Do I need city of Portland permits for tree removal?
While appearing like an easy endeavor on the surface, removing a tree can be a difficult and potentially dangerous process. From knowing if you need city of Portland permits to trying to control a tree’s falling path, there are plenty of pitfalls that come with removing a tree yourself. That’s why we strongly suggest you hire a professional tree trimmer to handle these issues so that you don’t unintentionally break city laws or harm yourself while removing a tree.
City of Portland permits: Does your tree removal need one?
While some trees on private property do not require city of Portland permits to remove, others do based on their precise location. Take a look at this checklist to help determine if you’ll need a city permit to remove a tree on your property:
- Property has active development permit, or will be developed soon.
- Requires Bureau of Development Services (BDS) permit
- Tree is identified as a Heritage Tree.
- Urban Forestry (UF) permit
- The tree’s preservation governed by a land use review.
- BDS permit
- The tree is located at an Overlay Zone or Plan District. Visit Portland’s city website to view the zones and districts.
- BDS or UF permit
- The tree is 12 inches in diameter at breast height or greater.
- UF permit
- The tree is located in a parking lot.
- BDS permit
If your tree does not fit any of the above requirements, it is probably legal to be remove it with city of Portland permits. However, to see Portland’s requirements for yourself, visit the city’s page on tree removals.
Let’s say the tree you’d like to remove is not constrained by city permits and can removed at will. You can just take care of that yourself, right? Well, no. Here’s why you should never decide to remove a tree yourself:
Dangers of DIY tree removal
Removing a tree yourself is highly dangerous, from the equipment used to determine where the tree will fall. Every year, 300 people die in the U.S. from ladder falls. Another 160,000 are treated in emergency rooms for the same type of incident. Beyond ladders, other tools used to cut down trees, such as chain saws, have the potential to inflict terrible harm on the human body from even a simple slip.
In addition to the equipment involved, trees don’t always fall where you expect them to. An off-balanced fall can land a tree on a home, a car, or a person. Simply put, not choosing to hire a certified arborist or tree-trimming service isn’t an excuse for losing your life or livelihood.
When the tree poses a hazard
However, if you removed an otherwise-regulated tree in an emergency situation, you’re still required to apply for a retroactive permit within 7 days of the tree’s removal. Photographs of the tree are necessary to prove the prior emergency situation.
Hire professional tree trimmer in Portland
Whether you’re looking to completely remove a tree from your property or to simply keep the trees you have looking their healthiest, Inexpensive Tree Care has the tools and expertise to know if you need city of Portland permits as well as give your trees high-quality care at reasonable rates.