phone: (503) 823-TREE (8733)
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, OR 97201
If you wish to report a street tree that needs pruning, visit Tree Code Violations.
Some street tree pruning permits can be self-issued online. All other pruning permits will need consultation from an Urban Forestry Tree Inspector and require submitting an application. Traditional tree pruning permits take 4-6 weeks to process. Incomplete applications will delay the process. There is no fee to apply for a street tree pruning permit.
Pruning permits are valid for 30 days.
Street tree pruning permits may be self-issued online if the tree to be pruned meets the following conditions:
Young tree pruning is the pruning of young trees to develop good structure, including a strong and well established central leader, strong branch attachments, and adequate spacing and distribution of scaffold branches. Young tree pruning occurs on an ongoing basis the first ten years after tree planting.
Crown cleaning is the removal of water sprouts and dead, dying, diseased, crowded, weakly attached, and low vigor branches from a tree's crown.
Crown raising for clearance of the street and sidewalk removes the lower branches of a tree in order to provide clearance for vehicles, pedestrians, and buildings. The City of Portland requires maintaining clearance standards 7.5' above the sidewalk, 11' above residential streets, and 14' above main arterial streets.
Other types of pruning may be permitted for street trees; however, they require a tree inspection and a permit issued by a City Tree Inspector. Self-issued online permits are only valid for trees that meet the above conditions.
If any of the following apply, a pruning permit may NOT be self-issued and an application must be submitted to Urban Forestry in order to obtain a permit.
Pruning permit with inspection application and instructions
Only an owner of the property abutting the planting strip, or the owner's designee, may apply for a street tree pruning permit. Request a street tree pruning permit one of the following ways:
After the application has been received, an Urban Forestry Tree Inspector will visit the site to inspect the tree and assess the pruning needs. After the site visit, the Tree Inspector will send the applicant the pruning permit. The pruning permit will describe the recommended pruning activities.
All pruning work must meet PP&R's Urban Forestry Street Tree Pruning Standards. Pruning 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.
It is recommended that you hire a certified arborist to do the tree pruning.
In order to limit the spread of Dutch elm disease and comply with Oregon's state quarantine of elm wood, the following rules apply to the pruning of elm trees (Ulmus spp.):