Program Details and Eligibility
Treebate provides a one-time credit on your City of Portland water, sewer, stormwater bill for planting a tree in your residential yard. Treebate encourages Portlanders to plant trees that will intercept rainwater, reducing the amount of stormwater runoff collected in the sewer system during rainstorms and reducing pollution to rivers. Larger trees receive larger credits because they will capture a greater amount of rain when they are fully grown.
Treebate is an annual program, running from September 1 to April 30, which is the best time to plant a tree in Portland. Trees must be purchased, planted, and applications submitted during that time. Only applications for trees planted during the current planting season are eligible.
Please look over the eligibility list below before submitting your application to the Treebate Program.
- I am a City of Portland water, sewer, stormwater utility customer for the property where the tree was planted.
- My tree is planted in the yard of a single home or duplex.
- I either own this property or received permission from the owner prior to planting.
- I was not required to plant my tree by City code or a City-issued permit.
- My tree is not on Portland’s Nuisance Tree List.
- My tree was purchased, planted, and application submitted between September 1 and April 30.
- My tree is currently at least 4 feet tall, measured from the top of the soil.
- My tree will be at least 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide at maturity and has a single stem.
- My tree is planted with enough space to reach its full mature size.
What Counts as a Tree?
For this program, a tree is defined as a woody perennial plant with many secondary branches supported some height above the ground by one main stem or trunk. The tree must be expected to grow to at least 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide at maturity. The minimum mature size qualification is waived for edible fruit trees.
This program does not include woody plants such as shrubs, arborescent shrubs, or plants used to create hedges or other closely-planted buffers or thick borders on private property. Specimens bred or pruned to maintain an artificially reduced canopy such as topiary, espaliered, pollarded specimens, and small weeping varieties are also not eligible for this program.
Treebate Credit Amounts
Treebate credits 50 percent of the tree’s purchase price up to $10 for edible fruit trees, $20 for small trees, $30 for medium trees, and $50 for large trees. Treebate shows up as an “adjustment” to your water, sewer, stormwater bill.
Treebate encourages Portlanders to plant trees that will intercept rainwater, reducing the amount of stormwater runoff collected in the sewer system during rainstorms and reducing pollution to rivers. Larger trees help us manage more stormwater than smaller trees, so we provide a larger incentive for larger trees. City staff determine the credit amount based on the mature tree size as shown in this table:
|Mature Size||Minimum Mature Height||Mature Height by Width||Examples|
|Large||50 feet||At Least 2,500 ft2||Douglas-fir, Oregon white oak, giant sequoia, London plane|
|Medium||30 feet||Between 1,000 and 2,500 ft2||Silverleaf oak, dawn redwood, and red maple|
|Small||15 feet||1,000 ft2 or less||Japanese maple, flowering dogwood, Persian ironwood, magnolia|
|Fruit Trees||Not applicable||Not applicable||Apple, pear, peach, and persimmon|
More information about tree planting and care is available on the City website.
- Find other City-sponsored tree planting opportunities.
- Learn what the difference is between a street tree and a yard tree.
- Read about proper tree planting.
- Find out more about local and regional tree species and learn which ones to avoid.
- Get information about the benefits of trees, tree permits and regulations, and more at the City’s Urban Forestry pages.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do trees planted in the right-of-way (“street trees”) qualify for a Treebate?
No, only trees planted in private residential yards qualify for Treebate. Learn what the difference is between a street tree and a yard tree.
Why must a tree be purchased, planted, and application submitted between September and April?
Cool, moist weather prevails from approximately October through March in Portland. Late fall and winter are generally considered the best time to plant trees because they are dormant during that time. Planting a dormant tree in cool, moist conditions should result in the least transplant shock and increase the likelihood that your tree survives. The program window is extended to include September and April to provide customers additional time to purchase their trees and submit their applications.
Treebate only accepts applications for trees purchased and planted during the current planting season (September – April). Trees planted in previous planting seasons are not eligible.
I’m a landlord with rental properties in Portland. May I plant trees at my rental properties but have the credits applied to my personal utility account?
The Treebate credit goes to the utility account at the property where the tree was planted. If you pay that bill, you will see the credit. If your tenants pay the bill, they will see the credit. Only active utility accounts may be credited.
The City of Portland is not my water, sewer, stormwater utility provider. Can I get a Treebate?
No. Treebate is only available for City of Portland utility ratepayers. If you receive your water, sewer or stormwater services from another provider, we encourage you to contact them to express your interest in a similar program.
Where do I find my City of Portland water, sewer, stormwater utility account number?
Your utility account number is located in the top right-hand corner of your bill. The number is 10 digits and uses the following format: 29X-XXX-XXX-0. You may also obtain your account number by calling the Water Bureau Customer Service line at 503-823-7770. Treebate staff does not have access to the Water Bureau’s database and cannot look up your account information for you.
I submitted my Treebate application. When will I get my credit?
Treebate credit requests are processed monthly. Your Treebate will appear as an “adjustment” (you will not see the word “Treebate” on your bill). When the adjustment is applied depends on your billing cycle. If you have not seen an adjustment on one of the two bills following your application, please contact Treebate staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-823-7640.
Why do fruit trees get a smaller credit than other trees?
When properly managed, fruit trees are kept small to prevent disease and increase ease of harvest. Nonetheless, fruit trees provide an additional benefit of food, contributing to food security and the resiliency of our communities. While they do not manage as much stormwater as other trees, we recognize their special importance to many of our community members.
Is there a maximum number of trees that I can get a Treebate for?
You are limited to the number of trees for which there is room on your property for those trees to reach their full mature height and width. All, some, or none of the trees you submit to Treebate may be eligible, depending on the situation. All eligible trees must be planted and maintained such that they have the potential to reach their full height and width. Program staff will request a site plan if they need more information to determine whether trees will have enough space. If you are submitting 5 or more trees on a single property, please include a site plan.
Treebate is for new trees only. A tree that is planted to replace an existing tree that died and was removed is not eligible for Treebate.
Do I need a receipt?
Yes. Your credit is determined in part by the price you paid for the tree. Treebate only accepts applications for trees purchased and planted during the current planting season (September – April). Trees planted in previous planting seasons are not eligible. A receipt, or proof of purchase, is necessary to determine both the price paid for the tree and the date the tree was purchased.
It is not necessary to submit the original receipt. You may submit a photocopy, a photo, or a PDF. Please make sure the entire receipt is visible. We are unable to accept credit card statements as proof of purchase.
If you have lost your receipt, check with the nursery or landscape professional to see whether they are able to reprint one for you.
Why does Treebate have a minimum planting size requirement?
The Treebate Program exists to encourage tree planting for the stormwater benefits trees provide. The minimum size requirements allow for trees small enough for customers to reasonably plant but large enough that the trees are sturdy and can provide stormwater benefits at the time of planting.
To be eligible for Treebate, a tree must be at least 4 feet tall measured from the base of the trunk (not including the pot or root ball) at the time of planting.
Do I have to purchase from select nurseries?
No, a tree purchased from any nursery or landscape professional is potentially eligible so long as the tree meets all regular program requirements and you can provide proof of purchase.
Can I get a Treebate for a tree I did not pay for?
No. Your credit is determined in part by the price you paid for the tree. We cannot issue a credit without an itemized receipt indicating the price paid. Trees paid for by other City of Portland programs are not eligible for additional Treebate credit.
Can I get a Treebate for a tree I am required to plant?
Tree planting is often required by development permits or to mitigate for the loss of an existing tree, for example, one you’ve cut down. Trees that you are required to plant by City Code or a City-issued permit are not eligible for Treebate.
What are the City’s Administrative Rules for Treebate?
The City’s Administrative Rules for Treebate can be found on our website.