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Winter resources

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Portland Parks & Recreation offers tree care tips for winter

News Article
Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R)’s Urban Forestry division staff say that the approach of winter is an important time to care for trees in your home and adjacent right-of-way.
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You can help avoid tree and property damage - and help mitigate hazards from future wind, rain, snow, and ice by doing proactive tree maintenance now and in the coming months.

Staff in PP&R’s Urban Forestry division recommend that you hire experienced, qualified tree care professionals to inspect and care for your trees. The City of Portland Local Tree Care Providers (LTCP) program lists many tree care companies that have attended a recent PP&R Urban Forestry LTCP training, have a business license, certification from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), and incurred no known tree regulation violations in the past year.

“December through March are generally the best time to do tree maintenance in the Northwest,” says PP&R’s City Forester Jenn Cairo. “It’s the time of year for trees in our area to be dormant. That means pruning is less stressful for them, they recover faster, and there is less disease and detrimental insect activity than in other seasons.”

Permits are required for all activities involving Portland’s street trees and some trees on private property. For more info for homeowners and contractors, visit portland.gov/trees/treepermits.

Trees are part of the very fabric of our city
They help keep Portland green and healthy. Trees provide shade, wildlife habitat, beauty, cleaner air, and help mitigate the effects of climate change. PP&R will plant at least 2,500 new trees this winter in areas of town where the canopy is not yet as robust as others. The bureau recently held Portland Arbor Day 2021 in the Lents neighborhood, where staff and volunteers planted dozens of trees in the park and held family-friendly events and activities to educate neighbors on the value of Portland’s urban forest. And PP&R Urban Forestry just wrapped up its series of free Yard Tree Giveaway events, distributing nearly 2,000 trees for planting in people’s yards and properties.

For information on free tree education programs, events, tree planting, and other urban forest services for Portlanders, visit portland.gov/trees.

Tree-related emergencies
To report trees blocking public streets or trees on city property that appear to be close to falling, call 503-823-TREE (8733). Staff from PP&R’s Urban Forestry division respond to tree emergencies on public property in Portland, with Urban Forestry arborists on-call 24/7.

Parks Local Option Levy means more tree care in PP&R system
With funding from the Parks Local Option Levy passed by voters in November 2020, PP&R is preparing work on restoring natural areas, planting more trees, safeguarding clean water, protecting wildlife, diminishing the effects of climate change, and providing the appropriate care for the 1.2 million trees in Portland’s parks system.

About Portland Parks & Recreation UrbanForestry
The mission of PP&R’s Urban Forestry division is to manage and care for Portland's tree infrastructure for current and future generations. Portland’s urban forest consists of 220,000 street trees, 1.2 million park trees, and nearly three million private property trees. Portland Parks & Recreation’s Urban Forestry division is involved in managing or regulating these trees. Urban Forestry created and implements the City of Portland's Urban Forest Management Plan, fosters community tree awareness and stewardship, develops tree policies and programs, monitors and assesses Portland’s urban forest, and issues permits for planting, pruning, and removal of public and some private trees. During extreme weather at all times of the year, Urban Forestry crews respond to tree emergencies to keep you safe and the City moving. To learn more about Urban Forestry’s work, check out “Growing a More Equitable Urban Forest”.