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Street Tree Removal Keeping Tacoma's Urban Forest Safe and Beautiful

Because it only takes a minute to improperly prune or remove a tree but a lifetime to grow one, it is imperative to protect and preserve mature trees from unnecessary removal or damage. A no-fee Tree Work Permit and barricade permit are needed for planting, pruning, or removal/replacement of trees in the right-of-way. Note that submitting an application does not entitle you to a permit, and that you must have the permit in hand before beginning any work.  

Tree removal requires the stump be removed at least eight inches below the surface of the ground. Tree and stump removal must be completed within 30 days of permit issuance. Failure to obtain a permit or meet the conditions of the permit may result in fines of up to $100 per violation and/or imprisonment in the County Jail for up to 30 days. (TMC 9.18.040).

Hazard Tree Removal

If a street tree is an imminent hazard, call 3-1-1 and request an emergency inspection.


Some important things to know about hazard trees:

  • What is a hazard tree? A hazard tree exists when the sum of the risk factors assessed equals or exceeds a determined threshold of risk. Below that threshold, the tree is not considered to be a hazard.

  • How are the risk factors assessed? Risk factors are assessed during a tree risk assessment performed by a Certified Tree Risk Assessor.

  • What is a tree risk assessment? Tree risk assessment examines the whole tree, or a part of it. It is only undertaken when there is a target (people and/or property within striking distance of the tree or its parts) that might be damaged if the tree or tree part were to fail.

Wood Waste Diversion (higher uses than firewood)
Consider other uses for the wood generated from pruning and removals, below we've included some resources for you.

Meyer Wells-local mill specializing in utilizing urban woods
Vashon Forest Stewards-local mill specializing in utilizing urban woods
Urban Hardwoods-local mill specializing in utilizing urban woods
Madera Woodworking-local artist and furniture maker who uses urban wood
Western Washington Small Scale Mills
Contact us at trees@cityoftacoma.org for other local woodworking artists