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

Sunlight peeking through tree canopy

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

We want to line Salem's streets with trees 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)

The Community Forestry Strategic Plan acknowledges the benefits of trees, establishes six goals, and sets specific actions, priorities, and partnerships needed to achieve those goals.

Can you remove trees on your private property? 

Activities requiring a permit

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

  • Removing trees (non-development related) [SRC 86.090(a)].  
  • Planting a tree
  • 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
  • Removing trees for Development Projects (You may need additional permits if the tree is protected.)

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

Man pruning tree

You need a permit to plant, remove, treat, or prune trees on City of Salem property. This includes trees growing in planter strips between streets and sidewalks. Learn more about selecting and planting street trees.

Services the City provides for street trees

The City provides "life/safety" pruning which includes:

  • Raising limbs to 14 feet over streets
  • Raising limbs to 8 feet over sidewalks
  • Prunes out larger deadwood (2" diameter or better)
  • Clear limbs away from traffic signs, signals, and streetlights
  • Removes dangerous trees 

Fall Leaf Haul! You can drop off your leaves, grass clippings, and tree limbs at our drop off location on the designated days.

Resources for pruning limbs away from utility lines

​Organization ​Contact Phone Number
​Portland General Electric (PGE) tree-related calls ​800-544-1794
​Portland General Electric (PGE) downed wires and other problems ​800-542-8818
​Salem Electric ([email protected]) ​503-362-2956
​Qwest ​800-573-1311


The City crews are not "Line Clearance Certified."

Do not touch downed lines!

Permit process

For activities requiring a permit:

  1. Submit a complete  application (available at Public Works Development Services) in-person, or by mail to: City of Salem Room 325, 555 Liberty ST SE, Salem, OR 97301. Applications can also be submitted by email sent to [email protected]

  2. Once the application is received, it will be forwarded to the City's Urban Forester for review.

  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.

  4. If the tree is located in the Historic District, the removal is subject to Historic Design Review under [SRC Chapter 230].

Tree permit fees

Refer to the City's Master Fee Schedule to view the current fees for street tree related permits.  

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 Public Works Dispatch call 503-588-6311 or [email protected].

Contact us

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