Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Trees

Call before you cut

phone: (503) 823-TREE (8733)


1900 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, OR 97201

Protecting Trees During Construction and Tree Preservation Inspections

Protecting trees during construction helps save both trees and property from potential damage. It is important to keep the crown, branches, and trunk clear from direct contact and injury by equipment, materials, or disturbances during construction. Tree protection measures should also preserve the roots and soil from compaction and disturbance. When steps are taken to protect trees on construction sites, the risk of damaging or destabilizing trees is reduced. 

Two practical methods of tree protection are: Prescriptive Path and Performance Path. One of these methods should be implemented before any ground-disturbing activity. Whenever possible, hire a certified arborist to lead tree identification, evaluation, preservation, monitoring, and follow-up activities. Please see Arborist Report Guidelines for more information on situations where an arborist report is required.

Before any construction or tree protection activities begin, you must determine what trees or groves on the site will be preserved during construction. See Tree Requirements for Building Permits to determine what trees must be preserved or mitigated on your site.

Heritage Trees & Development

Heritage Trees must be protected during development. Work on or around any Heritage Tree requires the property owner or applicant to schedule an assessment meeting with the City Forester by calling 503-823-TREE (8733).  For permit approval, Planning & Zoning needs to see the recommendations that Urban Forestry provides for the tree transferred on to the tree preservation plan.  It is recommended to take a copy of the current plan to the onsite meeting with Urban Forestry. The onsite meeting should be scheduled early in the development application process. 

Street Tree Protection Detail

Prescriptive Path Active Protection

Prescriptive Path

This method of tree protection establishes a root protection zone and blocks this zone from construction activities

Performance Path

When it is not practical to establish a root protection zone to the specifications of the Prescriptive Path method, you may use alternative measures to modify the root protection zone

Tree Preservation Inspections

Learn how to call in your 507s