Street Tree Permits

Please Note:

Changes to the Street Use permitting fee schedule will be going into effect on April 1, 2018. With approval from City Council as part of the 2018 budget, we are implementing changes to our permitting fee schedule to more accurately reflect the true costs of project permitting. Click here to read our fact sheet. 

For construction permits,
the permit issuance and renewal fee changes will be as follows:

  • ROWM Simple: $146 to $150
  • ROWM Complex: $305 to $313
  • Street Improvement Permits/Utility Major Permits: $146 to $4700
  • Permit modification and extension: $155 to $159

For short-term public space permits, the permit issuance fee is increasing from $146 to $175.

For long-term public space permits, the issuance fee is increasing from $146 to $224, while the annual renewal fee is increasing from $140 to $170.

Costs will be decreasing for permits for public amenities, such as street furniture and artwork. While the issuance fee for public amenities is increasing from $146 to $224 for the first year of issuance, permit holders will be allowed to renew their permits for free every year thereafter, as long as renewal is approved.

Lastly, the general rate for permit review and site inspections is increasing from $209/hour to $260/hour.

We will be hosting at least two workshops to provide further guidance and additional information through this process. Workshops will be held:

  • March 5, 10 AM - 11 AM, Seattle Municipal Tower (700 5th Ave), Floor 38, Room 3832
  • March 15, 10 AM - 11 AM, Bank of America Building (800 5th Ave), Floor 30, Room 3004

Please contact Liz Sheldon at to RSVP.

If you have questions concerning these changes, please contact or call (206) 684-5253. For questions related to Public Space permits, please contact or call (206) 684-5267.

Cashier Station at Street Use Permit Counter

In Addition:

We are adding a new dedicated cashiering station at our Street Use permit counter! The new station is scheduled to open by June 2018. Check out our one-page fact sheet here!

Questions? Email


Due to a high volume of permit applications and significant staff transitions, we are currently experiencing longer permit counter wait times and permit application review timelines. Please plan your trip to the permit counter and project timelines accordingly.

Permit Counter Wait Times (may vary with number of visitors)
           Construction use: 40-60 minutes
           Minor utility: 20-40 minutes

Permit Review Timelines (may vary with permit complexity)
           Arterial streets / construction hubs: 8-10 weeks
           Non-arterial streets:  6-8 weeks
           Modification requests: 4-6 weeks

(Note: Individual status inquiries may not be responded to if the permit review time has not exceeded the timelines listed above.)

SDOT issues Urban Forestry Permits for the following in the public right-of-way:

  • Plant a tree
  • Prune a tree
  • Remove/Replace a tree

The right-of-way includes the space between the edge of the street and the sidewalk (or the space where a sidewalk would be located.) This area is commonly called the “planting strip.”

Permit requirements are based on specific site conditions and individual tree species.

SDOT arborists review applications to ensure the health, preservation, and expansion of Seattle’s urban forest.

Do you need a permit?

You will need a permit if your proposed work involves planting or removing/replacing a tree. If your proposed work involves major pruning, which includes pruning branches or roots that are larger than 2 inches or which comprise more than 15% of foliage-bearing area, a permit is required.

Permit requirements

In some cases, an Urban Forestry Permit application package requires more than just the application form. Please use the table below for details on which additional materials are required. Please review the “Job Details” column and check all that apply. (This table is also available in the Additional Details Handout.

Job Details Document(s) Required
Planting street trees required as part of an already permitted Street Improvement Project (SIP) None
Minor pruning of street tree branches or roots less than 2" in diameter and comprising less than 15% of foliage-bearing area No Urban Forestry permit required. Other permits may be required (see below)


  • a street tree removal,
  • a street tree planting,
  • major pruning of street tree, branches or roots greater than 2” diameter, or
  • major pruning comprising more than 15% of foliage-bearing area
  • Urban Forestry permit application
  • Site plan
  • Pruning plan if pruning
Work is on an arterial street and will take more than 2 hours per day Construction Use permit application²
Traffic Control Plan
Pedestrian Mobility form
Work is on a non-arterial street and will take more than 8 hours per day Construction Use permit application²
Pedestrian Mobility form
Work is in Hub Area or High Impact Area downtown Traffic Control Plan
Contact hub coordinator via phone or email with proposed work dates and hours. Contact 3 weeks prior to proposed dates.

Key details

  • Approved permits will include site-specific requirements and best management practices (BMPs) that must be followed for the duration of the project.
  • Your approved/issued permit must be maintained at the work site at all times when work is taking place.

Tree Removal Notice PDFs

For information on additional requirements to remove a street tree, please see the Street Tree Manual, CAM 2307 Public Notice Posting, and CAM 2302 Tree Pruning or Removal Permits. Please note that simply posting a Tree Removal Notice for 14 days does not allow you to remove a street tree. All street tree removals also require an approved Tree Permit.