Protecting and Enhancing Seattle's Tree Canopy as the City Densifies

posted Jun 4, 2018, 10:38 PM by CBF

Seattle’s urban forest is an integral and vital part of our city.  It provides many benefits and amenities to those living in Seattle and region.  Trees help clean our air and enhance public health, reduce stormwater runoff, mitigate climate change, increase property values, decrease the impacts of heat and wind, provide habitat for birds and wildlife and connect us with nature in our neighborhoods. 

Seattle’s current rules regarding tree removal have been not effective in identifying and preserving trees or replacing trees lost to development. As a result, Seattle is rapidly loosing it’s urban canopy and all of the critical functions a robust tree canopy provides. See recent article by Investigate West:

A coalition of local groups including Friends of Urban Forests, TreePac, Plant Amnesty, The Audubon Society, Seattle Greenspaces, and others are working to develop an improved tree ordinance that seeks to balance tree preservation and growth with the goal of a net increase in Seattle’s urban tree cover to reach the City’s stated goal of 30% tree canopy.

It is urgent that the Mayor and the City Council act now to pass an effective ordinance to stop the loss of trees, particularly exceptional trees, Heritage trees and tree groves, and to promote environmental equity as we commit to increasing our tree canopy. 

The Phinney Ridge Community Council will have a presentation on a new Draft Seattle Tree Ordinance at the Phinney Center at 7:00 pm on June 5.  We are actively seeking community input at this meeting. Please join us.