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Trees for Neighborhoods

Tree Walks

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Urban Forestry Commission

Street Tree Inventory Map

Fall is Tree Planting Season!

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Fall is the best time to plant new trees in Seattle. Trees planted in the fall will get plenty of moisture during the rainy months ahead to help them grow and thrive. Thinking about planting a tree in your yard, but want some assistance? Sign up here for the Trees for Neighborhoods email list to get all the details for 2015's planting project.


Seeking Public Comment on Proposed Street Tree Manual

The Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT) Urban Forestry section has opened the proposed Street Tree Manual for public comment, which serves as the Director’s Rule providing requirements for the recently updated the section of Seattle Municipal Code (SMC Title 15.43) relating to Trees and Vegetation. SDOT hopes that this manual will improve the quality of tree care in Seattle, and will help preserve our valuable tree resource. One of the newest aspects of the Street Tree Ordinance and Manual is that it clarifies prohibited acts and associated penalties.

The public comment period will be open from October 17, 2014 through November 7, 2014. SDOT encourages you to review and provide feedback on the proposed Street Tree Manual. You can find it online at If you wish to make comments, please send them to with the subject line “Street Tree Manual”.



Rainier Beach Tree Walk

Saturday, November 15
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Meet at 4525 S Cloverdale in the YMCA parking lot
RSVP here

Join Seattle reLeaf intern Hailey for tree walk through Rainier Beach, home to many interesting neighborhood trees. There's something to learn for everyone and all are welcome on this 1.5 hour stroll. Can't join us this time? Check out all of the self-guided tree walks here.


Green Seattle Day on November 8th

Green Seattle Day is a meaningful way to connect with Seattle's parks and help create a healthy and vibrant community by planting native trees and shrubs in a park near you. This year's hub is the Rainier Beach Community Center, where volunteers will meet at 9am and head out to one of four parks nearby. At noon, a catered Ethiopian lunch will be served at the community center. More information here.



Greening Rainier Beach

The City of Seattle is focusing on growing trees in the Rainier Beach neighborhood. Throughout the year, you may see us working on important tree projects such as planting, caring for young trees, pruning, and clearing trees away from power lines to reduce power outages. Learn more about our efforts in Rainier Beach and how you can get involved.


Stop Tree Topping

The arrival of summer often prompts people to prune their tree. 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.


Seattle Aubudon Launches New Tree Map

Seattle Audubon has recently launced an amibitious new website which seeks to map trees across the city and quantify the many benefits such as cleaner air and cleaner water that those trees provide. Check it out and add your favorite tree today!


Our Urban Forest is Among the Top 10 in the Country!

American Forests has just named the 10 Best Cities in the country for urban forestry - and Seattle is one of them! Seattle's high ranking was based on these criteria:

  • Civic engagement in maintaining the urban forest;
  • Urban forest strategies and city greening to address city infrastructure challenges;
  • Accessibility of urban forest and greenspaces to the public;
  • Overall health and condition of the city’s urban forest;
  • Documented knowledge about its urban forests; and
  • Urban forest management plans and management activities.

You can read more in local press reports from King5 and KPLU. You can also check out the case study American Forests recently published about Seattle and see how we stack up compared to Portland, Milwaukee, Denver, Baltimore, and more.


Have a Question about Trees? Ask Our Experts!

Ask our experts.

Q. Why should I plant a large tree?

A. Healthy, mature trees provide many benefits to people and the environment. To maximize those benefits, plant a tree with the largest mature size that fits your space.

Large trees often become treasured neighborhood assets.  Research has shown that they provide higher quality habitat for birds and other wildlife, and they have larger root systems to help stabilize hillsides and prevent erosion. Large trees do more to buffer weather conditions, providing shade on hot days to reduce the need for air conditioning, and blocking winter winds to help save on heating bills.

Large evergreen trees, especially conifers, are even better. Because large conifers grow so tall in our region, they produce a larger volume of leaf area on a smaller footprint – using the same amount of yard space but working harder to take in carbon dioxide, produce oxygen, and filter out air pollutants. And because evergreens hold their needles and leaves through the winter, our rainy season, they reduce stormwater runoff to a much greater extent than do small deciduous trees.

Before choosing a tree, make sure you have enough space for it to reach its mature size. If you have a big enough area, larger trees will provide the most benefits.

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