• City of Tacoma QA
  • City of Tacoma OpenData

Hazardous Tree Assistance

Hazardous Tree Removal

If a tree in the public right-of-way is an imminent hazard, call 311 and request an emergency inspection.

  • What is a hazardous tree? A tree becomes hazardous when one or more significant structural defects meet or exceed a threshold of risk.  Below that threshold, a tree is not considered to be a hazard.
  • How are the risk factors assessed? They are assessed during a Tree Risk Assessment performed by a Certified Tree Risk Assessor.
  • What is a Tree Risk Assessment?  A process which examines the whole tree, or a part of it, when there is a target (people and/or property within striking distance of the tree) that might be damaged if the tree or tree part were to fail.

Hazardous Tree in ROW

Hazardous Tree Assistance Program

  • In accordance with Tacoma Municipal Code chapters 9.20, 8.30, 8.31, and 12.09, maintenance of trees and vegetation in the public right-of-way (ROW) is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner.  However, in recognition of the need to encourage tree planting and proactive tree maintenance in the ROW, as well as the need to address public safety without placing undue financial burden on community members, the City Council passed a dedicated budget for a Hazardous Tree Assistance Program*.  

*This program only applies to trees located in the public right-of-way.  Private property trees are ineligible.

  • How to Qualify?  There are two ways to qualify for assistance.  Applicants must meet one of the below to qualify:
  1. Adjacent property owner is currently enrolled, or eligible to participate, in a Tacoma Public Utilities Payment Assistance program.
  2. Property is located in a "Moderate" "Low" or "Very Low" opportunity area according to the Tacoma Equity Index.
  • What is Included?  
  1. A tree risk assessment
  2. Utility locates, if any in-ground work is required
  3. Pruning or removal of the tree as necessary to mitigate the hazard
  4. Stump grinding 
  5. Removal of wood waste 
  6. Planting of a replacement tree
  7. Watering for the first 3 years to establish the new tree
  • What is Not Included?  
  1. Landscape restoration or repair of ROW or adjacent property
  2. Maintenance of any other trees or vegetation in the ROW or adjacent property.
  3. Repair of pre-existing sidewalk damage
  • Trees Scenarios that are Not Eligible ? 
  1. Trees buckling sidewalks but which are otherwise not a public hazard (i.e. the sidewalk is a hazard but not the tree).
  2. Private property trees not causing a public hazard or determined to be causing only a private hazard.
  3. Power line or utility conflicts (call Tacoma Power at 253-502-8729).
  • What are the Steps?  
  1. If you believe that your scenario might qualify for assistance by meeting the conditions above, please call 311 or make a submission using the Tacoma FIRST 311 mobile app
  2. A City of Tacoma representative will assist you through the process to determine qualification.  If both the tree and property meet the qualifications, the application will proceed to the next phases (Assessment and Mitigation).
  3. The City will work with the applicant throughout the entire process.