New tree service provider requirements coming soon!

On April 5, 2022, Seattle City Council passed Council Bill 120207 requiring all tree service providers to register to conduct business in Seattle. The bill requires property owners to use registered providers and post a notice of major pruning or removal of trees three days before the work is done. A new Director’s Rule to help clarify the provisions of this new legislation and a new Tip to help applicants navigate the registration and public notice process will be published in Septemberember.


Why This Matters

The City of Seattle is committed to protecting our urban canopy. Trees add value to your property and the surrounding community. Canopy cover is one important measure of the health of the urban forest. Urban trees provide numerous ecological, economic, and social benefits, including wildlife habitat, neighborhood livability, and improved public health outcomes. This registry will be accessible to the public so that owners, residents, and neighbors can be assured a registered company knowledgeable with tree regulations and best practices is completing work in their neighborhood.


Tree Service Provider Registry Requirements

The Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection (SDCI) will launch a tree service provider registry on August 26, 2022. The registry will be published on the SDCI tree code webpage and will contain a directory of tree service providers eligible to complete tree work beyond routine maintenance on private property in Seattle in accordance with the tree code.


Beginning August 26, tree service providers should create an account and register with SDCI on the Seattle Services Portal. This is a digital application; if you need a paper application form or need assistance completing your application, please call us at 206.233.5185 or contact us via our Submit a Request form. To help route your request, indicate that you need help with “Permits, codes, zones, plans,” then select “Land Use” as the type of help you need, and then select “Trees” in the description field.

  • All tree service providers that conduct removal*, major pruning**, or consulting services for trees in Seattle*** must register by November 10, 2022.

  • Tree service providers must commit to following the tree protection regulations found in SMC 25.11, Director’s Rule 16-2008, and ANSI A-300 Pruning Standards (or subsequent standard).

  • Failure to register or receiving two violation notices will prevent tree service providers from being eligible to conduct business in Seattle.

  • Please note that the SDCI tree service provider registry covers work on private property and is different from the SDOT tree service provider registry that regulates work that occurs in the public right-of-way. You must register on each one separately; links to each may be found on the Seattle Services Portal.

*Removing any tree over 6 inches in diameter.

**Major pruning work for any tree on private property. Major pruning is removing any branch or root 2 inches in diameter or greater, or the removal of more than 15% of the tree canopy. You do not need to be registered to complete other routine pruning and maintenance of trees.

***Conducting tree assessments for an arborist report.

Property Owner Requirements

  • Starting November 10, you must hire a registered tree service provider to complete most tree work on your property. You will be able to view the list of registered providers on the SDCI Trees & Codes webpage.

  • Starting November 10, property owners are required to post a public notice of major pruning or removal of trees on the property at least three days before a tree service provider starts the work. To create the public notice, you must complete the form that will be provided on the Seattle Services Portal.

  • Property owners completing routine pruning and tree maintenance on their property are not required to register or post a notice.


~Submitted by Anne Depue