Tree Regulations Updates

The City of Burien is considering zoning code changes to help protect trees on private properties.

The protection of trees on properties in Burien is important for many reasons. Studies show that trees help clean air, reduce the effects of global climate change, reduce stress, increase economic activity, increase property values, and make our community more attractive.

Today, Burien’s zoning code regulates trees on properties that are undergoing development and on properties located in critical areas, such as steep slopes. The code regulates tree removal and requires replanting when it is necessary to remove unhealthy trees. However, our tree protections in the zoning code could do more.

Code changes are being studied to see how the city can protect and preserve mature trees, and to make sure the right species of trees are planted.

What you can do

  • Your feedback is needed. Staff is talking to people to understand our community’s concerns and questions regarding trees. You are encouraged to offer your opinions about tree protection by emailing staff at
  • Keep in touch. Email to tell us to add your name and contact information to our mailing list, and we’ll let you know when public meetings take place.
  • Report illegal tree removal. Tell us if you think a tree is being removed illegally by reporting potential problems.
  • Attend a public tree forum. A public meeting via Zoom is scheduled for February 16, 2021 from 6:00–7:15 p.m. This will be an opportunity for you to discuss your opinions about efforts to protect and enhance Burien’s urban forest through zoning code regulations.
  • Provide comments to the Planning Commission and City Council. Members of the public will have the opportunity to comment on proposed zoning code changes as the Planning Commission and City Council consider policy options in June and July of 2021.