Are your trees prepared for winter?

Guest post by Seattle Public Utilities’ reLeaf team.
Trees are incredibly important for our city. They clean the air and water, shade our streets in the summer, and make our neighborhoods friendlier. In return, trees sometimes need a little help from people to stay strong and healthy, especially during a windstorm. We lucked out with the October 15 storm being less severe than predicted, but forecasters believe a stormier-than-usual
winter may be ahead.

The best time to prepare for the next storm is now. Here are some things you can do to get your trees storm-ready before the next windstorm hits:

  • Check for broken branches above or on power lines, and branches or trees leaning against these lines. If you see something, contact Seattle City Light at 206-386-1650 or
  • Have a certified* arborist inspect and prune your trees if you suspect they may fail in a storm. Remember: a healthy, professionally pruned tree is less likely to fail in a storm.
  •  If you are concerned about a street tree, contact the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) at 206-684-TREE.
  • If you are concerned about a tree in a park, contact 206-684-7250.

Should a windstorm occur, City of Seattle crews will be working hard to respond. In the event of a storm:

  • Report any downed trees in power lines to Seattle City Light at 206-684-7400. Report any trees down along streets to SDOT at 206-386-1218.
  • Report downed trees in parks at 206-684-4111.
  • Remember to never touch or approach a downed wire or anything in contact with the wire. All downed wires should be assumed to be live and potentially fatal.

*Arborists should be certified by the International Society of Arboriculture