While concrete, brick, and iron make up the most dominating aesthetic of the urban environment, elements of nature incorporated into the landscape can make a significant impact on the appeal of our downtown.

In the urban core, street trees are required along all city streets in downtown and should be planted between the curb and the walking path of the sidewalk.

Maintaining and irrigating street trees is the responsibility of the adjacent properties and should be compliant to Municipal code 17 C.200.050, which provides guidelines for the size, type, location and protection of trees.

On downtown sidewalks, tree grates are the preferred method of allowing irrigation to a street tree while maintaining a manageable pedestrian space. Once a year, property owners should do a check to ensure that tree grates and trees are in compliance with code and do not pose a danger to pedestrians.

In the coming weeks, the downtown Clean Team will be spot-checking trees and tree wells located inside the 80 block region of the Business Improvement District.

Clean Team members will be looking for:

  • Is there a tree in the tree well?
  • Are tree wells level with the sidewalk?
  • Does any part of the tree well pose a tripping hazard?
  • If the tree well does pose a hazard, is there appropriate notification to pedestrians?
  • Does the tree appear healthy and well irrigated?
  • Are tree branches property trimmed so as not to hang low?
  • Are power conduits for tree lighting secured and functional?

Should any of the above be noted, property managers will be notified. When complete, a final report will be sent to the City of Spokane Streets Department and Urban Forestry.

Maintaining a healthy and beautiful urban canopy is beneficial to the vibrancy of downtown. For guidance about maintaining your street trees contact City of Spokane Urban Forestry at 509.363.5495 or contact the Downtown Spokane office at 509.456.0580.

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