The City of Salem has long been recognized for its outstanding Shade Tree Program. In 1982, the City Council passed an amendment to the Shade Tree Ordinance to make "Heritage Trees" a part of the Master Shade Tree Plan.
"Heritage Trees" refers to trees designated as such due to their location, size, or age of their species, botanical interest, commemorative planting or historic significance. Where desirable, Heritage Trees should be typical of their species, and relatively free of damage. The trees will be designated by the City Council through nominations from the general public. The Shade Tree Advisory Committee will review all the nominations and send recommendations to the City Council. The Shade Tree Advisory Committee is a citizen body appointed because of their knowledge and/or interest in trees with three members from the Salem Park and Recreation Advisory Board, and three citizen volunteers nominated at large.
If you own or know of a tree that you think should be designated as a Heritage Tree, you may nominate this tree by writing to:
Shade Tree Advisory Committee
c/o Department of Community Services
Parks Operations Division
1460 20TH ST. SE, Building # 14
Salem, OR 97302
Nominations should be accompanied with permission from the property owner where the tree stands. The type of tree, size, location and reason for nomination should be included. The nomination of trees is voluntary, and the City will pay the fees for the deed recording.
After the tree has been designated a Heritage Tree, as per Salem Revised Code Chapter 68, someone wishing to remove a Heritage Tree can demonstrate to the Community Development, Planning Division that they meet an administrative exception, such as a hazardous or diseased tree, or an economic or hardship variance.
If the nominated trees are designated by Council to be Heritage Trees, the trees will be recorded on the property deed, and the owner will receive a certificate of the Designation and the data about the tree will be forwarded to the Historic Landmarks Commission and the Salem Planning Commission.
For more information, contact Jan Staszewski at 503-361-2215.