Understanding and Navigating the SDCI Tree Service Provider Registry

tree service in Seattle

Understanding and Navigating the SDCI Tree Service Provider Registry

tree service in Seattle

Removing a tree


Starting January 1, 2024, the City of Seattle is tightening the rules around commercial tree work in an effort to protect and maintain the city’s urban canopy. To avoid penalties, tree service providers must register with the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) Tree Service Provider Registry.

Legal Obligations for Tree Service Providers

Beginning January 1, 2024, tree service providers conducting commercial tree work without first registering with the City will be subject to penalties double the amount set by Director’s Rule 10-2023 for a violation of SMC 25.11.100. Violations of SMC 25.11.100 are also subject to fines and penalties as outlined in SMC 25.11.120 and DR 10-2023 or its succeeding rule.

Navigating the Registration Process

To begin the registration process, tree service providers must access the SDCI Tree Service Provider Registry through the Seattle Services Portal account. For providers without an existing Seattle Services Portal account, an account creation will be required. The process is a digital application; assistance can be availed by contacting (206) 233-5185 or sdci-trees@seattle.gov.

The application process, taking approximately 15-20 minutes to complete, requires the following information:

  1. Current City of Seattle Business License: Providers should confirm that their license status is current before starting the registration process by visiting FileLocal.
  2. Washington State L&I General Contractor number: Confirmation of the current status of the contractor registration can be confirmed at WA L&I.
  3. Certificate of Insurance for General Liability insurance: A current certificate of insurance with City of Seattle as the certificate holder with a minimum of $1,000,000 in Commercial General Liability is necessary.
  4. International Society for Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist: At least one ISA Certified Arborist on staff or retainer is required. Credentials can be verified at Trees are Good.

Insurance Requirements for Registration

To comply with the City’s requirement, all registered tree service providers must provide proof of Commercial General Liability insurance coverage with a minimum limit of $1,000,000 per occurrence, and an additional insured endorsement. If a provider’s coverage expires within a year of registering with the SDCI Tree Service Provider Registry, the registration will be suspended until renewed coverage is proven.

The acceptable proof of insurance coverage includes two separate documents: the Commercial General Liability policy certificate of insurance, and the insurance endorsement form naming the City of Seattle as an additional insured.

In terms of minimum insurance requirements, the Commercial General Liability policy must be written on an insurance industry standard form ISO CG 0001 or equivalent coverage form. The policy should cover at least one million dollars ($1,000,000) Each Occurrence Combined Single Limit Bodily Injury and Property Damage. The policy certificate should specify the City of Seattle as “primary and non-contributory” additional insured.

Contacting SDCI for Support

For any further assistance in this process, SDCI can be contacted via email at sdci-trees@seattle.gov or through the SDCI’s Submit a Request form. For direct queries or need for interpretation services, call (206) 233-5185.


The City of Seattle is taking necessary steps to protect its trees by ensuring tree service providers adhere to necessary regulations. Tree service providers must understand these requirements and the registration process to avoid legal repercussions. The process, though detailed, is straightforward and support from SDCI is readily available. So let’s play our part in keeping Seattle green.

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