Whether you're driving through O.O. Denny Park, shopping on Park Lane, or taking a stroll on the Juanita Bay Park boardwalk, you can't help but notice the trees in Kirkland! Trees everywhere: in forested areas, parks, along streets and in yards, are all part of the urban forest
. The urban forest is a valuable natural resource that contributes to our health, safety, community character, and economic stability; affecting the air and water where we live. Trees do this by:
Improving air quality and producing oxygen
Reducing the urban heat island effect
Controlling stormwater runoff and soil erosion
Contributing to reductions in crime and increased property values and health and well-being
Providing wildlife habitat and bird migration corridors
In 2011, the City of Kirkland nearly doubled its land area with an annexation, increasing its urban forest resource considerably to over 4,600 acres of tree canopy coverage. As a Tree City USA for eleven consecutive years, Kirkland has established a tree protection ordinance, conducted a comprehensive tree canopy assessment
, drafted at 20-year Forest Restoration Plan for Park open spaces, adopted a Strategic Management Plan and formed an inter-department team to implement the Plan
Urban Forest Strategic Management Plan
Currently, 82% of all Americans live in cities, where many elements can harm trees, shortening their normal life expectancy. To maximize benefits that trees provide for residents within cities, many jurisdictions take steps towards better urban forest management.
Adopted in June 2013, Kirkland's Urban Forestry Management Plan lays the foundation for well-coordinated, consistent, efficient, and sustainable urban forest forest management. Focusing on safety, accountability, and sustainability, this Plan connects the City's long-range urban forestry goals with efficient operations on a daily basis.
Public and Privately-Owned Trees
The care and maintenance of public trees in the City is a shared responsibility between the City's maintenance crews and private property owners. The City wants to ensure the health, safety, appropriate selection, and proper planting of public trees to ensure a sustainable urban forest. A property owner who resides next a public tree(s) must obtain approval from the City prior to removing or pruning. To learn more about tree care and preservation, including regulations for trees on private property, visit the Tree and Landscaping page.
To report dying, diseased, and/or dangerous trees:
- In the public right-of-way, call Public Works at (425) 587-3900
- In City parks, call Parks & Community Services at (425) 587-3341
Urban Forestry Resources
Kirkland's Urban Forestry Documents
Tree Resources and Information