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Trees…Trees…Trees! Everywhere Trees!

SDOT crew hard at work planting a tree.

The Seattle Department of Transportation, through its Urban Forestry Division, is responsible for managing more than 40,000 trees in the public right-of-way (ROW) and maintaining 123 acres of landscapes.  Work to these valuable assets include pruning, planting, watering trees and landscapes, repairing irrigation systems and reviewing landscape plans for new developments.


Much of this work is funded through the Bridging the Gap (BTG) Levy and is helping the city work towards its goal of expanding the urban tree canopy.  Over the first five years of BTG more than 4,200 new trees have been planted and nearly 17,000 have been pruned.  This critical funding has allowed SDOT to reduce the pruning cycle from nearly 25 years to 13 years, improving the health of all SDOT managed trees! 

In the first quarter of 2012, 271 trees have been planted and Urban Forestry expects to have 400 new trees in the ground by May 1, the end of the spring planting season.  More than 350 trees were pruned during first quarter and that number will explode over the next several months as we move into prime season for tree pruning!  Urban Forestry will prune more than 3,000 trees this year and plant 700. 

Newly planted tree.


Having a healthy tree canopy is important for any city.  Trees provide needed shade, habitat for wildlife, reduce air pollution, minimize stormwater runoff, and make neighborhoods more livable and walkable.  Trees help make our communities more liveable.  If you have questions or would like more information about the SDOT Urban Forestry Tree Program please visit their website.  In addition if you have concerns about specific trees in your neighborhood please call the citywide tree line at (206) 684-TREE.