Street Tree Permits

Please Note:

Based on information provided by WSDOT, on January 11, 2019, State Route 99 through downtown Seattle will be closing for approximately three weeks to realign SR 99 into the new tunnel. During the closure, both the viaduct and the tunnel will be closed. Drivers should expect up to six weeks of region-wide congestion. 

To minimize transportation impacts, construction and curbspace vending will be restricted on critical streets from January 4 - February 15, 2019. Please see the Restrictions During Viaduct Closure map showing streets where right-of-way closures will not be permitted.

If work has been scheduled during the restriction period, we will contact you prior to the closure of the viaduct. Your permit may be revoked with at least 30 calendar days' notice, per SMC 15.04.070. Any revoked permits will be re-issued after the closure with no additional costs.

Please see our informational one-page document for more information. 

In Addition:

The City of Seattle is still experiencing a high volume of construction applications for both private and public projects. Traffic Control Plan (TCP) reviews have extended beyond typical timelines, which is directly impacting timelines for Right-of-Way (ROW) Management permits. This is a temporary impact, improving as more resources become available and processes are streamlined.

Right now, the below timelines can be expected. These timelines may vary based on the complexity of the project.

  • ROW Management permit intake and screening timeline: 4 business days
  • ROW Management permit timeline without TCP: 4 weeks
  • ROW Management permit timeline with TCP: 11 weeks
  • Traffic Control Plan (TCP) reviews: 8 weeks

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)

Performing

  • 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.

Project Notification Templates

Project notifications are required for permitted work in the right-of-way that impede a mode of travel (e.g. pedestrian, bicycle, or vehicular closure). Notification requirements vary by project type and duration. Please see CAM 2117: Notification Requirements for Street Use Permittees.

For all permit types, the project notification must include the information listed in this template and in the "Project Notification Template Standards" listed in CAM 2117.

If your project will be longer than six months in duration, you will need to post and maintain an on-site project notice at each closure location visible to the public.

For crosswalk closures exceeding two weeks in duration, a crosswalk closure notice must be posted to, and maintained on, each crosswalk-closure barricade.

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.