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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

Tree Removal & Replanting FAQs


My neighbor's tree looks dead or dangerous and I think it should be removed. What can I do?

  • If the neighbor's tree is a street tree: Call Urban Forestry at 503-823-TREE (8733) or submit an Urban Forestry online code complaint form
  • If the neighbor's tree is a private tree: Call the Bureau of Development Services nuisance complaint hotline at 503-823-2633 or submit a BDS online code violation form
  • Learn about neighbor-tree rights and responsibilities here

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How quickly can I get a removal and replanting permit?

  • If the permit does not require an inspection, the permit will be issued within 5 business days of receiving a completed application.
  • Inspections are typically performed within 3-4 weeks of application submission. The timing of permit issuance is case specific and dependent upon information submitted and current workloads.

How do I report someone who is removing a tree without a permit?

Call Urban Forestry at 503-823-TREE (8733) and leave a detailed message, including the address of the tree and a description of the tree activities. Staff will investigate whether a tree code violation occurred and contact the property owner to correct the violation if necessary. 

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If the tree is partially on private property and partially in the right-of-way, how do I determine if it is a street tree or a private property tree?

If the tree was planted or likely planted on private property, it is a private property tree. If the trunk of the tree is over 50% on private property, it is a private property tree.

If 50% or more of the trunk is in the right-of-way, it is a street tree. 

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What’s the benefit of requiring a permit to remove a tree in my own backyard? 

Roughly a third of all the City’s trees grow on single-family lots. Previously most of these trees were unregulated, with no restriction on removal and no requirement for replanting.  The new tree code lets homeowners easily remove problem trees (those that are dead, dying, diseased, dangerous, nuisance species, or too close to buildings) with the provision that a new tree be replanted to replace the one being removed. This will help balance removals with new trees so that the tree canopy in neighborhoods remains in balance, preserving both quality of life as well as property values.

Homeowners who want to remove a large, healthy, non-nuisance species tree that is not too close to buildings can still apply to do so, and their applications will be evaluated against the standards and review factors found in Chapter 11.40.050. In either case, the permit system provides an opportunity for the City to engage with property owners, encourage retention of large, healthy trees, provide tree care information, monitor canopy levels more closely, and ensure that trees removed are replaced over time.

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