Planning Department

333 Water Street
Belton, TX 76513

Tree preservation summary

The City believes trees have a positive economic effect by enhancing property values and making the City more attractive.  Therefore, a policy has been established to preserve Protected Trees.  It is unlawful to remove a Protected Tree without an approved permit from the Planning Department. Simply, a tree having a Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) of 8 inches or more is considered a Protected Tree. There are exceptions to this rule that you can read here (Section VI.A.3.b) 

The City uses a list of Heritage Trees that are protected and generally cannot be removed upon request and can only be considered for removal if it loses its Heritage Tree designation. The list of Belton Heritage Trees (BHT) that cannot be removed are listed here (Section VI.A.3) 

A Site Clearing Permit is the first step toward receiving permission to remove trees or brush. Find that application here.


  • A tree survey is required for properties zoned C1, C2, R, NS, O1, O2, LI and UC, and must be submitted during the development process. A survey is required for 2 or more residential lots proposed for new construction.
  • A tree survey is not required if a land surveyor certifies there are no Protected Trees.
  • A tree inventory, or list of tree types and diameters, may be accepted instead of a tree survey to document trees outside the limits of construction.
  • If certain trees are removed, tree replacement is required. In the event there is not a suitable location for the replacement tree(s) as determined by a landscape architect, the owner may be allowed to plant trees on public property, or make a payment into the tree fund to plant trees on public property.
  • To read the full section (recommended if you’re developing a property with existing trees there now), go to Section VI of the City’s Design Standards, found here. 


     8"  20"  BHT
 Developed Lots      Residential (RE, SF, PH, 2F, MF, MH)      X
   Non-Residential <15,000 sq ft      X
   Non-Residential >15,000 sq ft  X  X  X

     8"  20"  BHT
 Undeveloped Lots  Residential (RE, SF, PH, 2F, MF, MH)     X  X
   Non-Residential < 15,000 sq ft    X  X
   Non-Residential >15,000 sq ft  X   X  X

Approval of site clearing permit is needed to remove a protected tree. BHT must be replaced or mitigated through payment. 
  • Replacement - 1:1 ratio/inch diameter; minimum 3" caliper, 10' height, 5'canopy spread at time of planting. 
  • Fee - $100/inch diameter
50% of existing protected trees 8" or greater must be retained for site undergoing development, except for Single Family Residential lots. Protected tree species are found in the list of approved plants. 


   Tree survey  Tree inventory
C1, C2, R, NS, O1, O2, LI, UC   8" or larger  
 2 or more R lots proposed for new construction (either survey or inventory)  20" or larger          20" or larger
 Single Family Residential    BHT
 Multifamily and Heavy Industrial    8" or larger