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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Trees

Call before you cut

phone: (503) 823-TREE (8733)


1900 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, OR 97201

Pruning Permit FAQs

What is a "street tree"?

Street trees are any trees that are located in the City right-of-way. While this is typically in the planting strip between the sidewalk and the curb, street trees may exist in unimproved rights-of-way with no curbs and/or sidewalks.

Can I extend my pruning permit beyond 30 days?

It is recommended that you apply for a pruning permit within 30 days of the scheduled tree work. For self-issued online pruning permits, you must obtain the permit within 30 days of pruning the tree. For all other pruning permits, you may contact your Tree Inspector and request an extension before the permit expires. 

A street tree hangs too low over the street or sidewalk. How do I report it?

Report low limbs to Bureau of Development Service's (BDS) Code Enforcement (503) 823-2633. A BDS Inspector will inspect the tree and contact the adjacent property owner to prune the tree. Street trees must maintain the following clearances:

  • 7.5 feet above sidewalks
  • 11 feet above local streets
  • 14 feet above arterial or collector streets

My neighbor's tree overhangs onto my property. Can I prune it?

You may prune branches that overhang onto your property. If the tree is a street tree or Heritage Tree, however, a permit is required for pruning. You can request a code compliance inspection if a neighbor's street tree needs to be pruned. For more information about pruning neighbor's private property trees, see Oregon's neighbor law.
Pruning should be conducted properly and may not damage or kill the tree. 

Can I top my tree?

Topping trees, or removing more than 50% of the canopy, is not proper pruning and is not permitted within the City of Portland. Topping a tree is regarded as removal of the tree and may result in a tree code violation. For details on proper pruning, see the Pruning and Care of Young and Mature Trees brochure and the City of Portland Street Tree Pruning Standards

Can you recommend an arborist to prune my tree?

The City maintains a list of Local Tree Care Providers. See also Tips for Hiring an Arborist.

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