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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)

Fax: 503-823-6007

1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204


STREET TREE REMOVAL (for trees growing in the right-of-way, between the curb and sidewalk)

If a street tree is an imminent hazard, call 503-823-4489 and request an emergency inspection.

Portland's urban forest is a valuable asset, and all trees on public property are protected. Trees provide increasing benefits as they grow, and mature trees are an asset that requires decades to replace. Urban Forestry carefully considers each and every request to remove a street tree, and encourages tree planting, regular tree maintenance, and alternatives to tree removal except where no viable alternative exists. Street trees can only be removed if they meet the criteria of being dead, dying or dangerous. Conditions that do not warrant removal include the tree dropping fruit or leaves, the tree being perceived as too tall or making too much shade or the cost of routine maintenance. Details on the removal and replanting process are found in the Street Tree Removal & Replanting brochure.

If a permit for street tree removal is granted, mitigation will be required and is usually in the form of replanting a 2" caliper tree chosen from our recommended street tree list.

To request a Removal & Replanting Permit:

  1. Review the Street Tree Removal & Replanting brochure and Street Tree Removal & Replanting Permit Application. If you believe your street tree is a candidate for removal, complete the application and submit it with the $35 non-refundable processing fee and supporting photos, arborist reports, and other optional materials as necessary to: City Nature Urban Forestry, 10910 N. Denver Ave, Portland, OR 97217.
  2. Mark the tree(s) under consideration with flagging tape or ribbon. Note that submitting an application does not entitle you to a permit, and that you must have the permit in hand before beginning any work.
  3. An Urban Forestry Tree Inspector will review your request, conduct a site inspection, and determine if removal is permissible. In many cases, pruning is sufficient to alleviate potential hazards. In these cases, a pruning permit will be issued.
  4. If the inspection determines that the tree meets removal criteria, a Removal & Replanting Permit will be issued. Tree and stump removal and replanting must be completed within 30 days of permit issuance. In some case, replanting may be deferred until planting season.

Failure to obtain a permit or meet the conditions of the permit, such as failure to replant, may result in fines of up to $1,000 per violation.

PRIVATE PROPERTY TREE REMOVAL (for trees growing in yards, not in the public right-of-way)

Call Urban Forestry at (503) 823-4489 to determine if a site requires a permit for private tree removal. 

The City of Portland's Tree Cutting Ordinance regulates the cutting of trees 12" in diameter (measured at 4.5 feet above ground) or greater on certain private properties. Title 33, the zoning code, also regulates trees in environmental zones and certain plan districts. You may need a permit from the Bureau of Development Services or Urban Forestry if your property is located in certain environmental zones, if existing trees are protected through land use regulations, if the property is a corner lot, or if the property is dividable.  Please call Urban Forestry at 503-823-4489 and a Tree Inspector will review your property status to determine which permit is required, if necessary.