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Urban Forest Manual

In 2015, the City of Tacoma amended  Tacoma Municipal Code, Title 13 Land Use Regulatory Code in order to implement  policy guidance of the Urban Forestry Policy and Open Space Habitat and Recreation elements of the One Tacoma Comprehensive Plan. 

The Tacoma Municipal Code, Title 13 Land Use Regulatory Code update objectives include:
Planting More Trees - Implementing Complete Streets and Urban Forestry policies related to street trees

Planting Better - Optimizing Urban Forest benefits by enhancing plant selection, planting location, setback and installation requirements

Enhancing Urban Forest Health - Optimizing Urban Forestry benefits by better insuring health, survival and proper maintenance of trees, shrubs, and other vegetation. 

Providing Incentives and Flexibility - Incorporating flexible code approaches tailored to the needs of differing land uses, while promoting a healthy urban environment.

Providing an Understandable and Predictable Approach - Increasing the ease of use by providing consistency and clarity, as well as developing the Urban Forest Manual guidance document.

The Urban Forest Manual

Image of Urban Forest Manual front coverThe Urban Forest Manual is a technical guide created to facilitate the planning, design, installation and maintenance of landscaping that is required for new development and redevelopment per the Tacoma Municipal Code, Title 13.06.090.B Landscaping Standards. The Urban Forest Manual is intended to be used concurrently with Tacoma Manual Code, Title 13.06.090.B to ensure the requirements and standards are executed properly. This manual can also be used as a guide for the planning, design, installation and maintenance for any landscaping project.


Download the entire Urban Forest Manual


Before finalizing development plans, contact Planning and Development Services at (253) 591-5030, or visit them at 747 Market Street, Third Floor, Tacoma, WA 98402, to verify that all other applicable City of Tacoma codes and manuals have been met.

If you have questions or concerns about the Urban Forest Manual, please contact Planning and Development Services at (253) 591-5030.

Urban Forest Manual Sections

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Landscaping Applicability and Types
Chapter 2 - Landscaping Requirements
Chapter 3 - Credits and Flexibility
Chapter 4 - General Landscaping Standards
Chapter 5 - Landscape Plans
Chapter 6 - Landscape Management Plans (LMPs)
Chapter 7 - Tree Protection During Construction


Standard Plans

Planting and Protection 
LS-01 - Street Tree Planting
LS-02 - Street Tree Clearance
LS-03 - Tree Well Dimension
LS-04 - Tree & Shrub Planting on Slopes
LS-05 - Shrub Planting
LS-06 - Groundcover Planting
LS-08 - Tree Protection During Construction
LS-09 - Tree Protection Fencing
LS-10 - Tree Protection Fencing for Trees in Paved Areas
LS-11 - Reusable Tree Protection Fencing for Paved Areas
Soil Amendments
GSI-01b - Option 2 – Amend in Place

GSI-01c - Option 4 – Imported Topsoil


Appendix 1 - Landscaping Calculations Worksheet
Appendix 2 - Sample Landscape Plan
Appendix 3 - Landscape Management Plan (LMP) Template
Appendix 4 - Sample Tree Protection Plan & Sample Arborist Report
Appendix 5 - Tree Protection Zone Sign – General
Appendix 6 - Tree Protection Zone Sign – for Trees in Paved Areas
Appendix 7a - Prohibited Tree List

Appendix 7b - Approved Small Tree List

Appendix 7c - Approved Medium Tree List

Appendix 7d - Approved Large Tree List