Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Portland Trees

Call before you cut

phone: (503) 823-TREE (8733)


1900 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, OR 97201

Planting Permits

This page describes the process for planting trees in the right-of-way when no development is occurring. For planting requirements during development, click here.

When is a planting permit required?

  • Street treesA permit is required to plant any tree in the City right-of-way, which is typically between the curb and sidewalk.
  • Private trees: No permit is required for planting a tree on private property.

Application and instructions

  1. First contact the Oregon utility notification locate center to mark the locations of underground utilities so the tree planting location can be determined. You can request a utility locate one of the following ways:
  2. Only an owner of the property abutting the planting strip, or the owner's designee, may apply for a street tree planting permit. Once you have submitted a utility locate request, request a free street tree planting permit one of the following ways:
            • Email:
            • Mail: Attn: Urban Forestry, 1900 SW 4th Ave. Suite 5000, Portland, OR 97201
            • In person: Development Services Center (DSC), 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, OR 97201, first floor
              Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 AM - 12 PM and 12:30 PM - 3 PM, Thursdays from 8 AM - 12 PM
            • Fax: 503-823-4493

Planting with Friends of Trees

If you are planning to plant with the City's non-profit tree planting partner Friends of Trees, contact Friends of Trees directly at 503-282-8846 after contacting the Oregon utility locate center. Friends of Trees staff will secure the planting permit for you as part of the ordering process. You can plant street trees or private trees with Friends of Trees. 

Timeline and process

Tree planting permits take approximately 10 business days to process. Incomplete applications will delay the process. 

After the completed application has been received, an Urban Forestry Tree Inspector will visit the tree planting site to identify site conditions and mark the curb with paint for the appropriate placement of trees. After the site visit, the Tree Inspector will contact the applicant with an approved list of tree species for planting, based upon the size of the planting strip and presence of overhead high-voltage power lines. The applicant must then communicate the species selection from the list to the Tree Inspector, and the Tree Inspector will then send the applicant the planting permit.

Planting permits are valid for 30 days. 

It is recommended that you plant trees between October 1 through April 30, as planting trees during the cool, wet months helps ensure tree establishment and survival.

Qualifying for a permit

In order to qualify for a planting permit, you must agree to abide by the Street Tree Planting Standards. 

Species selected for planting should be chosen from the Approved Street Tree Planting Lists.

Trees acquired for planting must meet the following size requirements:

  • Broadleaf tree size requirements (young tree caliper is the diameter of the trunk measured at at 6” above the tree’s natural ground line for trees <4”, or at 12” for trees >4”):

Development type

Street tree minimum
caliper size

One and two family residential


Multi-dwelling residential


All others


  • Conifer trees must be a minimum of 5 feet in height at time of planting.

Sidewalk alterations: If altering the sidewalk, a sidewalk permit is required from the Bureau of Transportation. Email or call 503-823-7002 (press option #3).

return to top