Public Works Department
555 Liberty St. SE
Room 325
Salem, OR 97301



Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


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

Man Pruning TreeYou 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.

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 Phone
Portland General Electric (PGE) tree-related calls 800-544-1794
Portland General Electric (PGE) downed wires and other problems 800-542-8818
Salem Electric ( 503-362-2956
Qwest 800-573-1311
Comcast 800-266-2278

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
  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

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