In most cases you need a permit to remove a tree in your front yard. A permit is always required to remove, prune or plant a tree near a sidewalk or street. This applies to residents, HOA's and businesses.
If you are planting a Street Tree (a tree between the sidewalk and street), the City will advise you on the best tree for the spot. The Permitting Department takes into account nearby concrete, utility lines, tree, root size and other factors.