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Tree Planting Programs

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Portland is working hard to grow its urban forest and the city offers free or subsidized trees through the programs listed below. Each operates on their own timeline and may have restrictions, so check for details. Note these programs are only eligible for non-development planting projects.
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Free Yard Trees from Urban Forestry

Urban Forestry gives away trees for planting on private property throughout Portland. Learn more about getting your free yard trees!

Why Trees? 
Trees provide essential services for all Portlanders. Planting trees in yards keeps us and our homes cool during the hottest months and helps collect stormwater during the winter. They also clean the air, buffer noise, reduce crime and improve our health. On top of all of this, they provide year-round beauty. 

Eligibility

  • Limit of two trees per address
  • Trees must be planted within City of Portland boundaries
  • Trees are for planting on private property
  • Trees are not to be used for planting permit requirements

Have questions? Please contact us at freetrees@portlandoregon.gov or call 503-823-4963.

Yard Tree Giveaway 2020
Yard Tree Giveaway 2020

Free Street Trees in Portland

Trees are important to all Portlanders. Street trees provide:

  • Shade and cooling
  • Reduced air and noise pollution
  • Storm water absorption
  • More walkable neighborhoods
  • Slower traffic speeds
  • Stress reduction
  • Beauty

Over the next few years, Urban Forestry contractors will plant free street trees in priority neighborhoods throughout Portland. In addition to planting, contractors will water and maintain trees for the following three summers. After the third year, trees become the responsibility of the adjacent property owner to maintain, which is the same for all street trees under Portland City Code 11.60.060.A.2.a.

Priority neighborhoods are ones that have been identified as high-need for additional tree canopy. West of the Willamette River, canopy cover is 56%. However, east of the Willamette River, where 80% of Portland’s community members live, canopy cover is only 21%. This means that the services and benefits of the urban forest are not accessible to many of the people who live in Portland. For more information, see Portland’s citywide tree planting strategy, “Growing a More Equitable Urban Forest."

Urban Forestry staff will work to identify plantable sites and notify residents of eligibility based on the City’s Street Tree Planting Standards. Street tree plantings are funded by Portland’s Tree Planting and Preservation Fund, which is used to plant trees to compensate for those removed in property development and other situations.

Two newly planted trees in the right-of-way between the street and the sidewalk.

Learning Landscapes - Planting Trees With Schools

The Learning Landscapes program empowers students to plant trees at their school, supported by a professional urban forestry team. Students connect to their school and community by working together to improve and green their school grounds during a fun, outdoor educational experience. As trees grow, they provide environmental and aesthetic benefits to the school for decades. Trees also serve as a living, learning landscape for educators to teach science, math, and more.

Learning Landscapes trees come with a three-year commitment.

Urban Forestry commits to:

  • Work with the school to create a planting plan based on school needs
  • Provide all trees and supplies
  • Organize volunteers and work with the students to properly plant the trees
  • Provide three years of maintenance for every tree planted, including watering, mulching, and weeding
  • Provide a classroom component on trees ahead of the planting day

Learn more and apply for a tree planting at your school on our Learning Landscapes page. 

For questions, contact Molly Wilson at molly.wilson@portlandoregon.gov or at 503-823-4963.

Ron Russel Middle School Students plant trees at Earl Boyles Park

Environmental Services Tree Program

The Environmental Services Tree Program plants trees on multi-family, commercial, and industrial property. Additionally, they offer Treebate, a one-time credit on your City of Portland sewer/stormwater/water utility bill for planting a tree in your residential yard.

A sign is displayed at a local nursery advertising the Treebate program.