The Heritage Tree ordinance became part of the Portland City code on May 19, 1993, and the first Heritage Trees were designated in 1994. Previously, an ordinance allowed for Historic Landmark trees (trees #1 and #2 are in this category), and an ordinance provided for Historic Trees (trees #3, #4, #5, and #6 were so designated in 1993).
This ordinance calls for the City Forester to annually prepare a list of trees that - because of their age, size, type, historical association or horticultural value - are of special importance to the City. Upon recommendation of the Urban Forestry Commission, the City Council may designate a tree as a Heritage Tree provided the tree's health, aerial space, and open ground area for the root system have been certified as sufficient.
No tree on private property can be designated without the consent of the property owner. This consent binds all successors, heirs, and assigns. The ordinance further states that it is unlawful for any person, without a prior written permit from the Forester, to remove, destroy, cut, prune, break or injure any Heritage Tree. No Heritage Tree can be removed without the consent of the Urban Forestry Commission and the Portland City Council.
Heritage trees are marked by a plaque so they can be identified by the public.
Would you like to nominate a Heritage Tree? Complete and return this form. Nomination deadlines are May 31 and August 31 each year.