In most cases you need a permit to prune or remove a tree in your front yard. A permit is always required to remove, prune or plant a tree near a sidewalk or street. Permits are also required to remove trees anywhere on lots over 10K square feet. This applies to residents, HOA's and businesses. Your contractor can apply for a permit for you.
How to Get a Permit
Contractor Tree Permit Application
Tree Removal Criteria
A tree removal permit may be issued if one of the following criteria is met:
The tree poses a substantial hazard to people or property
The tree is dead, dying or has a short life expectancy
The tree is seriously diseased
The tree is part of a group that is overcrowded
The tree has caused extensive utility damage (sewer, water main, power lines,etc.)
The tree has caused extensive concrete or property damage
The tree has been damaged to the extent that it cannot be feasibly restored
A tree removal permit will not be issued:
If there is a reasonable alternative to removal (such as maintenance) tree preservation will be prioritized.
Dropped leaves or fruit are not valid reasons for tree removal.