Seattle Urban Forest Fact Sheet


City Statistics

Population+ 608,660
Land area by acres* 53,677
Park acreage* 5,476

+Based on the 2010 U.S. Census
*Courtesy of The Trust for Public Land


Seattle Urban Forest Facts*

  • There are approximately 4.35 million trees in Seattle.
  • Researchers have identified 192 tree species in Seattle, 28 of which are native to the
  • Puget Sound region.
  • The most common tree species are red alder, big leaf maple and beaked hazelnut, which are all native species.
  • The replacement value of Seattle’s urban forest is estimated at $4.9 billion.
  • Seattle’s trees:
    • Store two million metric tons of carbon.
    • Sequester 140,000 metric tons of carbon annually.
    • Remove 725 metric tons of pollution from the environment annually, valued at $5.6 million.
    • Reduce building energy use by $5.9 million annually.
  • Seattle’s urban tree canopy is 23 percent.+

* As reported in “Seattle’s Forest Ecosystem Values,” prepared in 2012 by Green Cities Research Alliance
+ As reported to American Forests in its survey of the 50 most populous U.S. cities.


Top 10 Criteria

Urban Forest Management Plan Yes, updated in late 2012
Urban Canopy Goal Yes, supported by, but not mandated by, the city government
Quality of Urban Forest Compared to Others in Region Normal, which means some biotic damage and invasive species, some anthropogenic disturbance and some chemical and runoff issues
Tree Inventory Yes, covering public land
Tree Species Diversity Plan Yes
Tree Ordinances Yes, for both public and private lands covering hazard, historic and other trees
Comprehensive Greening Plans Yes, including a Green Infrastructure Plan, Sustainability Plan and Climate Change Plan
Types of Greening Initiatives Protection of open spaces; natural resource restoration;urban forests for environmental justice initiatives;urban forests as part of planning for runoff, erosion and/or flooding; green jobs training; active involvement of environmental stewardship groups
Park Acres per 1,000 People 9.00
Percentage of Land as Park 10.20
Quality of Civic Engagement Good, with citywide stewardship and neighborhood interactions
Tree City USA* Yes
Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement Signatory Yes

*Designation awarded by The Arbor Day Foundation to cities that have a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

Critical Issues