Do I need approval to remove tree limbs? Is there a size or height criteria?

According to the SVCA governing documents and Whatcom County code, you can limb up to 25% of the foliage without obtaining permits.  If limbing is to exceed 25% of the foliage, then you must obtain a Whatcom County permit and provide a copy with your ACC request prior to commencement of work.  Requests are subject to the ACC Guidelines relating to trees.