City Bureaus & Urban Forestry Join Forces to Plant More Street Trees

News Article
Tree in curb extension area
Urban Forestry is partnering with other Bureaus to pilot a project to plant more street trees in the curb/parking zone. These new curb designs (shown in the photo above) slow traffic to improve road safety and provide space for trees.

Trees in the Curb Zone

There are many streets in Portland that lack planting strips or don’t provide enough space behind the curb for new trees to thrive. Many of these streets are in East Portland. These areas have less canopy cover and lower household incomes than other neighborhoods in the city.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), Urban Forestry, and the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) are working together to address this problem with a pilot project to develop new space for trees in the curb/parking zone. The Trees in the Curb Zone Pilot provides an opportunity for the three bureaus to work together to install new street tree plantings. These new curb designs slow traffic to improve road safety and provide space for trees on streets that otherwise wouldn’t have them.

The project comes directly from the PBOT's recently adopted Pedestrian Master Plan (PedPDX) and Pedestrian Design Guide. This effort is a result of public support for more innovative approaches to tree planting in Portland. The pilot project is funded by PBOT and a “Percent for Green” grant from BES.

Urban Forestry is working with PBOT in all phases of planning and implementing the project. Urban Forestry’s role is to provide expertise on tree care and spacing needs as well as feedback on the design. Urban Forestry will provide species selection, planting, and establishment for five years.

Project team members are hopeful that the designs developed can be a template for future plantings in other parts of the city. 

This graphic shows how a tree bump out might be configured. This graphic is for illustrative purposes and final design may be different.
The Pedestrian Design Guide provides information on innovative tree planting treatments, such as Trees in the Curb Zone. This diagram is conceptual and not an engineering drawing.