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Urban Forestry

Urban Forestry - The Trees of Tacoma


Champion Elm, Wright Park

About our Urban Forest 

The Urban Forestry Program is part of the Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability. Caring for Tacoma's urban forest is an important part of growing a sustainable, healthy, and vibrant city.


Tacoma's Urban Forest Management Plan

Trees along streets, in parks, open spaces, backyards, and across the city provide many benefits and make up Tacoma's "urban forest". Tacoma's urban forest is a valuable asset that (if properly maintained) will continue to add to the health of our community for generations to come. We are all under "One Canopy" and benefit from the proper care and enhancement of the trees in Tacoma.

To support this goal, The City of Tacoma has developed an Urban Forest Management Plan which creates a shared vision and road map for the trees in Tacoma. Visit the Urban Forest Management Plan website to learn more:



Urban Forest Management Plan Website



Updates to Tacoma Municipal Code regarding public trees

On December 12, 2023, Tacoma City Council voted to update Tacoma Municipal Code (TMC) regarding "pulbic trees", including street trees and trees on City-owned lands. Ordinance 28926 consolidates three TMC Chapters regulating tree removal, pruning, and planting in the right-of-way into one Title, “TMC 9.20 Urban Forestry”.  New permitting requirements went into effect on June 1st, 2024, and include consistency with industry standards and implementation of adopted City policies. Learn more about the adopted TMC 9.20 Urban Forestry.


Help Grow Tacoma's Urban Forest 

The goal of the Urban Forestry Program is to increase the tree canopy cover from approximately 20 percent (based on a 2018 analysis) to 30 percent in 2030. This will be achieved by planting trees with help from partner organizations and community members and by preserving existing healthy trees.


For information on the benefits of trees in cities, please read the "Outside Our Doors" report from The Nature Conservancy. See below for ways to get involved with helping to grow Tacoma's urban forest:


Grit City Trees

We can cultivate a better Tacoma – together. We recognize that our community needs to find ways to connect and invest in our wellbeing, our neighborhoods, and our community.  Adding more trees to neighborhoods is proven to help keep places cool during the hottest days, manage stormwater runoff, slow neighborhood traffic, provide mental health benefits, and so much more. Apply today for free street trees.  Follow the link above for the application. 


Tree Coupon Program

Tree Coupons are available to request each year from October 1 through March 15. These coupons can be redeemed by March 31 for $30 off per tree purchased (up to three trees) at local participating nurseries.


Community Tree Program

Equitable, community-focused urban forestry partnership between the City’s Urban Forestry Program and the Tacoma Tree Foundation. This Program aims to enhance community engagement, education, growth, and stewardship of Tacoma’s urban forest by reducing barriers and expanding programming to underserved and overburdened neighborhoods throughout Tacoma.

Meet the Team

Urban Forest Program ManagerMike Carey

Urban Forest Program Manager


Mike has worked in Green Infrastructure with the City since 2011, has been the City's Urban Forester since 2015, and is an ISA Certified Arborist since 2011. With roots in landscape architecture, construction, and restoration ecology, he is responsible for directing the City's urban forestry programs and developing policy to enhance the City’s tree canopy cover in support of the City’s Urban Forest Management Plan. Mike is grateful to influence investments in our natural environment to have a positive impact on community health outcomes.


Favorite Tree(s): Metasequoia glyptostroboides (dawn redwood) - for resilience; Quercus garryana (Garry oak) - for local ecology; Aesculus hippocastanum (European horse-chestnut) - for co-evolution with pollinating insects. 


Community Trees Program CoordinatorLisa Kenny

Community Trees Program Coordinator


Lisa is a certified ISA Arborist with a background in conservation, habitat restoration, community engagement, and even mushroom cultivation. Lisa is passionate about uplifting the voices of people of color in the larger environmental movement, as we will experience climate impacts first and worst. Lisa believes our communities hold innovative solutions needed to transform this narrative. She passionately manages the City's tree incentive programs.


Favorite Tree(s): Magnolias and Oaks! Magnolia × soulangeana (Saucer magnolia) in memory of her late grandmother and Quercus frainetto 'Schmidt', amore recent favorite.



Urban Forestry AnalystRyan Hebert

Urban Forestry Analyst


Originally hailing from northern Wisconsin, Ryan arrived in Tacoma in early 2020 after years of community development and reforestation work in Detroit. Ryan is an ISA certified Arborist and holds an MS in Applied Community & Economic Development. He loves biking around Tacoma in search of its biggest trees.


Favorite Tree: Pinus strobus (Eastern white pine)



Call 311 or use the online 311 tool so your request can be directed to the most appropriate department.


Visit our Tree FAQ page.


City of Tacoma Urban Forestry