Tree protection regulations in Seattle

Trees are valued in Seattle and legally protected in a variety of ways. Tree protection regulations are contained in the Tree Protection Ordinance, Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) 25, 11, as well as the Environmentally Critical Area Code, SMC 25.09.

Much of Seattle consists of areas designated as “environmentally critical.” These areas include steep slopes, wetlands, streams and shorelines.

Before cutting or removing any trees in Seattle (especially any topping!), a landowner should consult with a certified arborist, experienced land use attorney, or both.

For additional information, a landowner can consult with the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) and the various client assistance memos addressing this topic.


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