Urban and Community Forestry
Benefits of Trees
Trees provide communities with environmental, social, and economic benefits referred as "ecosystem services,"
some of these include:
- Tree shade reduces incidence of skin cancer
- Deterrent to climate change
- Filter pollutants and produce oxygen
- Reduces the heat island effect
- Control stormwater runoff and soil erosion
- Decrease heating and cooling costs.
In addition, trees increase property values, attract shoppers and increase business profits and activity.
Current State of Urban Forestry
Renton has been practicing urban forestry for many years and in 2008 embarked upon a formal program. In 2009, City Council approved the 2009 Urban and Community Forestry Development Plan, a legacy program to guide the city’s urban forestry efforts over the next ten years. (Hint – The Executive Summary on Page 7 provides a great overview of the Plan.)
Renton’s history is steeped in forestry from the naming of the city after Captain William Renton, a lumberman, to the present day with tree inventories, volunteer planting projects and recognition for its urban forestry efforts with the 2008 Tree City USA Award.
Tree Inventory. Three public property tree inventories have occurred recently including the 2007 inventory of Renton, the 2008 Cascade Park inventory and the 2009 Benson Hill Neighborhood tree inventory. Please follow the links above to view these inventories. They reveal that Renton now has:
- 5,900 Street Trees
- 20,720 Park Trees
- 105,370 Natural Area Trees
- 1,940 Vacant Tree Planting Sites Along Streets
The replacement and real estate value of these trees totals over $22 million!
The Plan. It is because of the quantity, quality and value the urban forest represents that the Urban and Community Forestry Development Plan was prepared for creating a sustainable and exemplary urban forest to enhance the livability of the community.
The next steps of the Plan include:
- Implementation of a Public Education and Outreach Program
- Development of a Forestry Ordinance
- Coordination of all Right-of-Way Landscape Maintenance
- Coordinated Staffing Proposal for a Certified Arborist Team
- Interdepartmental Cooperation for Plan Implementation
- Conducting a Canopy Cover Analysis
Want to Learn More
- To learn more about Renton’s urban forest please contact the City Forester at Email the City Forester or telephone 425-430-6600.
- Free Tree Info. Need to know more about trees, how to hire a certified arborist, wondering how much to prune from your tree or want information on new tree planting technology? Contact the City Forester for informational brochures on over 20 tree topics.
- Click on Tree City USA for more information about Arbor Day and tree care.
- For general tree information download the Tree Owner's Manual
Urban Forestry Services to the Public
- Street tree questions and assistance
- General information on yard trees
- Site visit to assist with tree and landscape issues
- Other tree informational resources available
- Site Development inquiries related to tree retention and landscape design review
- Tree planting and maintenance training for neighborhood groups
Questions about trees? Email the City Forester.
Take the Renton Tree Survey.