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Introducing Trees for Seattle

The City of Seattle is introducing Trees for Seattle, the new name for all of the City of Seattle's urban forestry efforts, including Seattle reLeaf. Our name may be changing, but our commitment remains the same; ensuring that Seattle's urban forest is healthy, vital, and growing. You can continue to find information through our website here, or you can contact us at treesforseattle@seattle.gov or 206-684-TREE (8733). You can also follow us on facebook or sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Fall is Tree Planting Season

Fall is the best time of year to plant a new tree in Seattle. Trees planted in October-December benefit from our fall and winter rains, developing a stronger root system before the next summer dry spell.

If you're hoping to plant a tree this fall, we encourage you to think about the following questions:

  • Why am I planting a tree? Is it to add shade in summer, create a privacy screen, or simply add beauty?
  • What site factors will influence my tree selection? Be sure to think about how much available space you have, the surrounding structures like your house and fence, overhead power lines, and undergound utilities.
  • What is the right tree for my site? The key is right tree, right place. Consider the size at maturity, tree shape & form, whether you want a tree that is deciduous or evergreen, and whether the tree is approved for planting under power lines.
  • Is it a yard tree or a street tree? While you don't need a permit to plant a yard tree, you do need to obtain a planting permit from the Department of Transportation before planting any tree in the planting strip or right-of-way.

Learn more about selecting the right tree and planting location here. Questions? Email us at treesforneighborhoods@seattle.gov.


Street Tree Manual Available

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has a great new resource to provide a one-stop tree care reference for residents, developers, contractors, and tree service providers. The manual outlines the requirements and standards established in the 2013 Street Tree Ordinance. Click this link to open and explore the new manual.

If you have questions about the manual, contact SDOT at (206) 684-TREE or Seattle.Trees@seattle.gov.


Stop Tree Topping

If your trees are being pruned, be sure they are not being topped. Tree topping is an outdated pruning practice that indiscriminately removes large amounts of leaves and branches. It looks terrible, causes serious damage to the tree, and often turns a safe tree into a safety hazard. Check out this great resource from the City of Tacoma on why tree topping is a terrible way to treat your tree. If you are hiring someone to prune your trees, make sure they are an ISA Certified Arborist. A legitimate arborist will never recommend tree topping.


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