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City of Portland

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11.60.050 Tree Removal Specifications.

Trees shall be removed in a manner that will not jeopardize the public safety or damage structures including utility lines or services, or adjacent trees. In most cases, trees shall be entirely removed. Where appropriate, standing dead trees, or snags, may be left by cutting them to a height that will not threaten a target such as people or structures. Fire safety and preventing harmful pests should also be considered. However, well situated snags can function as important wildlife habitat providing nesting sites and a food source for foraging birds.

A.  Completion. To prevent the creation of hazards from partially removed trees, once work has commenced to remove a tree, this work shall be completed in a timely manner. A tree will be considered completely removed when reduced to a stump no taller than 4.5 feet. The City Forester may grant an exception to this specification to allow snag creation. For Street Tree removals, the City Forester may direct that the stump be ground out up to 18 inches below grade.

B.  Disposal of wood and woody debris.

1.  City and Street Trees. Disposal, use, or reuse of wood and woody debris from City or Street Trees is at the sole discretion of the City Forester including specific disposal methods for infected wood. Cost for disposal is the responsibility of the property owner (or adjoining property owner for Street Trees). If the City Forester determines that the cost of storage or sale of the wood is not commercially feasible, the City Forester may give such surplus wood to the adjoining property owner or other group as the City Forester may so designate. Unless the City Forester has given the wood to a group, organization, or individual, it is unlawful for any person to possess or dispose of any wood from any City or Street Tree.

2.  Private Trees. Disposal, use, or reuse of wood and woody debris from Private Trees is at the property owner’s discretion, provided storage of wood does not constitute a public health or safety nuisance. In environmental (c, p), or Pleasant Valley Natural Resource (v) overlay zone, large woody debris may be required to remain or portions of trees left standing as snags. If the City Forester has determined that the tree is affected by a pathogen or insect infestation that will likely adversely impact surrounding trees, all portions of the tree shall be removed from the site and properly disposed at the property owner’s expense.