Seattle's Trees & Forests

Our Work

Trees and open spaces are integral to healthy urban environments.

Seattle’s trees have significant environmental, economic, and social benefits. Urban forests mitigate the health impacts of extreme heat, improve air and water quality, provide natural stormwater management and soil protection, and attract people to local business districts and community spaces. 
Managing Seattle’s urban forest to realize its benefits, grow our canopy, and increase resilience to climate change relies on Citywide planning and effective integration of goals, policies, and initiatives across departments and services. 
OSE works with staff and leadership across City departments to create a Seattle-wide strategic vision and approach to urban forestry.  
We aim to achieve a vision where everyone—starting with those most harmed by inequities—has access to trees and the benefits they provide and where we keep Seattle’s trees and forest healthy and thriving in the face of a changing climate. 

Our Programs

Every 5-years, the City conducts a Canopy Cover Assessments to track trends of our canopy cover. The first Canopy Cover Assessment was conducted in 2001. Seattle's canopy goal, established in 2007, is to reach 30% canopy cover by 2037, as well as to improve tree health and equitable distribution of trees to support community health and resilience to climate change.    

The City passed Ordinance 123052 in August 2009 establishing an Urban Forestry Commission (UFC) to advise the Mayor and City Council on policy and regulations for protecting, managing, and conserving trees and vegetation in the City of Seattle. OSE oversees and manages the Urban Forestry Commission.  

Seattle's newly updated Urban Forest Management Plan provides a framework for policy and action that guides City government decision-making to help Seattle maintain, preserve, enhance, and restore its urban forest. 

Sustainability and Environment

Jessyn Farrell, Director
Address: 700 5th Avenue, #1868, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94729, Seattle, WA, 98124-4729
Phone: (206) 256-5158

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We collaborate with City agencies, business groups, nonprofit organizations, and other partners to protect and enhance Seattle's distinctive environmental quality and livability.