Street Tree or Private Tree?

What is a Street Tree? How can I find out if a tree is a Private Tree or Street Tree? View a series of photos to learn more.

Street Trees

Image of street trees
Street trees planted in an improved right-of-way with curb and sidewalk.

A Street tree is any tree growing in the City's right-of-way (ROW), or strip of land near City streets.

Care and maintenance of Street Trees in the right-of-way is the responsibility of the closest bordering) property owner (adjacent).

See Trees and Street Visibility, Clearances, Sidewalks, and Safety for basic maintenance requirements and contact information.

Example Right-of-ways

Right of way line beyond the sidewalk example
The yellow line in the photo marks the edge of the right-of-way. The Green box in the photo says, "The right-of-way can extend beyond the sidewalk, in this case 1 foot."

Right-of-Way sizes vary. Generally, the right-of-way strip begins at the curb and includes the sidewalk. The right-of-way boundary can extend past the sidewalk and towards private property by varying amounts. 

street trees on both sides of a sidewalk
The yellow line in the photo marks the boundary of the right-of-way. The yellow arrows highlight trees on both sides of the sidewalk. In this case, both trees are in the right-of-way and considered Street Trees.

As the distance past the sidewalk and towards private property varies, see Using PortlandMapsfor directions on viewing property outlines.  

A tree that straddles the line between private property and the right-of-way is considered a Street Tree. 

unimproved ROW trees
Trees planted in an unimproved right-of-way with no curb or sidewalk. These are considered Street Trees.

A right-of-way can be with or without a sidewalk.

A right-of-way without a sidewalk is termed "unimproved." 

A right-of-way with a sidewalk is "improved."

Aright-of-way without a planting strip between the street and the sidewalk.

Private Trees

Example of Private Tree
​​​​​​Example of a tree on private property and not in the street right-of-way

A Private Tree is a tree located on private property, and does not straddle the right-of-way line. 

For more information, see:

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

Private Property Tree Replacement Lists and Requirements

Overlay Zone or Plan District

Private property trees of any size may require a permit for removal in certain environmental overlay zones and plan districts. See the Overlay Zone Map for directions on finding the Overlay Zone and Plan District based by address.