Inspections, Pruning & Removal
The City of Portland’s Forestry Division inspects City trees prior to any work in order to be sure that pruning, removal or any work done is in the best interest to the health of the tree.
If you question whether a City tree needs attention, please submit a service request to:
Once the service request is submitted, our City Arborist or Forestry Supervisor will try to inspect the tree within two weeks.
The City of Portland has about 20,000 City street trees. This number does not include those in parks and open spaces. These trees are on a 5 to 8 year pruning rotation. This is also dependent on any impacts that may interfere with that rotation such as storms.
The majority of the tree pruning is generally done throughout the summer months.
If you believe a tree is in need of pruning, please submit a service request to:
Once the service request is submitted, the City Arborist or Forestry Supervisor will schedule a time to inspect the tree. If they deem the tree to be pruned, it will be compiled in a report with other requests and our planned pruning. When these service requests are scheduled is dependent on location. In addition to that, pruning may also be contracted to private companies depending on the equipment needed or if utility wires are within a certain distance of the tree.
Our crews do not do utility pruning. If a City Tree is touching utility wires and needs pruning, please contact CMP Co. at 1-800-750-4000.
General criteria a City tree must have in order to be marked for removal:
- Tree is in decline, severely diseased, or a risk to public safety
- Tree is interfering with adjacent structures or safe use of streets and sidewalks
- Approved work must be completed by the expiration date specified below.
If a City tree meets our criteria for removal, we will mark the tree and create a work order in our system. Our markings are as follows:
- Orange/Pink Dot: tree is in need of removal
- Two Orange/Pink Dots: does not currently meet the full criteria for removal, however, we are keeping a close eye on it’s condition.
It is not unheard of for a tree to be marked and not removed immediately. Removals are prioritized by level of hazard and need.
If you wish for a City tree to be removed, an approved permit is required. Please read below regarding the Tree Work Permit.
tree work permit
The Forestry Division does their best to fulfill all requests in a timely manner, but City resources, site suitability, and unforeseen storm damage are all factors that affect the process. If you wish to address pruning, removals or stump grinding more quickly than we are able, you may complete the Tree Work Permit Application and apply to hire a licensed arborist to complete the work. Once you have submitted the application, our City Arborist or Forestry Supervisor will inspect the tree and either approve or deny your request.
Approved work must be performed by a Maine licensed arborist, and all associated fees will be the responsibility of the applicant. (Maine.gov list of licensed arborists)
If a tree is removed from an appropriate planting location, the applicant will also pay a replant fee of $400 in addition to any private arborist fees. Payment is due upon permit approval.
Applications will be accepted or denied upon inspection by the City Arborist.
If you wish for a City tree to be removed, an approved permit is required. If a City tree is removed, altered, or damaged without prior written authorization, significant fines and penalties will apply. (City of Portland Code of Ordinances, Chapter 29; Maine State Statutes: Title 17, Chapter 83, Subchapter 4, 2510; and Title 14, Part 7, Chapter 739, Subchapter 2, 7552)
Please submit this application to firstname.lastname@example.org or
212 Canco Road, Ste A, Portland, ME 04103