HOUSTON -

The City of Houston says it has secured payment from a developer who cut down two protected trees.

The owners and contractors of Signature City Homes will pay $225,000 for the removal of two large, healthy and valuable trees in the public right-of-way. The developer removed a 100-year-old Live Oak with a trunk measuring approximately 36 inches in diameter from 801 Bomar and another tree at 1704 Blodgett St.

City ordinances prohibit the removal of a tree without a permit when at least 50 percent of the trunk is in the public right-of-way. The city filed suit in October after learning about the tree removals and also "red tagged" each of the properties to halt construction.  This settlement will enable construction to continue.

The recovery money will go to the Houston Parks and Recreation Department for reforestation purposes in the affected neighborhoods.

City Attorney David Feldman added that the city would continue to aggressively pursue any future offenders.