Apply to Plant, Remove, Treat, or Prune City Trees

The City of Salem wants to line its streets with trees in order to capture the benefits trees provide for the whole community. To protect and enhance the health of these trees and enhance public safety, you need to get a permit to plant, remove, treat, or prune trees on City-owned property. These include trees growing in planter strips between the street and sidewalk.  (Salem Revised Code (SRC) Chapter 86​ and Administrative rule 109-500)

Activities requiring a permit

You need to obtain a permit for activities that impact City trees such as:

  • Removing a tree [SRC 86.090(a)].  
  • Planting a tree on City property
  • Pruning a tree
  • Installing lights or other attachments on City trees
  • Collecting cuttings or other materials from trees for commercial purposes
  • Construction work within the dripline of a City tree

Street tree applications are available in person at the Public Works Permit Application Center desk, Room 320 at Civic Center.

Permit requirements

The general application must include the following:

  • The name of the property owner or their agent
  • The contractor name and contact information, if you are using one
  • Your address
  • Number of trees under this permit application
  • Address of nearby properties
  • Locations of the trees relative to the site, e.g. tree just to the left of the driveway.

If the tree is located in a Historic District, the removal is subject to Historic Design Review under SRC Chapter 230 and replanting will be required.

Permit process

For activities requiring a permit:

  1. Submit an application (available at Public Works PAC desk) to the City’s Urban Forester.

  2. The City’s Urban Forester will review the application and any proposed tree protection methods.

  3. If you are applying to remove a City tree and the application is approved, the neighborhood association will be notified and posted for at least 30 days.

Report illegal tree removal

If you see City trees being removed or pruned by anyone other than City staff, or being damaged in some manner, please report this information to Parks Operations.

Contact us

Public Works Department
Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 325
Salem OR 97301
Phone: