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In the case of an imminent threat to life or property, emergency removal of dangerous trees may be undertaken prior to receiving a permit. If this is the case, you must notify the Planning Department within one working day and apply for a tree removal permit within one week. Please take photos prior to any emergency removal. For more information, contact the Planning Department at 206-368-5440, stop by the Permit Center at City Hall, or print a tree removal permit.
If you wish to remove one or more significant trees from your property, you should fill out the Tree Removal and Replacement Permit Application Form and turn it in to the Planning Department at Lake Forest Park City Hall. Significant trees are defined as any tree that has diameter** of six inches or greater. Exemptions: Dead Trees: If the tree is completely dead, you can remove it without a permit, but first please send photos of the tree to firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm the dead tree meets the definition of dead. If the tree is in an environmentally critical area, the stump must remain in the ground, and the City recommends leaving the bottom 12-18 feet of the tree for wildlife habitat. Trees under 6" in diameter** can be removed without a permit. as long as they are not in an environmentally critical area or tree conservation easement, and as along as they were not replacement trees for a previous permit. Read the full ordinance in the Lake Forest Park Municipal Code. *Contact the Planning Department to find out if the tree is in an environmentally critical area. **Diameter measured at 4.5 ft above grade.
Washington case law has determined that these issues are a civil matter between the neighbors involved. Though a dead or dying tree may pose a risk to property, there are no mechanisms by which the City may intervene in this case. If the tree(s) can be assessed from your property without entering your neighbor’s property, you may hire an ISA Certified Arborist to complete an assessment of the tree(s) and provide a report. This report may be useful in talking with your neighbor about the tree. You can search for an arborist on the website Treesaregood.org.