- Your assigned Urban Forestry Tree Inspector will help you select a tree that both maximizes the available growing space and that is unlikely to cause damage to the sidewalk or interfere with sight lines and utilities. If your tree selection meets these "Right Tree, Right Place" criteria the Tree Inspector may approve a different species for planting.
Where can I buy trees of the required size?
- Visit our list of nurseries for business that sell trees that meet the caliper size requirements.
Why can't I plant a street tree in a site less than three feet wide?
- A healthy street tree needs enough soil and space to thrive. Soil provides the necessary water, oxygen, and nutrients to sustain the tree. Space above and below is needed to accommodate a tree’s biological imperative: to grow! In too narrow a space, a tree will inevitably come into conflict with sidewalks, roads, and stop signs. Decades of urban forestry research and practice have found that trees planted in sites that are too small are more likely to die, damage infrastructure, and increase public safety hazards. In accordance with national practice, Portland’s planting standards require that right-of-way sites must be at least three feet wide to accommodate a tree. If your right-of-way planting site is too small to grow a tree, look to your yard for an alternative site. Front yard trees also shade sidewalks and capture stormwater, plus with access to more soil and space they will support healthier trees that require less care and maintenance.
Where can I get help planting?
- Planting a 1.5-2.0 inch caliper tree can be done by the property owner, but larger trees will require assistance due to the weight of the tree and root ball. Visit Friends of Trees to see if this nonprofit plants in your neighborhood, see this list of City-sponsored planting programs, or see the Local Tree Care Providers list for contractors.
When is the best time to plant trees?
- Plant trees in the wet months between October 1 and April 30. For more details on planting, watering, and caring for your young tree visit the Planting and Care section.