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Tree Service Blog Portland

Tree Service Blog- All the information, tips, top 10 lists, and news you desire about your trees, tree removal, and tree care in the Portland area

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How to Care for Mature Trees

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b2ap3_thumbnail_old-oak-tree.jpgMature trees are some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring natural features on a piece of property. Their sheer height and multitude of gnarled, curling branches never fail to capture the attention of passersby. 

These trees can be fairly sensitive to changes in the environment surrounding them, so they require a high level of care. Their requirements for pruning, watering and protection from disease are different from younger trees. Improper watering and pruning could make a mature tree much more vulnerable to deadly diseases.

Perfect Pruning

To ensure the health of your gorgeous mature trees, it’s important to remove the parts that have died or become diseased. You should also have a professional arborist perform what is known as an end-weight reduction. While it's only performed on evergreens, this involves reducing the amount of weight carried on each branch in order to prevent the branches from breaking off (and potentially hurting someone). If performed improperly, these pruning techniques could actually starve the tree by leaving too few leaves attached or damage it in some other way.

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Spring Tree Care Tips

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Trees are low-maintenance, but they’re certainly not maintenance-free. Although they might appear self-sufficient, there are a number of ways to help keep them healthy and protect them from damage. Good seasonal care protects your plants and lets them thrive, especially in the spring. So, here are a few tips for how to kick-off a new growing season this year.

Spring Cleaning

Start with cleaning things up around the tree. Remove any protective wraps or covering you put up if the weather is warm enough. It’s a good idea to rake up any debris that collected underneath or around the tree, like old twigs, leaves, or fallen fruit. This helps to protect the tree from any diseases or fungi that might be lingering.


Next, apply some mulch. Mulching trees helps to suppress weeds and retain moisture. It’s most important when you’re dealing with young trees (less than 10 years old), but older trees can benefit as well. The layer of mulch should be two to three inches thick and a couple of feet wide. Don’t let it touch the trunk directly, though, because this gives diseases an easy point of access. Leave an inch or two clear.

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Urban Forest Pro's arborist's are excited for the opportunity to prune trees surrounding our local schools.

We would like to reach out and provide a learning experience for the students by showing different tree care methods.  We will also be providing a tree ID scavenger hunt with the Portland Timber's Timber Joey.  

Above is a tree at Rosa Parks we will be pruning as part of the event.

Saturday April 19th 9am-5pm 

@ Rosa Parks University Elementary 8960 N Woolsey Ave

Pruning of school trees starts at 9am between N McCoy and N Woolsey. From 2-5pm there will be a tree climbing demonstration, an afternoon clean up party, and the Timber Joey's Tree ID scavenger Hunt.

Tree to be adopted are: a Maple at the front of the school with some hazardous branches, a Maple tree by the back playground, a maple, a Cherry and an Oak tree at the corner of Woolsey and McCoy, lots of newly planted street trees that are in need of their first structural pruning. Volunteers of all skill levels are welcome to come and help prune. Lunch will be provided for volunteers by Urban Forest Pro.    

Friday April 25th 3pm-5pm  

@ Winter Haven Elementary 3800 SE 14th in the out-building at SE Center and 15th.

Pruning will be done in the morning by arborists. There will be educational presentation/activities lead by Sara Ennis and Jeff Moore for the elementary students from starting at 1pm. At 3pm there will a cleanup party and Timber Joey's Tree ID scavenger Hunt which is open to volunteers and children of all ages.

Interested Teachers-Please contact Sara Ennis with age group of children that will be participating and ways in which we can incorporate our tree learning experience with material they are learning in the classroom.

For Further Info and Details Contact:

Sara Ennis-City of Portland Urban Forestry Community Coordinator This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Jeff Moore Urban Forest Pro Lead Estimator  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Hazards of Fir Trees

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Fir-Tree.jpgAre you partial to fir trees? Whether you grew up in the Great Northwest and being surrounded by firs just feels natural to you, you adore the piney scent, or have a penchant for an evergreen (which a lot of firs are) to enjoy greenery year-round, there’s a lot to love about firs. 

It’s also important to know that firs come with plenty of hazards, and some you may not realize until it’s too late.

A fir catastrophe is a tough lesson to learn. Before you start planting these trees, or if you've already bought a property that’s rich with them, keep these risks in mind. A little knowledge and a dose of preventative care can help you make the right planting choices—or even prevent a disaster.

1. They're Prone To Falling

Here’s a little factoid the next time you need to come up with a conversation starter: Fir trees fall over more than any other tree. Usually, they have multiple tops instead of a single leader, or they might have root rot from drainage problems. If you notice standing water around a fir tree, that’s bad news. The upside? If you’re stuck on having firs around, a little pruning and keeping an eye on the root system can help keep your tree upright.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Organic-pest-control.jpgSometimes you want to go "au natural" when controlling pests in your garden or yard, and only an organic product will do. However, sometimes non-organic products are best—and not necessarily unfriendly to the environment. 

For example, some non-organic bark sprays are better at permeating the tree (not the air around it), which is an eco-friendly approach without being technically organic. Foliar sprays might come with an organic label, but when they’re being released into the air, suddenly they’re not as green as you’d like.

So, organic or not organic? There are pros and cons to either approach, and it’s important that landscapers, gardeners and contractors choose wisely. Consider this your cheat sheet to picking the best product for you, your landscape, and the environment.

Pro: (Sometimes) Better for the Environment

You may be able to lighten your carbon footprint, depending on the product and application. According to numerous studies, including from Montana University’s Agricultural Department, chemical pesticides stick around in the atmosphere longer than organic options. They also linger in waterways and in the soil well after the application is made. This can lead to a lot of collateral damage—organic pesticides may minimize environmental impacts.

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How to Recognize Tree Hazards

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b2ap3_thumbnail_tree-hazard.jpgWhen most of us think about environmental hazards, our minds are drawn to the weather (floods, storms, etc). But often, that weather is part of what causes a less-thought-of danger: falling trees.

Trees do way much more good than bad, but if not looked after, they can also cause serious damage when branches or whole tree falls on homes, power lines, cars, or people. 

Fortunately, there are warning signs you can look for that show danger may be imminent. Start by inspecting each tree on your property in a very systematic way. Here are some things to look for:

Start at the top. Trees that have been topped (the top is cut off) present dangers in several ways. First, topped trees are more susceptible to diseases that can weaken them. They are also prone to being top heavy because of excessive crown regrowth and weakly attached upper branches.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_tree-canopy.jpgWhat is the value of a tree? Not in a commercial sense, per se, but a broader sense. There are so many ways that trees enrich our lives and enhance our communities, some you may be aware of, and others that will come as a surprise.

1. Clean air saves lives. Okay, we’re starting with one of the better known benefits of trees… but do you really understand how it directly affects our health? For instance, findings from a study in the Journal of Preventative Medicine suggest that areas without trees may increase the mortality rate related to cardiovascular and lower-respiratory-tract illness.

To put in perspective how much a relatively small number of trees can do for our air, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture "One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people."

2. Clean water. According to the USDA Forest Service, wooded areas help prevent sediment and chemicals from running into streams. The trees in our forests are involved in filtering and storing close to two-thirds of our country’s water supply.

3. Increase your property's value. Trees are beautiful. That’s not exactly a startling revelation, but since most people have a positive reaction to trees, it can also carry over to their opinion of a home that’s on the market. And that translates into higher property value. There are many factors that come into play with real estate value, but some research has shown that trees do play a role.

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4 Reasons to Remove a Tree

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b2ap3_thumbnail_remove-a-tree.jpgThere are numerous reasons why removing a tree is a better bet than a massive pruning, upkeep or helping it through a disease. Whether you’re a business owner with a shady lot or a homeowner who’s on the fence when it comes to one of your trees, know that sometimes it’s best for everyone (sometimes including the tree) to opt for total removal. Here are the biggest instances when a removal might be your best option and how to go about it.

1. Out of control disease

Trees can experience a host of different diseases—and some of them are more serious than others. Particularly if a disease has spread and has begun to kill the tree, it might be more affordable and easier to simply remove the tree instead of trying to save it. Similar to humans, the earlier a disease is caught and treated, the easier it is to handle. However, if your tree’s disease has begun to overtake a large portion of it, it might be time to bid it adieu.

2. Inability to upkeep

Different types of trees also have different pruning demands, and sometimes people don’t know what they’re getting into. Not everyone has the time, skills, money or patience to care for an especially demanding tree. If you know you don’t have the time and don’t want to contract a landscaper on a regular basis, your life will be a lot easier if you remove the tree and perhaps replace it with a less demanding variety.

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We do not offer that many sales or deals throughout the year and this is by far the best deal we ever run.  We hope that it will inspire you to get your outdoor spaces beautified and to insure the trees that are surrounding them are safe, healthy, and well cared for. In order to help you through this purchase we have provided some basic info below about our company & the process of redeeming your coupon.

Our Company

Urban Forest Pro is a premier tree services provider. All of our tree services are done exclusively by International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborists. We only have the best of the best arborists, use the best equipment, and the latest techniques because our customers expect nothing less. We are a premium service and although our rates are competitive ($85 per man per hour) we are almost always not the cheapest. If price is paramount to you our Groupon may not be your best option. You may want to explore hiring a Tree Cutter or Lumber Jack as their services can come at a discount to even our Groupon rates. Tree work when professionally done is expensive please understand that & if you feel you got in over your head or over your budget you can always request a refund through Groupon. But if quality is paramount & you will love a good deal when you can get one then you are in the right place.


1.  Your Groupon is good for 3 Man Hours: 3 Men for 1 Hour = 3 Man Hours

2.  You must be in Oregon & within 17 miles of here using Google Maps top recommended route to use your Groupon.

3. Man Hours are Estimated sometimes things take a little bit longer then estimated and sometimes they take a little bit shorter. We do not adjust your bill up or down based on the actual time. But at the same time we want our pricing to be fair so all of our trucks are outfitted with GSP tracking & if the time on a job is more than 10% short we will adjust the invoice at your request.

4. Permits: Permitting fees must be paid up front &  permits require at least 1 man hour of work time in our offices. You can discuss the specific details for your project with your arborist. Home Owner's are always welcome to obtain their own tree removal/pruning permits.

5. Professional Standards: Our company is held to certain standards by the ISA & the TCIA so there are certain types of tree pruning we can not do (example is tree topping). To read more about why these types of tree pruning are not a good idea read our blog post here. We also can not cut short the man hours a tree needs to be properly pruned. We have learned after 15 years in this business that doing so only leaves the customer disappointed & reflects badly on the quality of our services.

6. Stumps: Stump Grinding requires a $100 fee above and beyond the price of the Groupon. It is also priced by inches in diameter ($4 per inch) not man hours. So you must have at least 47" in stump/s to see any discount (46 x 4=184=100 (extra fee)+85(price of Groupon)) & 89" will get you the full discount.

The Process

Step1: After purchasing your coupon you will need to call our office to set up a consultation or schedule one through our online system. The arborist will provide you with his/her best assessment of the condition of your tree/s and give you his/her recommendations of what needs to be done with your tree.

Step2: Once you have decided which tree services to go ahead with you can call back into the office and to be placed on our schedule. Jobs are scheduled based on a variety of factors: size of the job, location, crew availability, and equipment needed. For smaller projects we will group your project with other similar projects in same area this limits our drive time and allows us to spend 100% of time you are billed for actually providing services. Because of this your ability to chose the time and date of your service is limited for smaller jobs , but any preferences can be communicated to us & we will do our best to accommodate them. For larger projects you can generally arrange your preferred time and date.

Step3: Our crew will arrive to provide your tree services. If you are available the crew will go over the job with you before beginning. You will receive an email confirming the crew was out the next day. If there is any follow up or questions or concerns you have you should communicate them to the office at this time. You will receive an invoice by mail or email within a few days. You must provide the 8 digit code under the bar-code off of your Groupon in order to have it applied to your invoice.

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Why Tree Removal is Not a Good DYI Project

Posted by on in Tree Removal

b2ap3_thumbnail_tree-on-house.jpgDo you consider yourself self-reliant, or at least try to be in as many situations as possible? It’s great to have an independent, do-it-yourself, spirit. However, sometimes the best option is to enlist the help of others. Such is the case with tree removal.

Most of us have seen viral videos of hapless homeowners cutting down trees, only to see them fall in a direction they did not intend, most often towards their homes. Sometimes it’s carelessness, other times it’s well-intentioned people making costly mistakes. While we poke fun at these people, the results are no laughing matter.

Leave the Risk-Taking to the Pros

Tree cutting is dangerous, even for those who make a living doing so. Professional are injured every day. According to the Tree Care Industry Association, there were 84 fatalities in 2012. Of the fatalities reported to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries from 1992 to 2007, the average annual rate was 80 deaths.

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Are Your Trees Ready for Stormy Weather?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_tree-stormy-weather.jpgWe’re heading into the season of colder, harsher weather. Are your trees ready for the coming storms? Even a seemingly harmless windy day can make a weak tree a hazard to your home and family.

Given that bare trees are easier to inspect, fall and winter are definitely good times to keep an eye on the condition of your trees. Here are some tips to keep you safe:

Remove dead limbs. The first and easiest step to take is to identify and remove dead limbs. Dead or dying limbs are susceptible to wind, and it may not take as much as you think to bring them down.

The cold and harsher weather in the fall and winter can also weaken a tree and its branches. Mulching your trees is a bit like giving them a warm blanket, as it can significantly warm the soil’s surface and protect roots from extreme temperatures.

Watch for leaning trees. Even without the threat of high winds, if you have a tree with limbs leaning on or towards your home or areas in the yard where you and your family congregate, they are a hazard that needs to be addressed. If you are unsure about how strong your tree is, we can help you determine what, if anything, needs to be done.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Young-Tree.jpgPlanting a tree is always an exciting new undertaking and takes plenty of work to ensure its success. There is some debate on the ideal time for planting that new tree. However, contrary to popular belief that spring is the ideal time, you should really look to do it in the fall.

New trees have the best chance of survival when exposed to moderate temperatures and a good amount of rain. Our falls are cool and definitely come with plenty of rain, which creates the ideal weather for planting a new tree.

The condition of the soil is better as well, with the soil being warm enough and not quite as damp as springtime, after it's endured many months of rainfall.

A new tree needs to have time to develop a system of roots and acclimate itself before the intense weather of winter unfolds, so planting it as early as possible in fall is important. Because the root system will already be grown and in place, the warmer months will be easier on the tree.

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5 Home Care Activities That Harm Your Trees

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b2ap3_thumbnail_tree-care-sprinkler.jpgWhile you are looking to improve the curb appeal of your home, you may be inadvertently doing harm to your trees. Here are some otherwise normal home care activities that you need to be cautious about.

1. Mowing your lawn. Most homeowners think nothing of bumping against their trees when mowing their lawns. But it can have a devastating effect on them. Referred to as mower blight, lawnmowers and weed trimmers can wound tree bark, especially in the spring and fall, when bark is most vulnerable to slippage.

When bark is damaged, trees have difficulty transporting nutrients to the roots. Also, the roots can’t transport water up to the rest of the tree.

2. Watering the grass. Watering your lawn is also beneficial to your trees… if you do it right. Depending on the species of tree, age and various other factors, it will need the equivalent of about an inch of water every week.

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Tree Removal Permits Beaverton

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The first step to finding out if you need a tree removal permit in the city of Beaverton is finding out if you are within the city limits. You can look at a map of the boundaries here.

 After you have determined you are indeed in the City of Beaverton there are essentially 2 ways to find out if you need a tree removal permit:

1.       Call a Tree Service (Urban Forest Pro 503-226-7143)

2.       Call Beaverton City Arborist (503)-526-2206 or (503)-526-2237

I know those are not appealing answers as you were hoping to read this article and come away with an answer. It is this way because you can only find out if your tree is one of many protected types (Significant tree/grove, Historic tree/grove, Significant Natural Resource Zone, Landscape trees) by looking at zoning maps which is not provided online. The city can look this up for you or your arborist most likely has a copy. These trees exist on single family lots and there is no way to tell unless you look it up, but there are some clues:

1.       Your Lot backs up to a green space (Probably need a permit)

2.       You live in a newer development (post 2000) without a designated green space or with small lots (Probably need a permit)

3.       Your tree is part of a grove of similar trees in your neighborhood (Probably need a permit)

4.       The tree is on a commercial or multi-family lot (Always need a permit)

If your tree is not in one of these protected zones you can remove as many as you like unless your property is greater than 10,000 square feet in that case you can remove up to 4 of them per calendar year. If your tree does turn out to be a protected that does not mean it cannot be taken out. For each of these classes of trees there is a permitting process but the requirements and fees vary (fee range $75-$1,000).

There are a few trees that almost never require a permit. They are:

1.       Tree under 10” in diameter at 4.5’ from the ground are not considered trees unless they are a landscape tree.

2.       Lombardi Poplar tree are considered invasive and do not require a permit

3.       Fruiting fruit trees do not require permits

The city if Beaverton also requires a permit for the removal of street trees, but these trees are in most cases easy to identify as they are most likely located between the street and the sidewalk.

If you do determine you do need a permit it is best to enlist the help of an arborist. The chances your permit will be submitted complete, with justifiable grounds, and thus be approved greatly increase with the help of a professional.

We recommend that you do not make a determination about whether or not permits are require based solely off of this article. We recommend you seek further information and advices. Please know this article may not be immediately updated when changes are made to tree regulations. 


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Heritage Trees of Portland Oregon

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Portland-Heritage-Tree.jpgIf there is anything that Portland and the rest of the Northwest is known for besides the wet weather, it's the product of that weather: the lush green growth of our environment. 

Trees are important to Portlanders, and it shows. According to Portland Parks and Recreation Urban Forestry there are 236,000 street trees and 1.2 million park trees in Portland, not to mention the uncounted trees on private property. Some of those trees have been given special significance.

On May 19, 1993, The Heritage Tree ordinance was added to the city code. This established that, on an annual basis, a list of trees is prepared that are given special significance due to their age, size, type, historical association, or horticultural value. They are then identified with a plaque, most of which are in Southeast Portland.

There are over 300 heritage trees in Portland, including 120 species. A little over half of them are on private property, but those can only be designated as Heritage Trees with the consent of the property owner. However, once the property owner consents, that lawfully binds all future owners of the property, making it unlawful for anyone to “remove, destroy, cut, prune, break or injure” the tree without obtaining a permit.

Here are the very first and last trees to be designated as Heritage Trees:

American elm (Ulmus Americana) - The first tree designated as a heritage tree was an American elm at 1111 SW 10th Ave. Dubbed "The Burrell Elm," the tree was planted by Martin S. Burrell at the family estate in 1870.

Interestingly though, the American elm is more widely found east of the Rocky Mountains. This deciduous tree (those that lose their leaves seasonally) can withstand rough winter weather, and while this particular tree stands at about 78 feet tall, they are known to exceed 100 feet.

As longs as these trees remain unaffected by Dutch elm disease, they can live for several hundred years. This specific American Elm was planted in 1870. It is 78 feet tall and its canopy spreads 105 feet wide.

Japanese larch (Larix kaempfer) - The last to be given the Heritage Tree designation is a Japanese larch at 4626 NE 37th Ave. At 40 feet tall and with a 40-foot spread, this native of the mountains of Chūbu and Kantō regions in central Honshū, Japan, the country's largest most populous island. It is one of the five deciduous genera among the cone-bearing trees (conifers).

Do you know of a tree you think deserves to be recognized and protected as a Heritage Tree? Go to the Portland Parks & Recreation website to download the form.

Do you know of a tree you think deserves to be recognized and protected as a Heritage Tree? Go to the Portland Parks & Recreation website to download the form.

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Dutch Elm Disease

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Detection and Prevention


Dutch Elm disease (DED) is an unfortunate fungus that is spread by our native elm bark beetle and European elm bark beetle. This disease has devastated magnificent elms with their beautiful, spreading canopies throughout the US. Anyone that loves and appreciates their community and the urban forests we live in; should take a moment to read further and learn how to detect and prevent DED.

Susceptible Elm varieties are the native ‘American Elm’ and introduced ‘European Elm’. There are several American elm varieties and hybrid varieties of Elm that are resistant to the disease. If you don’t know what kind of Elm (or tree) you have on your property or in your neighborhood, an Arborist consultation is a great way to identify and prevent more losses of these beautiful trees. The picture below shows an American elm leaf structure and seedpods, a very simple baseline for identifying an Elm tree.


            DED is commonly detected in spring/early summer, after leaves on the tree have emerged. Elms infected with DED will have leaves on upper branches that curl. These curling leaves will decline, eventually turning brown. This leaf cluster die back is commonly referred to as ‘flagging’ in the arborist community. Another sign of DED is the presence of brown streaks in the wood, beneath the bark of braches affected. If DED is suspected, it is best to have an Arborist come out to inspect the tree and have samples sent in to a laboratory, such as a local extension office, for testing and confirmation of a diseased Elm.


            DED has been prevalent since the 1920’s and since then, many resistant species have been produced to be resistant to the disease.  However, if you still have a remaining American or European Elm, there are ways to mitigate the disease. Pruning of ‘flagging’ limbs may help to limit the spread of DED in an affected tree. Proper pruning should only take place in the winter, when trees are dormant, to reduce the risk of further infection. By removing deadwood and broken limbs within the canopy, sites for beetles to breed and inhibit are reduced. By identifying DED early on and pruning out ‘flagging’ limbs, it increases the success rate of saving an Elm affected by DED. Along with proper pruning and removal of infected branches, several fungicides have also been very successful protecting Elms. Having an Arborist set-up and implement an effective fungicide regime can make a big difference in preserving your tree and having it around for more generations to come. These fungicides help control the beetle populations and spread of DED.

            If you have an Elm that has been killed or affected by DED, another important note is the proper disposal of material. All brush/wood that can be chipped should be. Other methods of disposal are burning, burying, and de-barking. Tree material infected with DED should not be transported, as it can spread the disease to areas not affected by DED. By eliminating vectors for the beetles to breed, DED can be reduced. For reference, a 22”x4” log that has not been disposed of properly, can produced up to 1,800 beetles. Imagine what a whole dead tree could produce!

            DED has been a long, uphill battle for many years. With better education, community support and mitigation techniques, we hope the magnificent specimens that remain can be saved and enjoyed by generations to come.



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There are a lot of things that can trigger the need for a tree removal permit in city if Portland. That is why it is important to do your homework before proceeding with any tree removals on your property. Even if the trees are in your back yard and you are on a single family lot the city still may have a say in what you do with your trees.

What Tree are Covered:

All street trees need a permit to be removed and must be in bad shape for the city to even consider it. Just because the tree is not in-between the sidewalk and the street does not mean it is not a street tree. You must look up your right of away boundaries to be certain.  In addition, most trees (with some exceptions) on dividable lot, lots under development or with building permits issued, corner lots, commercial, or multi-family lots and also Heritage trees (which are usually marked)  require a permit for removal. The city also has specific zones with conservation rules that may affect your ability to remove or even prune your trees.

So how do you figure out whether you need a permit or not. My recommendation is you don’t. The rules are complex and different rules are covered by different city agencies. I recommend home owners thinking about removing a tree either contract with their tree service to research and obtain the permit or that they call the Urban Forestry department at the city of Portland who can provide them with a definitive answer or point them to the correct agency to inquire with. If you do contract with your tree service to obtain permits make sure it is part of your written contract because most tree services only provide this service at the request of client. You should never assume they are getting the permits unless they say that they are on the contract.  


The city is notoriously slow in responding to permits we recommend home owner to expect a 4-8 weeks for an answer. Even a call back from their office takes a couple of days. This is one of the ways we can help out a lot. When your tree service sends a permit in they know what the city would like to see and so you won’t wait 8 weeks just to hear your permit is incomplete. Also it helps to have arboricultural terms used in the reason you would like your tree removed. If you write “too many leaves on my driveway” the city could really care less about your driveway or that the trees are lifting your sidewalks. They are tasked with the preservation of the urban forest and they are focused primarily on that goal.   

Fees and Fines: Most tree removal permitting fees in the city if Portland remain a very good value at $35 a pop. This has to be less then it costs the city to send someone out to look at your tree. Fines on the other hand can be quite punitive. They start at about $1,000 per tree for removals without a permit and go up into and the sky is the limit. I have heard of fines in the 20,000 range. The Urban Forestry department does not mess around and even in the event of a “I didn’t know any better situation” they usually want more and larger trees planted then would have been required by the permit and a $1,000 fine. The responsibility for the planting and fines will either lie with the tree service or the home owner or most likely both depending on the specific circumstances.     

I am sure most of you are disappointed in reading this article that you still don’t know if you need a permit to remove your tree.  I wish it were a simple task that I could explain in a short blog post but unfortunately it is not and that is what we are here for. We can help!


Permit Questions for Urban Forest Pro: 503-226-7143 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

City if Portland Urban Forestry: 503-823-4489  or    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Disclaimer: this blog post is accurate as of the date posted and changes to permitting rules may not be immediately updated.


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Trees and Lawn Mowers: A Bad Combination

Posted by on in General Info

b2ap3_thumbnail_mowing-around-tree.jpgThere are plenty of environmental factors that threaten our trees, but people are often the biggest threat. One of the ways we inadvertently compromise our trees' health is when we are mowing or edging our lawns.

Referred to as mower blight, this is when homeowners bump a tree with a lawnmower or whip the trunk with an edger. Over time, the tree bark is further damaged, which makes it difficult for the tree to move nutrients to the roots and for the roots to transport water to the rest of the tree.

Trees are most vulnerable to lawnmower damage in the spring and fall when bark is most prone to "slip." That said, damage can happen anytime, as long people are careless in their yard work.

This easily preventable problem happens primarily due to not understanding how simple mistakes in routine lawn care can have major long-term repercussions on tree health. A little nick here and there can add up to big problems.

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How to Identify Heat Stress in Trees

Posted by on in General Info

b2ap3_thumbnail_Trees-heat-stress.jpgMost people are able to recognize the signs of heat stress in people and animals, but heat stress in trees is less recognizable and just as dangerous. Homeowners who live in hot, dry climates should pay special attention to their trees during the summer, especially during the months of July and August. But it can also be an issue for those of us who live in areas where the hot season is shorter. 

Treating heat stress as soon as you recognize the signs goes a long way toward keeping your yard healthy and strong.

What Causes Heat Stress?

All plants rely on a regular supply of water to keep them healthy and cool. The water is usually absorbed through the roots of each tree and it travels all the way through the plant until it reaches the leaves. Excess water is released through the leaves as dew. During hot weather the process of water traveling through the trees speeds up, causing the tree to absorb less water and they become dehydrated.

Heat Stress Signs

Take a close look at your trees to see if they are becoming stressed by the heat. The first sign of dehydration you are likely to notice is a generally dried out look to the leaves. Some trees have leaves that droop and feel crisp on the edges. The leaves may also turn yellow. Trees that usually have blooms on them will stop blooming if they become dehydrated, and fruit will drop off the tree before it's ready. Smaller trees, or those without blooms, may look like they are wilting.

How To Combat Heat Stress

Watering your trees as deeply as possible is an important way to fight heat stress. Some homeowners water their trees on a schedule so they don't forget when it's time to do it.

It's best to water each trees deeply to allow the roots to absorb and hold water. Many homeowners bury a drip hose underneath mulch around their trees so they can just turn on the hose when the trees need water. The use of a timer makes it so your don't even need to remember to turn on the hose.  

Another good option to place a bucket next to the tree place a small hole in the bottom fill up the bucket. The small hole allows the water to seep out slowly and absorb deeper into the soil and thus down into the root zone of the tree. Watch your trees and adjust your watering schedule according to how your trees are reacting to the water. Overwatering can be detrimental to trees as well, so try to strike a balance that keeps your trees healthy.

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An Introduction to Tree Cabling

Posted by on in Tree Roots

An Introduction to Tree Cabling:

Supplemental Support Systems


·         What it is?

Tree cabling is a lesser-known preservation technique, utilized by professional Arborists to provide support to trees that may be prone or at risk of failure. There are a number of different support systems for tree care applications, but tree cabling is the most common and widely used within the tree care industry. Cable systems are either static (steel) or dynamic (rope) systems that are installed in the upper canopy to add support and reduce risk. A professional Arborist evaluation and recommendation is the best way to determine what your tree needs for overall health and longevity.


·         What it does

A tree support system’s main purpose is to provide additional support or limit movement of a tree or tree part. They do not provide primary support to a tree. Typically, a cable system is used to support weak unions and long heavy limbs. Often times, limbs or trees are cabled to reduce the risk posed to people or property. A tree cable system can be arranged in various configurations to best suit the trees support needs. They act as an extra measure of safety to preserve and maintain trees in our urban environment but not a guarantee of safety.


·         Types:

There are two types of cable systems: static and dynamic. Static systems are composed of steel cable and hardware. Dynamic systems are composed of non-invasive, rope-like materials. Steel (static) systems were traditionally used, before the introduction of dynamic systems. Steel cable is often times used in very failure-prone applications where system longevity and strength are necessary. Dynamic systems also provide great, high strength support and risk reduction in trees. The science behind dynamic systems is to allow for more natural movement in the tree, while providing enough support in the canopy to reduce the risk of failure. Again, an Arborist can best determine what type of system should be used, depending on the trees needs and risk.


·         After care

Tree cable systems need to be periodically inspected by an Arborist. Scheduling inspections and follow-up maintenance on tree cables is important. Regular maintenance to a tree cabling system will help maintain its effectiveness and durability. Tree cable systems are designed to be a long-term benefit to the tree’s health. The length of time between maintenance should be determined by your arborist, but should not normally be any longer than 5 years.

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