Your Portland Street Planting Guide

If you wish to plant a tree on a city street in Portland, there are a few steps you must take. The first thing you need to do is acquire a planting permit. These permits are not required to plant a tree on private property; however, they are needed if you want to put any kind of tree in the city right-of-way. Generally, this is anywhere between the curb and sidewalk on the street. Only the owner of the property next to the planting strip can apply for a permit. If you are not the owner, you will need to contact them and obtain their consent to represent them during the application process.

Before you qualify for a permit, you have to agree to abide by the Street Tree Planting Standards. To apply, the first thing you need to do is contact the Oregon Utility Notification Locate Center to mark the locations of any underground utilities that are present. To do this you’ll either need to call a local number or get on the Dig Safely Oregon website.Your Portland Street Planting Guide

Once you’ve educated yourself on a proper location for your tree, you’ll need to fill out the Street Tree Permit Application (non-removal) which can be filled out online or you can request a paper permit application. You can also submit it by mail to Urban Forestry. This can either be done by emailing or being sent via the post to the following address:

ATTN: Urban Forestry, 1900 SW 4th Ave. Suite 5000, Portland OR 97201

You can also drop off the application in person at the Development Services Center, which is located at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, OR 97201 on the first floor. Their hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8AM-12PM and 12:30PM – 3PM and 8AM – 12PM on Thursdays. The application can also be faxed to 503-823-4493.

You can also have the city of Portland’s tree planting partner, Friends of Trees, acquire the permit for you. This tree service in Portland is a nonprofit organization that is partnered with the city to provide trees and tree care across the city. Since 1989 they have planted over half a million trees and other native plants. They can assist you in planting both street trees and private trees.

Once you’ve taken the steps to apply for the permit, it will take approximately 10 business days for your application to be processed. Make sure your application is complete and correct before submitting it! An incomplete application will cause delays in your tree planting process.

Once your completed application has been approved, Urban Forestry will send a tree inspector to visit the site where you plan to plant the tree. They will conduct a thorough inspection of the area where the tree is to be planted, marking the curb on the sidewalk with paint to mark the exact location for the tree.

After doing this, you will receive an approved list of tree species for planting. Regardless of the which tree service in Portland you use, the species you can plant will depend upon the size of your tree planting site and the surrounding area. For example, Urban Forestry considers where the curb for the tree can be found and also what paved area is around it.

The list will also consider the tree’s location relative to power lines and offer you options depending on what you are looking for specifically. For example, if you have a very small area and are looking for attractive flowers in a tree, an approved choice might be a blireiana plum tree. Meanwhile, if you have a very large area and are hoping wildlife will come and visit your tree, an approved tree might be the Spanish Chestnut – which brings in birds with the chestnuts it produces every October.

Depending on the tree chosen there will also be size requirements you must follow to perform this kind of tree service in Portland. For example, conifer trees must be a minimum of 5 feet in height at the time of planting while broadleaf tree requirements differ.

Once you have selected a species of tree from the list. Then you’ll send your selected plant choice back to the tree services’ inspector. Then, you’ll receive your planting permit, which is valid for 30 days from the date of issue. It’s a good idea to plant your tree sometime between the 1st of October and the 30th of April. These months are cooler and wetter and therefore provide ideal conditions for the tree to thrive.

It’s possible you will have to make alterations in the sidewalk to plant your tree. If you find this to be the case, you’ll have to acquire a separate sidewalk permit from the Bureau of Transportation. To start the process of acquiring this permit, email

After you have secured the necessary permits, you can begin the process of planting your tree! The City of Portland’s website provides a list of nurseries where trees of all approved varieties can be purchased. It also provides links to the Friends of Trees website should you choose to go that route. Once you’ve made your selection you’ll at last be able to plant your tree!

Once it’s planted of course, if you need a trim to keep it in tip-top shape, then contact Portland Tree service Mr. Tree. We provide speedy, efficient, and legal tree services in Portland.

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