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Seattle Tree Trimming for Street Trees


In Seattle, the greenery lining our streets isn’t just there to look pretty. It’s a crucial part of our city's urban landscape. Keeping those trees lush and safe isn’t just about watering them (though you should do that too). It’s also about giving them a good trim now and then, especially since there are city regulations to follow. Let’s break it down, focusing on those street trees, and why hitting up a pro for the job matters more than you might think.

What’s Up with Street Trees?

First things first, let’s talk about what street trees are. These are the trees you see in that space between the sidewalk and the road, known as the planting strip. While they add charm and clean air to our streets, it's generally the adjacent property owner who is responsible for managing them -- even if they're owned by the city. That means making sure they’re trimmed right, healthy, and not interfering with pedestrians or cars.

Seattle Department of Transportation ("SDOT") has clear rules on how to do this. Trees overhanging the road need to be trimmed up to 14 feet above the roadway -- otherwise those tall Amazon / FedEx trucks may bash into the branches and cause breaks & trauma to the tree.

Similarly, on the the sidewalk side, the trees need to be cleared above 8-foot clearance.

There are other regulations, but those are the big ones when it comes to Seattle tree trimming. Plus, if you’re tackling a street tree, you must work with a tree care contractor who’s on SDOT's list of Registered Tree Service providers, such as Blooma Tree.

Why Go Pro with Your Tree Trimming?

Hiring a professional for tree trimming in Seattle isn’t just about following the rules; it’s smart for a bunch of reasons:

  • They Know Trees: ISA-Certified Arborists can spot (and fix) structural issues or remove weak branches that you might not notice until it’s too late.

  • Safety First: Tree trimming, especially with larger trees, can be risky. Pros have the right gear and know-how to avoid accidents. They also carry proper worker's compensation coverage so you don't get caught up in a lawsuit if a worker gets hurt on the job.

  • Right Cut, Every Time: Mess up a trim, and you could hurt the tree more than help it. Pros know how to make proper pruning & trimming cuts per ANSA A300 standards.

When Should You Call in the Experts?

While regular upkeep is a must, some moments definitely call for the expertise of a professional tree trimmer:

  • Staying Legal: Making sure your street trees don’t block the way and tick off all of SDOT’s boxes is crucial. A pro will get it right without you having to stress over the details.

  • Keeping Things Solid: The last thing anyone wants is a tree coming down unexpectedly. Pros can make sure your street trees are as sturdy as they look. Blooma's arborists can also file permits for street tree removals if required.

  • Looking Good, Feeling Great: There’s more to tree trimming than just avoiding fines. A well-maintained street tree contributes to the neighborhood’s look and the local ecosystem.

Wrapping It Up: Tree Trimming Made Easy

Keeping up with your street trees in Seattle might seem like a bit of a chore, especially with all the rules. But, getting a professional to handle tree trimming Seattle street trees not only keeps you in the clear regulation-wise but also helps your trees live their best life. It’s about making the city safer, greener, and more enjoyable for everyone. (And it'll support your property value as well thanks to the curb appeal impact.)

Remember, it’s not just about cutting branches—it’s about doing it properly, safely, and in a way that supports our urban landscape. So, whether you’re a homeowner, running a business, or managing properties, please reach out to Blooma's ISA-Certified Arborists to set up a complimentary consultation!

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