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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

Nominate a Tree

How do I nominate a Heritage Tree? 

Complete and return this form. The nomination deadline is May 1 each year. It takes about a year to receive Heritage Tree designation once the nominated tree has been accepted.

Anyone can nominate a tree for Heritage Tree status. However, if the tree is located on private property the property owner must give consent. The property owner must sign the nomination form when it is submitted.

Heritage Tree Criteria

Heritage Trees have special importance to the city of Portland by virtue of any one of these attributes: 

  • Size: The tree is a large specimen. View sizes of current Heritage Trees to see comparisons.
  • Age: The tree is old.
  • Type and Horticultural Value: The tree is an unusual or uncommon species.
  • Historical association: The tree has documented history. Provide details and information with the nomination.  

The Heritage Tree Committee currently prioritizes trees that expand the types of Heritage Trees represented in the city’s system. The committee is also interested in finding more trees of historical and horticultural importance. The committee seeks to have Heritage Trees that are widely distributed in the city and available in many neighborhoods.

The Nomination Process

The nomination process can take up to a year to complete:

  • May 1: Annual nomination deadline
  • June: Nominated trees are inspected by a City arborist for health and sufficient growing space. Nominated trees are then visited by the Heritage Tree Committee, who will evaluate the tree against criteria and vote whether or not to move the nomination forward.
  • Summer: Property owners and neighbors of nominees moving forward are notified. Owners of trees on private property must sign and notarize a consent form for Heritage Tree status.
  • Fall: Nominated trees are presented to the Urban Forestry Commission for review and approval.
  • Spring: Nominated trees are presented to City Council for review and approval. City Council provides the final designation in the form of a City ordinance.

Trees that are impressive but cannot meet our criteria (e.g., because the owner will not consent or because they are in the backyard and not sufficiently visible) may be designated as a Tree of Merit.

Resources for Finding Potential Heritage Trees

Find the tallest trees in your neighborhood: Portland State University's Canopy Analytics Tool uses recent LiDAR data to map trees over 50' in height. Filter by distance from buildings, ownership (private/public), type (conifer/deciduous), and urban heat island impact.

Find unusual or large street trees: Urban Forestry's Tree Inventory Project has mapped all street trees in the City. Download and sort date in Excel or ArcGIS to search for unusual and large street.