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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

Tree Preservation

Where They Apply

Tree preservation requirements apply to trees on private property that are 12 inches in diameter  or greater when ALL of the following are true:

  • The site is 5,000 square feet or larger in area;
  • The site has existing or proposed building coverage less than 85%; and
  • There is ground-disturbing activity or a construction staging area greater than 100 square feet on unpaved portions of the site

For requirements for development in the public right-of-way or on City-owned or –managed property go to the Capital Projects page.


The following are exempt from the Tree Preservation Standards: 

  • Portions of sites in the IH, IG1, EX, CX, CS or CM zones
  • Trees that are dead, dying, dangerous
  • Trees that are a nuisance species
  • Trees exempted by a land use review
  • Tree preservation requirements that have been approved through a land division or planned development
  • Repair and replacement of existing fences and decks that are not changing in footprint or length when no trees are to be removed as a part of the project

Tree Preservation Requirement

Private trees

Private trees are those located on privately-owned land. The following tree preservation requirements apply to private trees:

  • You must preserve and protect at least 1/3 of the trees that are 12 inches and larger in diameter located completely or partially on your site. 
  • Tree preservation is not required for development activities within 10 feet of existing primary structures, garages, or detached accessory structures permitted as living space if the submitted tree plan confirms the following:(a) Tree removal is not a part of the project; and(b) Ground disturbance will not occur in the root protection zone of any existing tree on site, as defined in Subsection 11.60.030.C.1.a.
  • Any tree at least 6 inches but less than 12 inches in diameter that is an Oregon white oak (Garry oak), Pacific madrone, Pacific yew, ponderosa pine, or Western flowering dogwood does not add to the the total number of trees but may be retained towards meeting the tree preservation requirement. 
  • You must preserve and protect all trees 36 inches and larger in diameter located completely or partially on your site
  • Any tree removed below the 1/3 requirement, and any tree removed that is 36 inches or larger in diameter will require payment in lieu of preservation to the Tree Planting and Preservation Fund. See the Tree Preservation, Density & Planting Requirements to calculate this cost.

The following new forms relate to the notification requirement for removal of non-exempt trees 36 inches or greater in diameter. Applicants will be required to submit a certification form verifying notification requirements have been met. This certification must be submitted prior to development permit issuance.

1. On-site posted notice
. Suggested language for e-mailed or mailed notice to neighborhood association or district coalition
3. Self-certification verifying notification requirements are met

For Street Tree and City Tree requirements, see the Capital Projects page

Protecting Trees During Construction & Tree Preservation Inspections