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South Park Blocks and downtown Portland trees covered in snow. (Photo/Portland Parks & Rec)
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 16 December 2021

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R)’s Urban Forestry division staff say that the approach of winter is an important time to care for trees in your home and adjacent right-of-way. You can help avoid tree and property damage - and help mitigate hazards from future wind, rain, snow and ice by doing proactive tree maintenance now and in the coming months.

Staff in PP&R’s Urban Forestry division recommend that you hire experienced, qualified tree care professionals to inspect and care for your trees.  The City of Portland Local Tree Care Providers (LTCP) program lists many tree care companies that have attended a recent PP&R UF LTCP training, have a business license, certification from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), and incurred no known tree regulation violations in the past year.

“December through March are generally the best time to do tree maintenance in the Northwest,” says Portland Parks & Recreation’s City Forester Jenn Cairo.

“It’s the time of year for trees in our area to be dormant. That means pruning is less stressful for them, they recover faster, and there is less disease and detrimental insect activity than in other seasons.”

Permits are required for all activities involving Portland’s street trees and some trees on private property. More info for homeowners and contractors: portland.gov/trees/treepermits.

Trees are part of the very fabric of our city

They help keep Portland green and healthy. Trees provide shade, wildlife habitat, beauty, cleaner air, and help mitigate the effects of climate change. Portland Parks & Recreation will plant at least 2500 new trees this winter in areas of town where the canopy is not yet as robust as others. The bureau recently held Portland Arbor Day 2021 in the Lents neighborhood, where staff and volunteers planted dozens of trees in the park and held family-friendly events and activities to educate neighbors on the value of Portland’s urban forest. And PP&R Urban Forestry just wrapped up its series of free Yard Tree Giveaway events, distributing nearly 2000 trees for planting in people’s yards and properties.

For information on free tree education programs, events, tree planting and other urban forest services for Portlanders, visit portland.gov/trees.

Tree-related emergencies

To report trees blocking public streets or trees on city property which appear to be close to falling, call 503-823-TREE (8733).  Staff from PP&R’s Urban Forestry (UF) division respond to tree emergencies on public property in Portland, with UF arborists on call 24/7.

Parks Local Option Levy means more tree care in PP&R system

With funding from the Parks Local Option Levy, passed by voters in November 2020, PP&R is preparing work on restoring natural areas, planting more trees, safeguarding clean water, protecting wildlife, diminishing the effects of climate change, and providing the appropriate care for the 1.2 million trees in Portland’s parks system.

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