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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

Community Newsletter Text

Please consider using the text below in your newsletter or blog to help share information about Portland's tree code.

Call before you cut: Permit needed for many tree maintenance activities

Tree rules safeguard Portland’s canopy

With spring yard and garden projects, residents need to know about Portland’s tree rules before getting out the gloves, pruning tools, and shovels. The rules require property owners and managers to get a permit for many tree pruning, tree removal, and street-tree planting tasks.

Permits are necessary to remove larger trees, dangerous trees, and trees adjacent to buildings. Planting or pruning street trees requires a free permit because their location provides great community benefits such as pavement shading and stormwater management. Most tree removal permits require that replacement trees are planted to preserve the urban canopy for current and future Portlanders.

City staff are ready to help. Residents may call 503.823.TREE or visit to learn if a permit is needed. These resources allow residents to easily request a free street tree health inspection, check the status of a permit, find planting lists, locate tree care providers, and more.

Updated tree rules went into effect last year to provide clarity and consistency following an extensive stakeholder process. The rules apply to construction activities, tree removal and pruning on private property, and tree planting, removal, and maintenance in the public right-of-way.

Portland manages the urban canopy because our trees help make neighborhoods green and livable. The rules help enhance the urban forest, preserve trees, and increase the benefits trees provide including improved health, environmental quality, and property values.

“Our trees are a big part of what makes Portland so special,” said Jenn Cairo, Portland’s City Forester. “The services they provide have real value. I encourage everyone to give us a call before making decisions about trees on their property.”

Call 503.823.TREE, go to, or visit the Development Service Center at 1400 SW 4th Ave for easy access to what you need to know before doing any tree work.