Dear Claire: How Can I Get a Tree for My Curb Strip?
Enhancing Urban Greenery: A Guide to Planting Street Trees in Portland with Friends of Trees
As you might know in Portland, there is the street and then there’s the area that’s kind of like a green strip between your sidewalk and your yard. In that greet strip, you are only allowed to plant certain things and there’s an organization in town called Friends of Trees (I’ve used them personally) that can help. They are a nonprofit and they help plant street trees. They have it down to a science, so you can do it on your own or you could just do it through Friends of Trees. If you go on their website, you type in your address, they’ll then confirm that you are indeed in the City of Portland and can actually get a street tree. You do need a permit for a street tree as there are only certain trees that City of Portland will allow you to plant, as they don’t want you to plant a pine tree that will end of being 60ft tall and blocking power lines. There’s a long list of trees and last time I did this there were Magnolias and Dogwoods and all these beautiful trees. Friends of Trees will file for the permit and notify you once they have the permit to plant the tree. They also get all these trees at super great discounts. I think I got a 15’ Maple for $20! It might have been more but they’re still super affordable.
As part of the program you also show up to volunteer on a certain day, and it’s typically when the trees are dormant, like in the super rainy season of February. You show up in the pouring rain and you’ll plant the trees and all your neighbors’ trees too. They usually do an event for each neighborhood, so you get to know your neighbors and help them plant trees. It’s a really cool organization.
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