Obtain Your Tree Maintenance License

City of San Antonio


In order for you to stay informed on requirements for TML and City of San Antonio regulations, we have compiled the following information regarding permit requirements:

Prevention and Spread of Oak Wilt:

21-170 General Requirements.

(a)The provisions of this section apply to any person, firm, corporation, business entity, city department, public or private utility to the extent permitted by law.

(b) All wounds to the trunk, limbs and root system of oak trees in the city that expose sapwood shall be painted within thirty minutes of the wound with asphaltic or exterior oil or latex based paint.

(c)Firewood from oak wilt infected trees shall not be brought into the city at anytime.


Tree Maintenance License requirements:

21-171 Tree maintenance license. It shall be unlawful for any person or firm to engage in the business or occupation of pruning, treating, or removing trees without a valid tree maintenance license by the city. A tree maintenance license shall be valid for three (3) years from the date of issuance. An application for a tree maintenance license shall not be deemed complete until proof of successful completion of continuing education credits and proof of current liability insurance are submitted, and all applicable fees are paid. The applicant is required to carry general liability insurance in a minimum amount of three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000.00) in the aggregate each. Further, proof of insurance shall be required as a condition precedent to secure a permit as required in this subsection and upon each subsequent renewal. A failure to maintain proof of insurance for the permitted year shall result in a revocation of the issued permit. Proof of minimum coverage amounts maintained for the preceding year must be provided with each application for renewal. Proof of insurance shall be underwritten by an organization licensed/authorized to do business in the state. The city shall be listed on the policy for notification of any lapse in coverage. 

A tree maintenance license shall require proof of completion of a minimum of fifteen (15) continuing education credits (CEU's) as approved by the city arborist per three-year licensing period before the license is issued, including written acknowledgement by signature of the code of ethics for the city tree maintenance license. An initial temporary license may be issued for a period of one (1) year to allow the applicant time to obtain the necessary CEU's. A temporary license shall only be issued following the completion of a two-hour city sponsored introductory class on safety, Oak Wilt, tree biology, tree pruning and tree identification. The two (2) hours credit will be applied to the 15-hour CEU requirement for the three-year maintenance license. A knowledge assessment administered by the city must be successfully completed to receive credit. Certified arborists will qualify automatically for the tree maintenance license and shall receive fifty (50) percent reduction on their tree maintenance license fee. In addition, if the tree maintenance license holder is not on the job site, a crew member with at least a minimum of two (2) hours of city arborist approved continuing education credits shall be on site during tree pruning operations.

Failure to maintain or submit any of the above requirements will result in the immediate revocation of the tree maintenance license. No license shall be required of any employee of a public utility or the city while performing tree maintenance in their capacity as such employee.

Tree Maintenance License Application available here.

Fees for Tree Maintenance License:

Tree Maintenance License (3 years, requires 15 hours of Continuing Education)                                                            $165.00 ($82.50 for ISA Certified Arborist)

Temporary Tree Maintenance License (1 year, requires 2 hours of Continuing Education)                                               $75.00 ($37.50 for ISA Certified Arborist)

Permit and License Requirements:

All information on permit and ordinance requirements can be found in the Code of Ordinances and Unified Development Code of the City of San Antonio.  The Tree Permit Requirements and Tree Preservation Ordinance are located online through the municodewebsite if you would like to read through for reference to show applicability/exemptions.

  1. Generally, a Tree Affidavit or Tree Permit Application is required for any tree removal in the City of San Antonio and the extraterritorial jurisdiction except on sites where single family residential has been completed.  There are minimum fees associated with Tree Affidavit or Tree Permit Applications of $200 and additional fees or mitigation may apply depending upon permit/site requirements (see attached for Tree Affidavit (2013) and Tree Permit (2013)Applications).
  2. Tree trimming and maintenance requires a Tree Maintenance License and work in concordance with the Oak Wilt Ordinance in the UDC (see attached TML Ordinance (2013).pdf).
  3. If trees are to be removed in a historical area (historical with an “H” designation on the lot can be verified per our GIS program - https://gis.sanantonio.gov/PDS/onestop/index.html), then we require that you coordinate with our office and we coordinate removal with the Office of Historical Preservation.  (see attached Historical Tree Removal Permit.doc).
  4. We do not require any specific permits for installation of trees (although there are irrigation permits required for irrigation through SAWS/TCEQ and COSA Irrigation Ordinance).

Please visit our staff at Development Services (Onestop) located at 1901 S. Alamo San Antonio, TX 78204 or contact Mark Bird (mark.bird@sanantonio.gov/ 207-0278),

Herminio Griego (herminio.griego@sanantonio.gov) 210.207.6042), or

Monica Reyes-Urdiales (monicareyes-urdiales@sanantonio.gov) 210.207.0169

with any additional questions.

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