Step 1: Determine if you need to install landscaping
Generally, you must install landscaping if you are constructing a new building, a building addition, or a parking lot in a commercial or industrial zone.
find the zoning of your property, you can determine the minimum amount of your development site that must be landscaped:
- Commercial Office (CO), Retail Commercial (CR), General Commercial (CG), Industrial Commercial (IC), and Industrial Park (IP):
- Industrial Business Campus (IBC):
Step 2: Determine what type of landscaping to install
In most cases, you must install at least one plant unit per 20 square feet of landscaped area. The table below shows the different types of plants you can install and their corresponding plant unit values.
At least 40 percent of your required plant units must be a combination of mature trees, shade trees, evergreen/conifer trees, or ornamental trees. Plants must also cover at least 75 percent of your required landscaped area within five years.
Plants and Minimum Plant Unit Values
Type of Plant (Plant Material)
Plant Unit (PU) Value
Size of Planting
|1 Mature Tree
|1 Shade Tree
||1.5 to 2 inch caliper*
|1 Evergreen/Conifer Tree
||6 to 8 feet height
|1 Ornamental Tree
||1 to 1.5 inch caliper*
|1 Large Deciduous or Evergreen Shrub (at maturity: over 4 feet wide, 4 feet high)
||Minimum 5 gallon or balled and burlapped
|1 Small to Medium Shrub (at maturity: maximum 4 feet wide, 4 feet high)
||Minimum 1 gallon
|Lawn or Other Ground Cover
||1 PU per 50 square feet
*The caliper of a tree is the diameter of its tree trunk measured one foot above ground level. If the tree is of a multi-trunk variety, the caliper of the tree is the average caliper of all of its trunks.
Step 3: Submit plans
If landscaping is required, you must submit a landscaping plan and irrigation plan when you apply for your building permit. Your landscaping plan must show the type and size of plants and how much of your site they are expected to cover in five years. You can find the full list of requirements in
Salem Revised Code Chapter 807.
Planning staff will review your landscaping and irrigation plans to determine if all requirements have been met.
Step 4: Maintain your landscaping
Once your landscaping is installed, you should maintain the trees and shrubs on your property.