Your Voice Still Needed to Protect Portland’s Large Healthy Trees!

September 20 is the deadline for public comments on a Proposed Administrative Rule governing tree replanting and replacement rules in the City of Portland. The rules could help preserve more large healthy trees in many situations. We need you to attend September 18, 2:00 – 4:00 PM at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, 2500 B and send emails to City staff and Commissioners. See details below.

Chestnut-backed Chickadee by Scott Carpenter

Why this Proposed Administrative Rule for Tree Replacement Is Important

When large healthy trees are permitted to be cut, what is the maximum number of trees the City Forester could require to be replanted? Should replacement of City-owned trees including in the public right-of-way meet a higher standard of mitigation?

These are some of the questions the Proposed Administrative Rule would resolve. Administrative rules that allows the City Forester to require a higher number of trees to be replanted when trees are cut will do two things. First, it will discourage City Bureaus and developers from cutting large street trees or trees on City-owned land in the first place. Second, it will set precedent for securing better policies to require higher mitigation for large healthy trees in all development situations.

What You Can Do?

  1. Attend a Public Open House on September 18  2:00 – 4:00 PM at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, 2500 B
  2. Email City Staff and Council by September 20

At the Open House and in your emails urge the City Staff and Council (see emails below) to make changes to the Proposed Administrative Rule and to code if necessary in order to do the following:

  1. Increase tree replanting requirements: Increase the number of trees replanted and the fee in lieu of replanting for trees that are cut in all circumstances, especially publicly-owned trees on City-owned land and in the public right-of-way.
    – The Proposed Administrative Rule should have a graduated mitigation standard based on tree size and species NOT the proposed cap tree replacement at flat 2-for-1 replacement standard.
    – Fees in lieu of replanting should NOT be capped at $1200. Two trees or $1200 is insufficient to compensate for the cutting of large healthy trees in our neighborhoods!
  2. Replacement of public trees should meet a higher standard: The City of Portland should lead by example. City-owned trees, including street trees, removed for development and street “improvement” projects should meet a higher standard of tree replacement and replanting. These “public trees” represent a public asset and are critical public green infrastructure.
  3. New Solutions for Street Trees: We need “street improvements” that don’t put healthy trees in the crosshairs. Require the use of alternative or custom sidewalk designs and surfacing materials (e.g. rubber sidewalks). If space for replanting trees in the public right-of-way is constrained the City should require more space be made for street trees, not require less replanting.

Email Mieke Keenan at mieke.keenan@portlandoregon.gov and Mike Hayakawa, Mike.Hayakawa@portlandoregon.gov

CC: your email to the City Council:
Mayor Charlie Hales, MayorCharlieHales@portlandoregon.gov
Amanda Fritz, Amanda@portlandoregon.gov
Dan Saltzman, Dan@portlandoregon.gov
Nick Fish, Nick@portlandoregon.gov
Steve Novick, Novick@portlandoregon.gov

More Information and Background

East Moreland Sequoias Update

Moreland Neighbors are still fighting to save three large sequoia redwoods in their neighborhood threatened by development. These trees are not currently protected by City Code but you can support neighborhood efforts to protect by donating to the Friends of Trees “Save the Giant Sequoias” fundraising initiative or by taking direct action if needed. If you would like to be on an email list for action updates related to the East Morland Sequoias email jlabbe@urbanfauna.org.

Public street improvements required as part of an approved development are forcing the removal of these large healthy Douglas fir trees near SE 122nd and Foster.