Tree Permits and Information
The following information should help you understand how to comply with the City’s municipal code regarding tree regulations. To read the full regulations, please refer to Chapter 16.14 of our municipal code. Trees located within shoreline jurisdiction are regulated through the city’s shoreline master program.
Click here for an overview of tree removal and replacement requirements. Click here for requirements for tree removal and replacement related to development projects. Click here for information on tree removals located in critical areas and what to do for an emergency tree removal.
What Type of Permit Do I Need?
There are several factors that determine whether you need a "Major Tree Permit" or a "Minor Tree Permit." Major permits require a site visit from the City Arborist and an arborist report from an ISA Certified Arborist, whereas Minor Permits do not. Use the decision-making tool linked below to find out which type of permit you’ll need.
Do I need a major or minor permit?
How to I measure my multi-stemmed tree?
How do I convert tree circumference to diameter?
Download the Tree Removal and Replacement Application
Regardless of whether you need a Major or Minor Permit, you can use the application form below:
Click here to download the Tree Removal and Replacement Application Form
Turn in your application Monday - Friday, 9am-12pm or 1pm-3pm. An application fee of $120.00, in the form of cash, check, or credit/debit card (3% fee added) is due at application. For major tree removals, an arborist report needs to be submitted as part of the application. City Arborist review for major tree permits is required and billed to the applicant at a rate of $95/hour.
What Happens after I turn in a tree removal and replacement application?
For Minor Tree Permits
A yellow laminated Notice of Application will be prepared for you, which you will be required to post in a conspicuous location along a public road so that people driving or walking by can see it, for no less than two business days prior to scheduled tree removal. The notice posting shall remain posted until the permit is issued.
If the City receives comments regarding the proposed tree removal, you may be contacted by our City Arborist to discuss the proposal in more detail, and possibly to discuss alternative options to removal if the tree or trees are considered healthy and worthy of retaining.
A permit may be issued after two business days of posting, provided the tree contractor has a valid City of Lake Forest Park business license. The issued laminated goldenrod permit will need to be posted on the day of removal and remain posted for at least one week following the tree removal.
You must plant at least one tree for each tree removed. The replacement tree(s) must provide equal or greater canopy coverage (based on the LFP Tree List) to those that have been removed. A plan for replacement must accompany the application for removal. City staff can assist you with the materials, but it is the responsibility of the applicant to propose the type and approximate placement for tree replanting.
For Major Tree Permits
A yellow laminated Notice of Application will be prepared for you, which you will be required to post in a conspicuous location along a public road so that people driving or walking by can read it, for no less than 14 days prior to scheduled tree removal. The notice posting shall remain posted until the permit is issued. When the proposal involves removing five or more trees and constitutes 50 percent or more of the canopy on the subject lot, notice of application and public comment procedures shall comply with LFPMC 16.26.040(D)(1) and (E)(1).
Your application will then be reviewed to our City Arborist, who will perform a site visit in order to assess the health and risk potential for the tree or trees proposed for removal. Once our arborist has completed their review, you will be notified with the permit decision. This permit review process typically takes 2-3 weeks depending on the scale of the project and provided the tree contractor has a valid City of Lake Forest Park business license.
The issued laminated goldenrod permit will need to be posted onsite the day it is issued. Removal may commence 15 days after the issuance of the approved tree permit. The tree permit shall remain posted at least one week (seven calendar days) after the approved activity has been completed. Tree replacement for Arborist Review permits is calculated based on the lot’s canopy coverage goal. If the tree removal causes the property to fall below the canopy coverage goal, a replacement plan to bring the property back to that goal (at 30 years growth) is required prior to permit issuance, and the permit conditions must be recorded with King County. If the property was below the canopy coverage goal prior to tree removal, the property owner must replace trees to reach the canopy percentage that existed prior to tree removal.
Permits Associated with Major Development Activity
Major Development Activity is defined as subdivisions, short plats, new construction, demolition, or any project that adds 1,000 square feet or more of impervious surface to a site. When tree removal is proposed with Major Development Activity, a Major Tree Permit is required, with these additional requirements:
-The City Arborist must approve the tree protection measures for any trees to be retained and inspect these prior to construction. It is the applicant’s responsibility to arrange for the City Arborist to be on-site for a pre-construction meeting, once a building permit is issued.
-If the lot is below the canopy coverage goal prior to tree removal/construction, the property owner must plant trees to achieve the canopy coverage goal
-Tree permit conditions must be recorded with King County
-Viable Trees may not be removed from the property for five years after development completes.
Permit Associated with Minor Development Activity
Building applications for construction near a tree, that do not involve new construction or adding 1,000 square feet or more of impervious surface are considered Minor Development Activity. Whenever Minor Development Activity takes place within the critical root zone of a tree, a Major Tree Permit is required. In general, a tree’s critical root zone is 1 foot for every inch of the tree’s diameter. For instance, a tree with a diameter of 24 inches has a critical root zone of 24 feet from the base of the tree. It is the applicant’s responsibility to arrange for the City Arborist to be on-site for a pre-construction meeting once a building permit is issued.
Please direct any questions regarding our tree code to email@example.com.
Information on proper practices for planting a tree with a nine-step approach to successful planting and establishment.
Learn about what trees are found in this area and descriptions of those trees.
Browse through a list of tree heights to find a tree that is appropriate to plant in your location.
See the tree canopy coverage of each parcel in Lake Forest Park, and see which parcels are below canopy coverage goals.
Find guides on walks that you can take around Lake Forest Park.