Request Tree Assistance

Contact Information
Ian Gray
Urban Forestry and Natural Resources Manager
1055 South Grady Way
Renton WA 98057

Cost of not pruning a tree

Is it a Street, Park, and Natural Area Tree?

Is it a tree on privately-owned property?

Does it involve sidewalks, streets, transportation, and/or utility?

Street, park, and natural area trees

The Urban Forestry Program uses the house and street address for locating trees and to check if they are in the city’s tree inventory database. Residents can use this database themselves to check property lines and city tree locations. This location information is collected in Renton Responds and is used for public and private tree inspections. The arborist inspector inspects trees using the same information and evaluates the tree in terms of general condition and any obvious problems. Prescriptions for treatment are entered into a work order database only for public trees using a prioritization procedure. Actual maintenance can take upwards of a year or longer to occur, depending on the urgency of the risk posed by the tree.

Following an inspection, a response is emailed, or other communications used, to relay information of any action to be taken by either the city or by the property owner. Some of the more frequent private tree issues encountered include dangerous trees on adjacent property, inspection of trees from Community and Economic Development department staff requests (code compliance, permit applications and development regulations), and providing general information to property owners about adjacent city trees.

Recommended Trees

Tree Planting Diagram

Trees come in all sizes and growth habits.

It is important to consider that information before making a purchase. Once planted, the tree can provide years of enjoyment or years of agony because the tree grew too large or came apart in a snow storm.

Here are some general guidelines before you select a tree to plant:

What site constraints does the proposed location contain? Select species that will fit into the location 30, 50, or 80 years out.

Consider these guidelines:

  • Small mature tree (less than 35 feet tall) – plant no closer than 20 feet from obstructions such as a house or garage or overhead electric lines.
  • Medium mature tree (35 to 50 feet tall) – plant no closer than 30 feet from obstructions, do not plant beneath overhead electric wires.
  • Large mature tree (50+ feet tall) – no closer than 40 feet from obstructions, do not plant beneath overhead electric wires.
  • Spacing between trees – depends upon their mature spread but generally for columnar trees with upright growth habit and evergreen-needle trees (conifers) no closer than 30 feet. For larger spreading leave (deciduous) trees, 60 feet apart.
  • Plant as far from concrete and asphalt surfaces as possible. Tree roots can grow 60 to 90 feet away or further from the trunk, with the major larger roots staying up to about one-third that distance from the trunk, depending upon the species.
  • Other variables that come into play include soil type, amount of shade or sun required to keep the tree healthy, exposure to the sun and wind (heat buildup from a wall, requires more water than other trees, rooting ability to keep it upright and the like).

The internet can provide an exhaustive list of trees for consideration and includes descriptions of the trees, their ultimate size, the conditions they grow best under and more. The Urban Forestry Program can assist with local information and knowledge about trees to be considered by emailing Urban Forestry staff.


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