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 respobnsibility list.
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 Applications must be submitted with your landscape plans to the Permit Center located in City Hall at 210 Lottie Street, Bellingham, WA 98225. Your application will then be routed to the Planning Department, Department of Public Works, and Parks & Recreation Department for review and approval.
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.
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.
Various parks in Bellingham boast tree collections worthy of a special trip for viewing:
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.