Do I Need a Permit to Remove Trees on Private Property?

Urban house with trees
The steps in this chart will help you figure out if you need a permit to remove trees on private property when no development is proposed. Permits from PP&R Urban Forestry and/or the Bureau of Development Services may be required to remove trees on private property.
On this page


  • Please Verify Your Tree Is on Private Property and Not a Street Tree.

What is a Street Tree?

*All Street Trees require a permit prior to removal*  

  • Is the Private Property Tree an Immediate Hazard?

Learn about emergency tree removals on private property. 

Checklist Questions: 

Do I need a permit to remove trees on private property?

Use this chart to determine if you need a permit:

1) Does the property have an active development permit, or will it be developed or re-developed soon?

Please use Check a Permit Status to determine if there is active development.
* Note that checking online is a good resource, but calling Urban Forestry will have more up to date info. 

YesBDS (Bureau of Development Services) permit requiredCall BDS at 503-823-7300
NoGo to 2

2) Is the tree a Heritage Tree?

Use the Heritage Tree Database to determine if your tree is a Heritage Tree

YesUF (Urban Forestry) permit required

Get a permit

NoGo to 3

3) Does a land use review govern the tree’s preservation?

Determine if a land use review governs tree preservation on the property

YesBDS permit requiredCall BDS at 503-823-7300
NoGo to 4

4) Is the tree located within one of the following Overlay Zones and/or Plan Districts?

Overlay Zones: c, e, g, h, i, n, p, q, r, s, v

Plan Districts:

  • Cascade Station/Portland International Center Plan District
  • Columbia South Shore Plan District
  • Johnson Creek Basin Plan District
  • Portland International Airport Plan District
  • Rocky Butte Plan District
  • South Auditorium Plan District

Determine if the tree is located within an Overlay Zone or Plan District

YesBDS or UF permit likely required

Call 823-TREE (8733) to determine if BDS or UF permit required

Have this information on hand when calling

NoGo to 5

5) Is the tree 12 inches in diameter at breast height (DBH) or greater?

Learn how to measure DBH

YesUF Permit requiredGet a permit
NoGo to 6

6) Is the tree located in a parking lot?

YesBDS permit requiredCall BDS at 503-823-7300
NoNo permit required

If you still need help determining whether you need a permit to remove trees on private property, call Urban Forestry at 503-823-TREE (8733) or email

Read the Tree Code, Title 11