Tree Program

Tree Program Timeline Infographic

Overview

Snohomish’s urban forest is an important resource to the City and its residents.  Trees provide a multitude of physical, environmental, aesthetic, and economic benefits.  The City is undertaking a project to establish a Tree Program in 2022 and 2023, in order to ensure this critical resource is properly maintained.  


The project goals are to improve processes and public access, close gaps in tree-related policies and regulation, and ultimately apply for Tree City USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation.


In order to meet these goals, the following work items are planned for 2022 and 2023:

  • Tree Inventory
  • Planting Prioritization Plan
  • Tree Management Plan
  • Tree Code Update; Chapter 14.240 SMC
  • Public access and resources

Tree Inventory

The City was awarded the Community Forestry grant from the Department of Natural Resources in order to conduct an inventory of all trees in the public right-of-way as well as in select parks and City properties.  Trees located on private property will not be included.  Basic information about each tree will be collected and mapped.  This will include species, diameter, height, and a basic health assessment.  

The tree inventory field work will begin the week of October 10th, and is anticipated to take no more than two weeks.

The inventory will be conducted by a consultant using professional arborists.  After the field work is complete, the data will be transmitted to City staff for evaluation.  This data will be converted into a map that will be publicly available on this webpage, so stay tuned for more!

Planting Prioritization Plan

The information in the tree inventory will establish baseline conditions of the City’s urban forest.  This is vital to the next step, which is a Planting Prioritization Plan.  This plan will identify areas with unequal access to trees, so that future planting efforts can be focused in those areas.

Tree Management Plan

The health assessment information learned from the tree inventory will be classified into different categories: excellent, good, fair, poor, critical, and dead.  This information will determine the schedule for maintenance activities.  Moving forward, ongoing management will be based on the classification.

Tree Code

All of the planning efforts to inventory, prioritize, and coordinate urban forestry in the city will culminate in an update to the tree code beginning in 2023.  The existing code is Chapter 14.210 SMC.  Tree regulations are combined with fences and retaining walls, as well as development standards for site landscaping.  The tree retention standards comprise a small portion of the chapter, and are not easy to understand or administer.  


Policy decisions will need to be made about how to regulate and process tree-related management proposals, and the public will be asked to weigh in.  Information about future meetings will be available on this page, so stay tuned and be sure to participate in the discussions.

Public Access and Resources

Keep an eye on this page to access additional materials as they become available.  


tree services web graphic
DNR logo

Funding to support this project was provided by the State of Washington Department of Natural Resources Urban and Community Forestry Program.