Tree Canopy in Landscaping

On October 8, 2014, the Snohomish County Council passed Ordinance No. 14-073 (PDF) relating to new regulations for tree canopy coverage. These new regulations, effective October 27, 2014, are located in Chapter 30.25 of the Snohomish County Code. The Snohomish County Code still requires that significant trees be retained in all Critical Area Protection Areas and buffers, and in site landscaping buffers.

Summary of new tree canopy regulations:

  • Applies to all new residential development within unincorporated UGAs
  • Certain development activities are exempt from tree canopy regulations
  • Tree canopy regulations apply to all properties whether they have existing tree canopy or not
  • Incentives to encourage retention of significant trees and tree canopy
  • Canopy requirements are based on development types and number of lots / units
  • Director may reduce canopy requirements under certain conditions
  • Complete development applications may opt-in to the requirements of approved Ordinance No.14-073. (PDF)
  • Link to Tree Canopy Ordinance Handout

Landscaping checklist, tree calculation worksheet and tree canopy database:

Annual Report on Tree Canopy
The Snohomish County Code, SCC 30.25.014, requires the preparation of an annual report on the implementation of the tree canopy regulations. This report is due on January 31 of every year.