Frequently asked questions about trees

How do I find out if I need a permit to remove a tree from my property?

There are four types of tree permits that the city issues:

• 1. For tree removal and vegetation maintenance.

• 2. Minor critical areas.

• 3. Shoreline clearing.

• 4. A landmark tree.

The city arborist can help landowners determine which permit is needed based on zone designation, location in a critical area, proximity to the shoreline and tree size. For details, go to

How many significant trees can I remove from my property each year?

If your property is outside the Mixed-Use Town Center and High School Road zoning districts, you can remove without a permit up to six significant trees in any three-year period if your lot is one acre, or up to three if one acre or less.

The rule does not apply when the trees you’d like to remove are:

• 1. Required to be retained as a result of another provision in code.

• 2. Are in a critical area or critical area buffer, shoreline jurisdiction or qualify as landmark trees based on species and size and lot zoning.

How much does a permit cost and how long does it take?

As of this September, a non-hazardous tree permit cost will range from $1,340-$1,800; current costs are $180-$500. A permit for a confirmed hazard tree removal/vegetation maintenance does not have a fee. Expect one to two weeks for review and issue of a permit.

How do I determine if a tree on my property is hazardous?

Any tree removal due to potential hazardous tree designation, such as damage from a woodpecker or storm damage, needs to be assessed by an arborist certified by the International Society of Arboriculture and is Tree Risk Assessment Qualified.

Is mitigation required if I remove trees/vegetation from my property?

Mitigation may be required in the form of replanting and/or leaving a wildlife snag.

What is the difference between a significant tree and a landmark tree?

A landmark tree is known to be 100 years or older and must meet certain size criteria for its species.

Report an Issue

Residents can report tree, road and code issues anonymously through the SeeClickFit app or the online portal at, which will be sent to the code compliance officer, Jay Harris.

Tree regs

Bainbridge Island has released updates to city tree codes and regulations that can be found at