Who is Responsible?
- It is the adjacent (next to or adjoining) property owner’s responsibility to keep trees and other plants in the right-of-way (the planting strip between the sidewalk and the curb) from blocking visibility within transportation corridors.
- Remember a Pruning Permit from Urban Forestry is required before any tree pruning in the planting strip or right-of-way.
- It is also the adjacent property owner's responsibility to repair any sidewalk damage caused by street trees. See below.
Sidewalks Disrupted by Tree Roots
To report a sidewalk that is being disrupted by tree roots and is a hazard that needs to be repaired, call the Bureau of Transportation at 503-823-1711.
Generally a member of the public who want to do sidewalk repair will begin with a sidewalk permit submitted to Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), regardless if it is believed to be tree related. A Root Pruning Permit with Urban forestry may also be required when applicable.
Sidewalk-tree conflicts can occur in an urban environment. Learn what you can do to prevent or mitigate the conflict.
Report a sidewalk in need of repair or get a permit to repair your sidewalk by calling 503-823-1711
Street Corners and Visibility
All intersections must have clear visibility for pedestrians and vehicles - even where no traffic signs or signals are present. When the City is notified of a visibility problem, the adjacent property owner is contacted as a reminder to keep nearby trees and shrubs trimmed. To report a tree blocking visibility when the tree is in the public right-of-way (the planting strip between the sidewalk and the curb), call PBOT at 503-823-SAFE (7233)
To report tree branches blocking stop signs or traffic signals, call the Bureau of Transportation at 503-823-SAFE (7233).
To report tree branches blocking street lights, call 503-865-5267.
Streets and Sidewalk Clearances
To ensure safe passage for everyone, tree limbs must hang no lower than:
- 7.5 feet above the sidewalk,
- 11 feet above residential streets,
- 14 feet above main arterial streets.
It is the adjacent (closest property) owner's responsibility to maintain the trees in the public right-of-way( the planting strip between the sidewalk and the curb).
To report a tree that does not meet the street and sidewalk clearance requirements ( tree located on private property that has branches that are hanging too low over a street or public right-of-way):
- Call Bureau of Development Services Code Enforcement Hotline at 503 -823-CODE (2633).
- Or submit an Online Report
Trees, Utilities and Powerlines
Never attempt to prune a tree that has grown into high voltage wires. The utility companies prune trees under high voltage power lines on a regular schedule. If a tree or tree branch is leaning on a high voltage wire, call your utility company immediately.
- Portland General Electric (PGE) 503-228-6322 (Other 800-544-1795)
- Pacific Power & Light (PP&L) 1-888-221-7070 (Other 877-508-5088)
Trees in Medians
To report a tree located in a street median that needs pruning, call the Bureau of Maintenance at 503-823-1700.