Urge Portland City Council to Extend the “Big Tree Amendment” and Remove Exemptions to Tree Protections

As Portland trends towards more extreme summer heat waves, worsening air quality, reduced wildlife habitat, and flooding from extreme weather events – urban trees provide the best tool to mitigate these environmental challenges while improving community and ecosystem health. 

A view from the ground as two people climb tall Doug Fir trees.
Photo by Luz Carasa.

On November 13, Portland City Council will consider extending protections for large trees in development situations. The “Big Tree Amendment” was originally passed in 2016 after advocates pushed for improvements to the Portland tree code otherwise known as Title 11, after a wave of large trees were removed with limited to no mitigation. The amendment is set to sunset at the end of the year and it is important for City council to extend it to ensure we better protect our tree canopy.

Save the date for a public hearing on December 5 for a chance to advocate for additional protections for trees across the City. At the December hearing, Council will consider several proposals to improve the tree code. The code has many deficiencies, including exemptions for all industrial and commercial zoned properties. The December hearing will give tree advocates an important opportunity to push for improvements, so please plan on attending if available. More details to come.

Take Action

Testimony will be limited at the November hearing, so please call and/or email City Council members before November 13 and urge them to extend protections for large trees in Portland. Remember to be polite, leave a message with staff or a voicemail expressing your support for extending the “big tree amendment” and removing exemptions for commercial and industrial properties.

Mayor Ted Wheeler 503-823-4127 MayorWheeler@portlandoregon.gov
Commissioner Amanda Fritz Has indicated that she will support the extension.
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty 503-823-4151 joann@portlandoregon.gov
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly 503-823-4682 Chloe@portlandoregon.gov
Commissioner Nick Fish 503-823-3589 nick@portlandoregon.gov

Copy and paste emails: joann@portlandoregon.gov, Chloe@portlandoregon.gov, nick@portlandoregon.gov, MayorWheeler@portlandoregon.gov


Talking Points

  • Vote to extend the “big tree amendment” for another two years.
  • Our urban tree canopy is an essential tool to fight climate change impacts and the entire City needs to play a role in improving community health and landscape resilience.
  • Council must take steps to remove exemptions for Title 11 in December to ensure that industrial and commercial properties are held to the same tree protection and planting standards as everyone else in the City. 


Thanks for doing your part to protect our environment and community and keep an eye out for more information on the December Council meeting!