Portland, Maine – ‘the Forest City’

It is fitting that Portland, the largest city in Maine has long been known as ‘the Forest City’. Trees, forests and open spaces blend well with our urban environment and our geographic setting located on Casco Bay and the Gulf of Maine. It is the synergy and balance between our built environment and the natural environment that make Portland a great place to live, work & play.

The Forestry Section has been managing Portland’s community forest resources: shade & ornamental trees along with city woodlands and parks since the late-nineteenth century. Our municipal community forest consists of over 20,000 trees along over 300 miles of public roadways and in our parks & public grounds. Our Horticulture group create and maintain beautiful display gardens along with maintaining landscape elements from green roofs and rain-gardens to our Deering Oaks rose garden and downtown planters.

With help from the Maine Forest Service’s ‘Project Canopy’ program and the US Forest Service – Portland recently completed a city-wide GIS based tree inventory, conducted management plans for our woodland parks and created a ‘Portland Forest Video’ as part of the MFS ‘Profiles of Woodland Stewardship’ series. 

Portland has received the ‘Tree City USA’ award from the National Arbor Day Foundation since 1978.


Our Forestry Division provides a great deal of opportunities for tree planting each season. Programs include:

  • Co-Op Tree Program
  • Tree Replacement Program
  • HCD Residential Tree Program
  • Capital Improvement Program / Street Reconstruction Project Planting
  • Memorial Tree & Gift Tree Program

COMMUNITY SUPPORT – In 2014 ‘the Friends of Forest City Trees’ was formed by Portland residents to advocate for Portland’s trees & forests. With a focus on environmental benefits of trees, edible landscape (orchards & food forests), sustainable trees & forests.

Friends of Forest City Trees

A Short History of Trees in Portland | Read now.

Excerpted from: Green Spaces Blue Edges: An Open Space Plan for the City of Portland

Historical Yearly Forestry Reports: 1900 - 1934 | View reports.

Our annual city reports contain an interesting view back and make for interesting reading.

Shade Trees | Open excerpt.

The following is an excerpt from History of Portland by William Willis, written in 1864.

Fix It! Portland.

Contact Us


    212 Canco Rd, Ste A
    Portland, Maine
    PH: 207-808-5400

    8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

    INTERIM PARKS director

    Alex Marshall


    Jeff Tarling
    Email Forestry


    Jill Mulkern
    Ph: 207-808-5454

    (207) 874-8575

    Love Portland square