Policy

As a reminder, no trees or vegetation may be removed from any property without a permit except for:

  1. When the vegetation removal is considered common household gardening or ground care
  2. When removing dead branches or pruning a single live tree
  3. When removing existing piles of dead brush or dead vegetation

Any other removal of vegetation requires a permit. In most cases the permit is free. However, before removing any dead wood or live trees from your property, please contact Russell Cain at 512-610-6836 in order to secure a permit and to assist with coordinating your project with others in your area. The West Lake Hills City Code requires you to remove all dead wood (i.e., dead bamboo, dead jasmine, piles of dead branches, and stacks of old firewood).

  1. Russell Cain

    Environmental Inspector, RS / City Arborist
    Phone: 512-610-6836