New SDOT Street Tree Manual available

A new Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Street Tree Manual is now available, providing a detailed tree-care reference for residents, developers, contractors and tree-service providers. It explains the requirements and standards established by the 2013 Street Tree Ordinance, which was updated for the first time in 50 years. 

Though it focuses on trees in the public right-of-way, the new manual is an overall guide on tree care and vegetation management. In it are specifics on city permitting, prohibited acts, pruning, planting, removal and protection during construction. 

The updated Street Tree Ordinance (Seattle Municipal Code 15.43) requires that tree-service providers working on trees in the right-of-way be registered with the city and be familiar with its requirements and tree-care standards.

Future plans for the manual include translation into additional languages and neighborhood outreach.

The City of Seattle owns nearly 40,000 street trees and maintains them with two full-time street-tree crews. Property owners are responsible for maintaining any street trees in the public right-of-way adjacent to their property, unless identified as city-maintained, and the trees on their own property that impact public space.

For more information, visit or call 684-TREE.