On-Site Tree Preservation

Learn more about tree preservation exemptions. Find out about City requirements for privately-owned trees. Get information about neighborhood notices to mail or post at the construction site. Self-certify that notification requirements are met. Find neighborhood contact information, too.
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Tree preservation requirements apply when ground-disturbing activities or a construction staging area of greater than 100 square feet on unpaved areas impact the root zones of trees on site on private property that are 12 inches in diameter  or greater.

Tree Preservation Exemptions

The following are exempt from the tree preservation standards: 

  • The site is less than 5,000 square feet in area
  • The site has existing or proposed building coverage of 85% or more
  • Portions of sites in the IH zone
  • Trees that are dead, dying, dangerous
  • Trees that are a nuisance species
  • Trees exempted by a land use review
  • Tree preservation requirements already approved through a land division or planned development
  • Repair and replacement of existing fences and decks that are not changing in footprint or length when no trees are to be removed as a part of the project

Tree Preservation Requirement

Private Trees

Private trees are trees located on privately-owned land. The following tree preservation requirements apply to private trees:

  • You must preserve and protect at least 1/3 of the non-exempt trees that are 12 inches and larger in diameter located completely or partially on your site.  Any fractional result will be rounded up to the next whole number.
  • Any tree at least 6 inches but less than 12 inches in diameter that is an Oregon white oak (Garry oak), Pacific madrone, Pacific yew, ponderosa pine or Western flowering dogwood doesn't add to the total number of trees. But this may be retained towards meeting the tree preservation requirement. 
  • You must preserve and protect all trees 20 inches and larger in diameter located completely or partially on your site
  • Any tree removed below the 1/3 requirement, and any tree removed that is 20 inches or larger in diameter will require payment in lieu of preservation to the Tree Planting and Preservation Fund. Review the tree preservation, density and planting requirements to calculate this cost.

Tree Removal 

When the tree preservation requirements apply, each tree not preserved and protected may be removed under the issued development permit.  

Neighborhood notices about tree removal 

Use these forms when removing trees 36 inches or greater in diameter. Applicants will be required to submit a certification form verifying notification requirements have been met. This certification must be submitted prior to development permit issuance.

You can also find out which neighborhood association you need to contact.

For more information, check out the related Protecting Trees During Construction and Tree Preservation Inspections webpage. 

Protecting Trees During Construction

Learn more about protecting trees during construction. 

Two practical methods of tree protection are the Prescriptive Path and Performance Path. One of these methods should be implemented before any ground-disturbing activity. 

  • Prescriptive Path

    • The Prescriptive Path method of tree protection establishes a root protection zone and blocks this zone from construction activities. When it is not practical to establish a root protection zone to the specifications of the Prescriptive Path method, you may use alternative measures to modify the root protection zone, called the Performance Path. 

  • Performance Path

    • Modified measures when it is not practical to establish a root protection zone to the specifications of the Prescriptive path. 

Read the Tree Code, Title 11