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Portland Trees

Call before you cut

phone: (503) 823-TREE (8733)

email: trees@portlandoregon.gov

1900 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, OR 97201

Private Tree Pruning Permits

When is a permit required to prune trees on private property?

For private property trees, a permit is required to prune native trees in Environmental Overlay Zones or the Pleasant Valley Natural Resources Overlay Zone

For all other private property trees, pruning permits are not required.

For street tree pruning permits, click here.

Exceptions

A permit is not required for pruning trees in the following situations:

  • pruning trees located within 10 feet of a building
  • pruning to abate an immediate hazard
  • pruning for trail maintenance when not exceeding a height of 8 feet and width of 6 feet across the trail

How to determine if your tree is in a c, p, or v overlay zone

  1. Go to Portland Maps at www.portlandmaps.com/
  2. Type in the address of the property and hit "Search"
  3. You may have to click on the correct address if you are given a list of matching addresses
  4. Click on the "Maps" link
  5. Click on the "Zoning" link
  6. Look for following "Overlay" designations: c, p, or V
  7. If the tree is in a c, p, or v overlay zones, a permit is required to prune native trees on private property

Application and instructions

Private tree pruning permits are not self-issuable. 

Only an owner of the property or the owner's designee may apply for a private tree pruning permit. Request a private tree pruning permit one of the following ways:

  • Call 503-823-TREE (8733) to request a paper Private Tree Pruning Permit Application; OR
  • Download the Private Tree Pruning Permit Application, fill it out, and submit it to Urban Forestry one of the following ways:
        • Email: trees@portlandoregon.gov
        • 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

Qualifying for a permit

Pruning is limited to 5 native trees per calendar year per 10,000 square feet of site area.

Private Tree Pruning Permit Applications require a pruning plan from a certified arborist

All pruning work must meet industry standards. Pruning on regulated trees done without a permit or pruning that does not meet the standards may be treated as a code violation and be subject to civil and criminal penalties and tree replacement.

Trees may not be topped.

Timeline and process

Private Tree Pruning Permit Applications take approximately 2-3 weeks to process. Incomplete applications will delay the process. 

Pruning permits are valid for 30 days. 

certified arborist must supervise or conduct the pruning.