Article X Update: July 13, 2018

Friday, July 13, 2018 (edited):

Although the Article X (Ten) Landscaping and Urban Forest Conservation ordinance have been in full effect since July 2, the arborist office is still awaiting the full published version to be provided for the Building Inspection website link.  There are several links currently available for checklists and the tree list, and the department should have more documentation available by early next week.

Meanwhile, you can visit my personal web page for access to the final edited (unofficial) version of the ordinance as well as mitigation information and those same checklists.  Of course, follow my blog for periodic updates on aspects of the ordinance.  It's information I provide as a service.

I can also report there is a team of city staff and landscape professionals working on making the first drafts of the Landscape and Tree Manual to be ready as soon as possible, which we hope will be a matter of weeks.  A small group had worked hard on this first manual draft during the three-year timeframe of the writing of the ordinance and now the work is ongoing again to make the first viewing of a living document which will support the ordinance.  We expect to put this document out to the general public, professionals, and others for feedback before publication.  Again, it's important to state this is not a regulatory manual but will provide important guidance in working with the ordinance and in helping people to better understand and manage their own trees.  You can find the holding place for the manual online at the Building Inspection website by going to and use the quick link to Building Permits.  Enter the Landscape box.

It is now intended that the first nominations for Historic (aka, "Heritage", or "Landmark") Trees will likely begin to be accepted in early October.  The nomination forms and criteria are being verified to assure there is a transparent and positive experience in the process.  If you have trees which you believe may be worth considering, hold that thought and we'll announce when the nomination forms are ready.

We are working on a training program to be able to provide the general public, design professionals, builders, and developers, to better understand the ordinance and how it works for them and the community.  There are some important aspects to the ordinance that are new to most and these first few months of communication are critical to kicking us off to a good start.  I expect to begin our first major class sessions in early August and details will be coming soon.   Meanwhile, I'm working on training with city staff and with coordinating with customers as they enter with new projects.  Thus far, we are seeing some promising results in how we can administer this ordinance.  I will welcome being invited to neighborhood meetings to provide some general information for your community.

I'll be at the Oak Park Estates Neighborhood Association meeting next Tuesday evening to provide some direction of where the city forest program is going, to update them on the approved ordinance amendments, and to help the folks find ways to help their own community forest.  

I need to report that the parking lot project at the Casa Linda shopping center at 9400 Garland has been permitted for renovation construction.  There will be a minority of trees removed for the project while most of the existing trees will remain.  Additional trees will be planted along Buckner and other places on the site for tree replacement and site enhancement.  It's important to note the parking and driveway configurations are being redesigned which require adjustment of tree islands within the parking lot.  The existing trees being removed could not conform to the new site design.  

I'm in the process of preparing our online publication for the 2018/2019 Dallas Reforestation Program with the updates on tree selection for neighborhoods and other projects on public property.  We anticipate some new potential with the Fund this year as various groups, including Dallas Parks, step up their planting projects.  I'm glad to say that this year saw us finally deliver over 10,000 trees since I took over the program as Chief Arborist in the winter of 2007.  This was over $1.1 million dollars in tree purchases.  We have a lot more we can and will do in the coming years and we're now beginning to find interested neighborhoods and groups to plant trees this year. You'll be able to see the updates at the Dallas Arborist website in the coming weeks.  

Finally, I'll be providing more information in the coming days as I step up the communication of this ordinance to the community.  Stay tuned and, if you have questions or comments, I welcome your requests for information and I'll do my best to answer on this forum.

Have a great weekend.  I'll try to survive the teeth of my puppy.