When do I need a permit to remove a tree?

    On private property, a permit is currently required to remove trees in any of the following situations:

    • Removing any landmark tree. These are any trees at least 24 inches in diameter, measured four feet about the existing grade, and at least 20 feet tall. Only licensed contractors may remove landmark trees.
    • Removing more than five significant trees within three years. A significant tree is at least eight inches in diameter, measured four feet about the existing grade.
    • The property is located in an R-1 zone in Bridle Trails.
    • The property is part of a designated critical area or buffer.
    • The property is a commercial or multifamily zoned property.

    In any case, prior to cutting or removing any trees, it is recommended that you contact the Land Use review team at landusereview@bellevuewa.gov or 425-452-4188 to ensure compliance with applicable codes and to understand any permit requirements.

    It is illegal to remove, prune or top trees on public property. If you have questions about trees located in city rights-of-way, please contact the Transportation Department’s Right of Way Division at rightofwayuse@bellevuewa.gov or 425-452-4189.

    How do I get a permit to remove a tree?

    Apply for a permit online at MyBuildingPermit. When entering your Application Information, choose the following:

    1. Application type: Clearing and Grading
    2. Project type: Single Family Residential or Multifamily Residential or Nonresidential
    3. Activity type: Trees or Vegetation only
    4. Scope of work: Tree Removal or Vegetation or Vegetation Management

    What do I do if I believe someone is violating tree regulations?

    To confirm whether tree removal activity is connected with a permit or a potential violation that needs code compliance involvement, it is recommended to first contact the Land Use and Zoning information desk at luzi@bellevuewa.gov or or 425-452-4188.

    You may also report a potential code violation using the MyBellevue app.

    What do I do if I believe a tree is unhealthy and/or unsafe?

    To ensure you are not needlessly removing an otherwise healthy tree, consult a qualified certified arborist or certified forester. There are two websites that can help:

    To report a potentially unhealthy tree on park property, call 425-452-6855 or email parksweb@bellevuewa.gov. To report a potentially unhealthy tree in the public right of way, call 425-452-4189 or email rightofwayuse@bellevuewa.gov.