Trees in the City of Bellingham

Trees in the City of Bellingham

​​Trees play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of life in the City of Bellingham. They bring beauty, increase property values, and lower energy costs by providing shade and cooling the environment. Furthermore, these majestic beings contribute to our infrastructure by preventing erosion, managing storm runoff, and offering food and shelter to wildlife. Thanks to Bellingham’s ideal climate, trees in this city experience rapid growth, thriving under the perfect combination of sunlight, moisture, and fertile soil.

As a proud Tree City USA community, the City of Bellingham recognizes and values the importance of trees. It stands as a testament to our commitment to sustaining our urban forest through citizen-based efforts, earning us national recognition.

Street Trees

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The growth and preservation of Bellingham’s urban forest require a collective effort from both the city government and its citizens. To encourage the use of street trees and other plantings within our city’s development, the City of Bellingham has compiled a comprehensive list of approved trees to assist in the selection process.

Additionally, the City of Bellingham has established a Street Tree Policy and a responsibility list, outlining the guidelines and roles regarding the care and maintenance of street trees.

Street Tree Permits

While the Approved Street Tree List serves as a guideline for planting trees within the public right-of-way, not all trees on the list are suitable for every location or condition. It is mandatory to obtain an approved Street Tree Permit from the City of Bellingham before planting in the right-of-way. To ensure a well-informed selection, we recommend consulting a landscape design professional who can guide you in choosing an appropriate tree and other vegetation for your site prior to submitting the Street Tree Permit application. In addition, the City has established design standards to guarantee proper street tree planting.

Please note that Street Tree Permit Applications must be submitted electronically along with your landscape plans to

Street Tree Pruning or Removal

Removing or pruning trees and other vegetation within a developed right-of-way requires an approved Street Tree Permit. Both the City of Bellingham and property owners share the responsibility for controlling vegetation in Bellingham.

Tree Planting Guide

Planting the right tree in the right place and maintaining it properly will yield healthy and beautiful trees that provide benefits to the community for years to come. The City of Bellingham has created a Tree Planting Guide as a valuable resource for anyone interested in planting trees within the city.

Tree Planting Volunteer Opportunities

The Parks Volunteer Program offers incredible opportunities for individuals and groups to participate in work parties focused on planting and caring for trees and native vegetation. If you want to contribute to the greening efforts of Bellingham, reach out to (360) 778-7105 for more information.

Park Trees

Should you have any questions or concerns about trees in City parks, please direct them to the Park Operations team at (360) 778-7100. Bellingham Parks & Recreation Department employs two dedicated positions that oversee tree care, staffed by ISA Certified Arborists who can address tree health and risk-related issues on City property.



Parks Department Contacts
Trail Guide
Park Guide

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