Know a street tree that needs pruning? Want to learn how to prune?

Nov. 6, 2010 Vancouver Neighborhood Trees Planting
Pruning a young tree (Brian Black)

Here’s your chance to learn how to prune street trees and to help individual street trees in the Overlook neighborhood. A street tree is a tree that has been planted between the sidewalk and the street.

Portland Parks & Recreation will offer free pruning instructions on Saturday, June 16, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, including hands-on pruning with trained Neighborhood Tree Stewards of pre-identified street trees whose branches hang too low or which need some structural pruning.

The event begins at Patton Square Park, 5400 N Interstate, in Portland.

Street trees add beauty and shade to our neighborhoods, enhance property values, and improve air and water quality. They also require regular maintenance.  A structural defect or branch blocking the sidewalk can be easily corrected if identified early, but if left unchecked may cause issues in the future.

City of Portland code states that trees need to be pruned to 7-1/2 feet above the sidewalk, and it is the responsibility ­­­of the adjoining property owner to maintain the street trees.  Anyone can register a street tree in Overlook to be pruned on June 16.  A city arborist will assess each nominated tree, and adjoining property owners will be notified before the trees are to be pruned.

To volunteer for the training or to nominate a tree for pruning, call Karl Dawson, Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry Education & Outreach Coordinator, at 503-823-1650 or visit

–Information provided by Portland Parks & Recreation.