Tree Work Permits in the Seattle Area

Do I need a permit to prune or cut down my tree?

There are many site specifics that dictate whether or not a permit or public notification is required for your tree work project. For example:

Is your tree on a Public Right-of-Way?

Does the tree have a diameter of 6 inches or greater?

Is your tree protected by municipal regulations based on its species?

Are any of the branches being pruned 4 inches in diameter or thicker?

Our ISA Certified Arborists are well versed in the local codes and requirements for the City of Seattle and surrounding municipalities, and will not only inform you about the applicable permit requirements but, in most cases, can file for the permit on your behalf.

For more information about the most common permit requirements impacting property owners in our region click on the links below:


Tree Removal on Private Property

Mercer Island Tree Work Permits

Medina Tree Work Permits

Lake Forest Park Tree Permits

Shoreline Tree Removal Regulations and Permits

SDOT Street Tree Permits

Environmentally Critical Area Tree Permits

Permits for Hazard Tree Removal

Why Does Seattle Have a Municipal Tree Code?

Restrictions on tree care can help ensure the continued well-being of our urban forest. Some of the reasons why Seattle (and other cities) require permitting or a notification process include:

  • To protect trees: Trees are an important part of the urban environment and provide numerous benefits, such as shade, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitat. Putting restrictions on tree care helps to ensure that trees are cared for properly and in a way that promotes their health and longevity.
  • To prevent over-pruning: Pruning a tree incorrectly or too heavily can cause damage and stress to the tree, which can ultimately lead to its death. Requiring a permit or public notice helps to ensure that tree pruning is done properly and in a way that minimizes the need for later tree removal services.
  • To prevent harm to people and property: Improper or unlicensed tree trimming and removal can present a potential safety hazard, as branches or limbs may fall and cause injury or damage. Municipal regulations help to ensure that tree work is done by knowledgeable and experienced tree service companies in a way that minimizes these risks.

Overall, restrictions on tree pruning and removal in Seattle help to protect the city's trees and prevent potential harm to people and property. Before doing any tree work in the greater Seattle or Puget Sound area, we check local tree care regulations for each municipality we work in.



We'll let you know if your planned tree work requires a permit.