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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Trees

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phone: (503) 823-TREE (8733)


1900 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, OR 97201

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RICAP 8: Changes to the Tree Code Take Effect on April 14, 2017

RICAP 8 addresses minor policy items and technical corrections, clarifications and consistency items related to Title 11 Trees. RICAP 8 was approved by City Council on March 15, 2017, and becomes effective on April 14, 2017.

Both Non-development and Development related Tree Code changes will occur. For code changes related to Development, please see the Bureau of Development Services News & Events announcement here.

Summary of Non-Development changes to Title 11 Trees:



Updated definition of “removal” to clarify code intent. Previous code was vague when it comes to removal of roots, the new definition better addresses the potential impact of removing roots on tree viability. New definitions for tree (added definition to prevent planting and preservation of shrubs in lieu of trees), building (a structure that required a development permit prior to construction), and attached structure.

 Table Reference

Correct reference to tree density requirements for development impact area.


 Minimum Pruning Threshold

Raise permitting threshold for pruning of branches to ½” from ¼”. Increases minimum branch pruning permit threshold to ½” for City and Street Trees. This change addresses issues experienced by other City Bureaus needing to trim branches out in the field. Root pruning threshold stays at ¼”. 

 Title 11 Trees Fee Schedule

Heritage Tree – Penalties for Unlawful Damage or Removal – Modified Heritage Tree penalties to increase penalty for unlawful damage or removal on private property. Establishes new section within 11.70.080, Correcting Violations of this Title, to address Heritage Tree damage or removal – whether on private property or a City or Street Tree. Fee for damage is $300 per inch and unlawful removal is $600 per inch, similar to the maximum fees allowed for City and Street Trees.


Extended required timelines for City staff in appeals and Programmatic Permits to provide adequate time for City action. Extends the required timeframe for Type A and Type B appeal hearings to be scheduled from 45 days after the City Forester’s decision to 45 days after the appeal was filed. Extends required decision on a Programmatic Permit from 90 to 120 days after the application was deemed complete.

 When a Tree Permit is required

Clarified language to ensure compliance with Zoning Code requirements along with Tree Code compliance. “All applicable Zoning Code landscape requirements, including landscape buffers and parking lot landscaping, must be met on the site.”

 For questions about trees in Non-development situations or in the public right-of-way, please call Urban Forestry at 503-823-TREE (8733), email, or visit