Tree Regulations

Private Property Regulations

Trees on public property, along street right of ways (improved or unimproved) and on private property are valuable community assets. Because of the many contributions trees provide from a local to a global scale, trees are protected. Trees are regulated on undeveloped and developed private property.

Street Trees

Trees located along streets are referred as street trees. They can be found between the sidewalk and curb in a planting strip or in sidewalk cut-outs. Street trees are also found within the street right of way where no street exists (dedicated right of way), where no sidewalk and curb exists (unimproved right of way) and in some alleys.

Street trees require permission to prune, remove, or otherwise treat in some fashion. However, property owners can water and mulch street trees without permission and the City encourages these activities for a healthy tree population.

Street Tree Regulations 

Regulations exist for planting, pruning, removing street trees (see supplemental information (e.g. proper pruning brochure and other links). Previously, many street trees were poorly or improperly maintained, tree removals were made without notice, and poor tree selection and placement happened when planting. The Urban Forestry Program aims to provides the expertise to improve tree maintenance and planting. A new Street Tree Regulation has been developed to provide guidance. Additional regulations will be incorporated into the Renton Municipal Code to improve tree protection and preservation.

Regulations include the following:

  • Plan review for street tree planting, pruning and removal

  • Spacing guidelines and tree species selection for street trees

  • Permits for land use, clearing and tree removal

  • Hazardous tree mitigation

Street Tree Regulations have become a part of city code, so please contact the Urban Forestry and Natural Resources Manager before you plant, prune, remove or perform any other work to or around street trees.

Construction is not compatible with an existing tree unless it is protected first. Use Renton Responds to contact the Urban Forestry Program to learn how the better protect trees during development. Large trees are valuable environmental resources worth preserving. 

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