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City of Portland

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11.20.060 Heritage Trees.

A.  Generally. Heritage Trees are trees that because of their age, size, type, historical association or horticultural value, are of special importance to the City.

B.  Nuisance trees. Trees may not be designated as Heritage Trees if, on the date they would be designated, the tree species is on the Nuisance Plant List.

C.  Private trees. Trees on private property may not be designated as Heritage Trees without the consent of the property owner; however, the consent of a property owner will bind all successors, heirs, and assigns. When a Private Tree is designated as a Heritage Tree, the owner shall record the designation on the property deed, noting on such deed that the tree is subject to the regulations of this Chapter.

D.  Designation. The Urban Forestry Commission (UFC) makes a recommendation to City Council as to whether a tree should be designated as a Heritage Tree. A recommendation to designate a tree shall be supported by at least six members of the UFC. City Council may designate a tree if it finds that the tree’s health, aerial space, and open ground area for the root system have been certified as sufficient by an arborist.

E.  Removal of designation. The Urban Forestry Commission (UFC) makes a recommendation to City Council as to whether the Heritage Tree designation should be removed from a tree. A recommendation to remove the designation shall be supported by at least six members of the UFC. City Council may remove the designation if it finds that the designation is no longer appropriate.

F.  Heritage Tree removal. Heritage Trees may be removed only with the consent of the UFC, except as provided in Subsection I., below. The UFC shall hold a public hearing on a request to remove a Heritage Tree. Consent to remove the tree shall be supported by at least six members of the UFC.

G.  List and plaques. The City Forester maintains a list of the City’s designated Heritage Trees. The City Forester may place a plaque on or near Heritage Trees.

H.  Maintenance and Protection. The City Forester maintains Heritage Trees located on streets and on property owned or managed by the City. Heritage trees on private property shall be maintained by the property owner. It is unlawful for any person without prior written authorization from the City Forester to remove, prune, or injure any Heritage Tree. The City Forester shall report to the Urban Forestry Commission any such authorization granted.

I.  Emergencies.

1.  If the City Forester determines that a Heritage Tree is dangerous and is a threat to public safety, the City Forester may order the tree to be removed without prior consent from the UFC.

2.  In an emergency, when the City Forester is unavailable, pruning only what is necessary to abate an immediate danger may be performed without authorization by the City Forester. Any additional work shall be performed under the provisions of this Section.