We’re not called the Emerald City for nothing; Seattle loves its trees and we try to retain as many trees as possible, There Comes a Time When a Tree May Need to Be Removed. This is for the entire city limits of Seattle, which includes all the way up to Highway 523 north of Lake City and South to White Center and the city border of Renton and Tukwila.
Here’s what Seattle says when it comes to tree and vegetation removal. Trees play a big part in managing stormwater, stabilizing slopes, providing habitat, reducing air pollution, and contributing to neighborhood character. That’s all well and good. But because of this, they regulate their tree and vegetation removal on private property only in certain situations.
For tree removal, their codes limit the number and size of trees that you’re allowed to cut down. This is called their Tree Protection Code and you can read about it here. They also have restrictions on whether you can remove shrubs and other vegetation as well. The code requires examination of environmentally critical areas, undeveloped land, and developed property. They don’t want you removing any exceptional trees undeveloped property. These are trees that are of significant size and have historical, ecological, or aesthetic value. You can also not cut down more than three non-exceptional trees 6 inches or greater in diameter each year. (So choose wisely).
You can remove trees determined to be hazardous through a hazard tree assessment by a certified tree risk professional, that would be us.
Bottom line, if you live in the city, in a dense neighborhood and you want to remove the tree, it’s important to talk with the city before making any drastic moves. As an arborist and tree removal specialists, we can find out those answers for you to help you make the right decision as far as the tree to remove, how to remove it safely, and if you should replace it with anything.