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Tree Problems

Information on reporting tree emergencies, defining "emergencies" and "non-emergencies," and when the City gets involved.

On this page

Important Terms 

  • Emergency: An imminent threat (immediate hazard) to public safety or infrastructure that is time sensitive. 
    • By contrast, a dead tree (for example) maynot qualify as an imminent threat or emergency if this tree work could be permitted and reviewed under a normal timeline. 
  • Retroactive Permit: A permit applied for after doing emergency tree work. 
  • Right-of-way (ROW): City-owned property, often a strip of land near a street. Tree emergencies in the ROW are handled by the City and Urban Forestry. 

Report a Tree Emergency

A blocked/imminent threat to the public in the Right-of-Way or City-managed land.

  • Urban Forestry will respond during all hours to tree emergencies that block or pose an imminent threat to the public in the right-of-way or on City-managed land
  • Call Urban Forestry at 503-823-TREE (8733) (available 24/7) 
    • Press #1 for Tree Emergency Hotline
      • Transfers to emergency dispatch if call received after regular business hours

Private Property Tree Emergencies

If the emergency exists on private property and is NOT blocking or threatening the right-of-way or City-managed land, Urban Forestry suggests that you contact an arborist to remove the hazardous portion of the tree.

A retroactive permit is required for any work that generally requires permitting (Pruning, Removal and Replacement Permits), this option is only for emergencies when a hazard to people or property is imminent. 

Retroactive Permits for Emergency Tree Work

  • You must apply for a permit within 7 days after doing emergency tree work on a regulated private property tree
  • Photographic evidence is required
  • See the Report a Tree Emergency page for more information 

Emergency Tree Removal

Useful information on what is and is not an "immediate hazard" that necessitates tree removal.​​​​

Reporting Non-Emergency Tree Problems 

Visit this page for information on reporting non-emergency (not an immediate hazard) tree problems, for example:

  • Street tree removal, pruning, or planting without a permit
  • Dead or hazard trees
  • Private tree removal without a permit
  • Topping of trees
  • Neighbor's street tree limbs hanging too low (branches should provide 7.5 feet of clearance over sidewalks and 11 feet of clearance over streets)
  • Neighbors street tree is dead, dying, or dangerous
Other Non-Emergency Information/ResourcesResource InformationLink
Tree Limbs, Visibility, or Tree and Sidewalk Issues? 

General contact information page for information on reporting tree related  issues, including blocked visibility for signs, lights, and safe sidewalks and medians. 

Stop signs & signals; and blocked street lights: 503-823-SAFE (7233)

Low limbs: 503-823-CODE (2633)

Online form

City Park Tree Problems?
Report non-emergency city park tree problems via the Parkscanpdx.org website.Tree Problems in parks

Report a Code Violation

Bureau of Developmental Services (BDS) contact list for reporting commercial and residential code violation concerns such as:

  • Tree cutting or other vegetation removal in an environmental zone
  • Tall grass/weeds
  • Bushes/trees/vegetation encroaching into right-of-way
  • Visibility at intersections

Correcting Tree Code Violations 

What a Tree Code violation is, the process, and steps towards addressing the violation. 

Tree Permit Violation Review Application
Urban Forestry begins investigating a code violation when it is reported as a potential violation. If a violation is found, Urban Forestry will outline a corrective action plan. 
Administrative Review 
The Administrative Review process allows Urban Forestry management staff to investigate if a violation was found in error. 

Administrative Review Application

Neighbor's Trees

Visit the Neighbor's Trees page for more information. 

Tree Permit Appeals and Public Notices 

Visit this page for more information on how to appeal a tree removal permit that was issued or denied.

Trees and Power Lines

Contact information for Portland General Electric (PGE) and Pacific Power and Light (PP&L) listed below.

Never attempt to prune a tree that has grown into high voltage power lines. Utility companies regularly prune trees around high voltage power lines with specially trained arborists. If a tree or tree branch is in contact with a high voltage wire, call your utility company immediately.

Portland General Electric (PGE)

Pacific Power

Tree Diseases and Pests

Information on common tree diseases and pests, including information on symptoms, susceptible species, and treatments.

Native and Nuisance Trees

The Portland Plant List is comprised of two lists and supporting information: the Native Plants List and the Nuisance Plants List.

Integrated Pest Management

Portland Parks & Recreation's Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program manages pests that are harmful to the health, function or aesthetic value of park landscapes in an efficient, effective, and environmentally responsible manner, while paying careful attention to public and employee safety.