Trees do wonderful things for the City of Bellingham and contribute to our quality of life. Trees contribute in many ways. They add beauty, boost property values and reduce energy costs by cooling our environment. They contribute to our infrastructure by preventing erosion, reducing storm runoff and supplying food and shelter for wildlife. Bellingham has a climate conducive to rapid tree growth with the right combination of sunlight, moisture and soils.
The City of Bellingham recognizes the value of trees and is a proud Tree City USA community; recognized nationally for our citizen based effort to sustain our urban forest.
Improving Bellingham’s urban forest requires commitment and action by city government and by our citizens. As a means to encourage the use of street trees and other plant material in our city’s development, the City of Bellingham has compiled a list of approved trees to assist you with selection.
The City of Bellingham also has a Street Tree Policy, and responsibility list.
- Street Tree Policy (PDF)
- Street Tree Responsibility List (pending)
Street Tree Permits
The Approved Street Tree List is a guideline for planting inside the public right-of-way; the trees on the list are not approved for every location and every condition. The City of Bellingham requires an approved Street Tree Permit before planting in a right-of-way. We recommend that you consult a landscape design professional in the selection of an appropriate tree and other vegetation for your site before you submit an application for a Street Tree Permit. The City also has design standards to ensure proper street tree planting.
- Street Tree Permit Application (PDF)
- Tree Planting Detail Planting Strip – ST-184 (PDF)
- Tree Planting Detail Behind Sidewalk – ST-185 (PDF)
Street Tree Permit Applications must be submitted electronically with your landscape plans to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Street Tree Pruning or Removal
An approved Street Tree Permit is required before removing or pruning trees and other vegetation in a developed right-of-way. Controlling vegetation is the responsibility of the City of Bellingham as well as the property owners in Bellingham.
- Controlling Vegetation in the City of Bellingham (PDF)
- Specifications for Vegetation Trimming for Streets, Alleyways and Sidewalks (PDF)
Tree Planting Guide
Using the right tree in the right place and maintaining it will provide healthy, beautiful trees whose benefits can be enjoyed by the community for many years. The purpose of this Tree Planting Guide is to provide resources for planting trees in the City.
Tree Planting Volunteer Opportunities
The Parks Volunteer Program offers individuals and groups the opportunity to participate in work parties to plant and care for trees and native vegetation. For more information, call (360) 778-7105.
Questions or concerns about trees in City parks can be directed to Park Operations at (360) 778-7100. Bellingham Parks & Recreation Department has two positions dedicated to tree care. The staff in these positions are ISA Certified Arborists that can help address issues regarding tree health and tree risks on City property.