Street Tree Permits

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.

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.