Inspections, Pruning & Removal

Forestry Services Pic 1

Each service request we receive begins with an inspection to determine whether the requested work is in the best interest of the health of the tree. The goal is to perform an inspection within two weeks of receiving a service request.

If you believe a City tree needs attention or you would like to check on the status of a previous request, please email us at trees@portlandmaine.gov.

Tree pruning

Our Forestry Crew maintains around 20,000 street trees and many more within City parks and green spaces. These trees are pruned on a 5 to 8 year cycle. Storms and other unforeseen events can affect this schedule. Individual pruning requests are scheduled based on location and hazard priority level. Pruning work is sometimes contracted to private companies depending on the equipment needed or proximity to utility wires. If you would like to hire a private arborist to prune a city tree, you must apply for a permit (see below). 

Our crews do not do utility pruning. If a City Tree is touching utility wires and needs pruning, please contact CMP Co. at 1-800-750-4000. 

tree removal

The City will not remove or approve the removal of a tree if it does not meet criteria. Root, shade, squirrel, vista, or cleanup concerns do not meet the criteria for removal. If you would like to hire a private arborist to remove a city tree, you must apply for a permit (see below). 

Removal Criteria:

  • Tree is in decline, severely diseased, or a risk to public safety
  • Tree is interfering with adjacent structures or safe use of streets and sidewalks

-- Please see the Heritage Tree Removal Application for more information regarding removal of private trees within a historic district. --

If a City tree is removed, altered, or damaged without prior written authorization, significant fines and penalties will apply. (City of Portland Code of Ordinances, Chapter 29; Maine State Statutes: Title 17, Chapter 83, Subchapter 4, 2510; and Title 14, Part 7, Chapter 739, Subchapter 2, 7552)

tree work permit

The Forestry Division aims to fulfill requests as quickly as possible, but limited staff and resources often means we aren't able to respond to the hundreds of requests we receive as quickly as we'd like. If you wish to hire a private arborist to address pruning, removal, or stump grinding needs in a more timely manner, please feel free to complete the Tree Work Permit Application. If the City Arborist approves the permit, the work must be performed by a Maine licensed arborist, and all associated fees will be the responsibility of the applicant. (Maine.gov list of licensed arborists)

Tree Work Permit Application Link


Disclaimer: The Forestry Division does their best to fulfill all requests in a timely manner, but please note this small crew contends with maintaining tens of thousands of trees and a backlog of hundreds of service requests. Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated.

Parks and Recreation
Fix It! Portland.

Contact Us

  1. PARKS OFFICE

    212 Canco Road, Ste A

    Portland, Maine 

    PH:207-808-5400

    parks@portlandmaine.gov      

    Office Hours

    8:00 am - 4:30 pm Mon- Fri  

    PARKS DIRECTOR

    Alex Marshall                

    CITY ARBORIST

    Jeff Tarling

    trees@portlandmaine.gov

    PARK RANGER

    Timothy Stephenson

    Office: 207-808-5454

    Ranger Cell: 207-232-3721


    DURING NON-WORKING HOURS

    CONTACT PUBLIC SAFETY

    (207) 874-8575


    The mission of Portland Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department is
    to enhance the quality of life through people, parks and programming
    while creating lasting memories for the citizens of Portland and its visitors. 


    Love Portland square