Blog Education Shop Talk Vol. 11: The Street Tree Laws Portland Homeowners Should Know

Shop Talk Vol. 11: The Street Tree Laws Portland Homeowners Should Know

By Aryne + Dulcinea, April 29, 2019

We recently had an inquiry from a client who was dealing with a vandalized fruit tree in front of her home. Because the tree was located along the street, this brought up some interesting points regarding citywide tree laws. When it comes to planting, repairing or removing any tree in the City right-of-way, there are street tree laws Portland homeowners need to know.


In order to legally plant a tree on a city street, you must first obtain a permit. You can submit the online Street Tree Permit Application, or request a paper permit application by calling 503-823-8733. The planting permit is free, takes under 10 business days to secure and includes a complimentary inspection. Set up your inspection prior to purchasing your tree by calling Urban Forestry at 503-823-4489.

You can also work with non-profit Friends of Trees, which partners with the City to facilitate street tree planting processes. When you purchase trees through their program, they work on your behalf to secure the required permits.

You can find a list of approved street trees at the bottom of this page, and the city mandated street tree standards can be found here.


A pruning permit must be procured to prune any branch on a street tree with a base exceeding a ½ inch in diameter. In some instances, pruning permits can be obtained directly online. The criteria below outline instances where an application must first be submitted to Urban Forestry, as sourced from the city’s website:

  • The tree is at a non-residential property
  • Pruning is for crown restoration, weight reduction, clearing infrastructure such as buildings or utility lines, or crown reduction
  • Pruning is for branches greater than 6″ in diameter
  • The street tree is a Heritage Tree


When it comes to removing destructive or undesirable tree from a City right-of-way, permits are required for all plants exceeding a ½ inch in diameter. Additional permits may be required if the property is in a regulated overlay zone or plan district. Restrictions may also be enforced to help protect environmentally sensitive or historic areas. Staff will let the applicant know when additional regulations apply to the property and will describe the permit requirements. To learn more about removal and replanting street tree laws, Portland homeowners, should review the FAQ list on the city’s website. For information on emergency tree removal, review this page.


When it comes to dealing with city property and street tree laws, Portland, homeowners are better off erring on the side of caution. When planting, pruning or removing trees without the proper permits, you could incur costly fees. These penalties range in cost significantly, with the potential to exceed several thousands of dollars.

Shop Talk Vol. : The Street Tree Laws Portland Homeowners Should Know


Still not sure what to do about that tree in your yard? Reach out to the Urban Forestry directly at 503-823-4489. Or, drop us a line and we’ll get you connected to the resources you need.

Aryne + Dulcinea

Earth Advantage & ADU Specialist Brokers

Click here to get to know Aryne + Dulcinea! As full-service agents with over 17 years of dynamic experience, Aryne + Dulcinea understand how to navigate the unique challenges facing the Portland real estate market. The secret to their success lies in their complementary skill sets. In 2012, Aryne + Dulcinea saw an opportunity to combine their creative and technical wisdom to create a values-driven, full-service agency unlike any other. As expert negotiators and project management mavens with strong backgrounds in creative marketing, Aryne + Dulcinea serve as fierce advocates for their clients. Their passion for real estate relates closely to their commitment to the Portland way of life, which entails a dedication to sustainability and appreciation for all things local. As Earth Advantage Brokers and ADU Certified Specialists, Aryne + Dulcinea are savvy in all aspects of alternative living practices—from versatile housing additions, green building practices, and revenue-generating strategies. Over the course of their professional partnership, Aryne + Dulcinea have helped nearly 200 clients prosper in their new lives. During this time, they have prided themselves on their top-notch selling abilities, with homes outperforming market standards, consistently exceeding list price while most of their listings sell in under 7 days. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, Aryne & Dulcinea will work in collaboration to guide you in investing in your future and reaching you real estate goals.
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Aryne + Dulcinea

Earth Advantage & ADU Specialist Brokers

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