Seattle Needs an Updated Tree Ordinance!

Note: This letter has been updated July 2022, in response to  the council and SDCI having begun work on an updated ordinance. Even if you have sent a letter in the past, please send one again. Thanks!

Seattle is not only losing its big trees but many others as developers scrape lots clean of trees to maximize their building sizes. Other trees are being lost due to illegal cutting on already developed lots.  We are not only losing these trees but they are not even being replaced as required by city law. This loss of trees is most pronounced in the historically underserved areas of Seattle where access to a healthy tree canopy has been limited by race and income.

Please urge Seattle leaders to make protecting and growing Seattle’s urban forest and trees a priority in meeting Seattle’s urban canopy and environmental equity goals. Require the Department of Construction and Inspections to vigorously enforce all provisions in the current ordinance and future updates. If they cannot do this, then transfer tree oversight and protection to a new independent Department of Environment and Climate that has an Urban Forestry Division. 

Urge the city to strengthen our existing Tree Ordinance by sending an email today!