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A healthy urban forest is essential  to maintain Tumwater’s natural beauty. By caring for and managing the trees in our community, the city not only protects the environment but provides ample benefits to those who live, work and recreate here. Some of those benefits include improvements to air quality, ground stability, scenery, and water filtration.

Because trees have such a significant impact on the community, the City of Tumwater provides guidance on selecting tree species and tree care (no topping) and requires a tree permit for removal. The Tree Board provides guidance to the City Council for tree policies and related urban forestry projects.

Urban Forestry Management Plan

Starting in January 2018, the City of Tumwater Tree Board, City Staff, City consultant, and stakeholders, including any residents interested in participating in the planning process, will be starting work on an Urban Forestry Management Plan for the City’s urban forest.  The intent of the project is to prepare a plan to guide policies and implementation actions for the maintenance and improvement of the urban tree canopy in Tumwater for the next 20 years.  The plan will provide outline services to maintain and enhance public and private trees throughout the City.

The City Council adopted the City’s current Urban Forestry Plan in 1996 and Comprehensive Street Tree Master Plan in 2002.  In the eighteen years since that time, the City has grown considerably in area and population.  The standards for tree protection are codified in the Tumwater Municipal Code (TMC) Chapter 16.08 – Protection of Trees and Vegetation, which was last substantially updated more than ten years ago in 2006.

The City Council’s City of Tumwater Strategic Priorities 2017-2022 identified “Develop new approaches to tree preservation and urban forestry management” as part of their “Be a Leader in Environmental Sustainability” goal and made it a priority in the 2017-2018 City of Tumwater Budget.  The Urban Forestry Management Plan was one of the primary tasks of the Tree Board in 2018 and 2019.  The Tree Board advises the City Council on urban forestry issues, including drafting comprehensive tree protection plans and regulations and any other tree matters. The Plan is now in the review and adoption phase with the Planning Commission and City Council in the spring and summer of 2020 with the support of the Community Development Department staff.

We anticipate that the Urban Forestry Management Plan will guide the future stewardship of forests within Tumwater by focusing on effective management of trees and understory on municipal property while assisting private property owners through outreach and education programs to manage trees on private lands.  Goals of the plan include minimizing loss of forest canopy cover on public lands and increasing the diversity of trees in the urban forest.

Be part of the planning to promote and enhance the City's urban forests. 

For more information contact Brad Medrud, Long Range Planning Manager, or call the Community Development Department at 360-754-4180.

Municipal Code:  TMC 16.08 Protection of Trees and Vegetation

Urban Forestry Management Plan Documents


Call the Community Development Department at (360) 754-4180 or