Tree Planting, Care and Removal
Before planting (or removing) a street tree, you need to obtain a planting permit.
Please check our Administrative Forms or call our Urban Forestry Management Analyst at (541) 682-4817 to apply for your planting application.
The Right Tree in the Right Place
It is important to plant the right tree in the right place to maximize tree benefits and reduce future maintenance and infrastructure conflicts.
Trees should be selected specifically for the location with considerations given to future growth, rooting, conditions, soil type, overhead and underground obstructions, and diversity among the urban forest. These precautions help minimize damage and ensure long-term health of the tree.
To help property owners choose species that are well-suited for our climate, the City of Eugene maintains a list of approved street trees and planting guide. Use the filters in this excel sheet of approved street trees to find well-suited trees for your site.
Trees need care throughout their lives, and, just like us, they need special care when they’re very young and when they’re mature. Young trees are especially vulnerable for the first three years after planting, when they’re re-growing the roots lost during transplanting.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Watering too much or too little can cause wilting and death.
- Pruning at the end of the three-year period is important to form a good branching structure that won’t break apart in storms. Trees need to be pruned throughout their life for health and safety. Larger, mature trees often need special pruning or care to alleviate damage from disease or storms.
- Mulch around the trees in your landscape to retain moisture for roots, keep light from reaching weeds below and discourage weeds that land on top. A good tree well should be donut shaped and extend 3’ from the trunk in all directions. Keep mulch 3” from the trunk with 4-6” of a good quality mulch.
- Deep watering helps prevent surface rooting and potential conflicts with nearby concrete or stone. Young trees planted in your own landscapes should be watered slowly with at least 15 gallons of water every two weeks.
- When maintaining the planting strip in front of your home, be aware that watering for grass may cause trees to surface root, leading to potential sidewalk damage. Instead of grass, consider using drought-tolerant native plants with coarse wood chips as ground cover.
- Another trick is to deeply edge between the planter strip and the sidewalk to discourage roots from causing damage. This can be done manually with a flat edge shovel or power edger, starting when the trees are young and roots are small and fibrous. Performing edging once a month to a depth of 6” can make a big difference over the long term.
- Beware of dangerous yellow dog emissions. All silliness aside, chemicals in dog urine can be very damaging to trees.
For more information, the website TreesAreGood provides homeowners and other tree owners with reliable information regarding the benefits of trees and how to properly care for trees in an urban environment.
The Oregon Department of Forestry also provides online educational forms for communities and homeowners.
Street Tree Pruning or Removal
Permits are required prior to the pruning or removal of any street trees located within the public right-of-way.
- Pruning Preservation Application - Issued when a property owner, adjacent to a planter strip or section of right-of-way, wants to be able to have a street tree(s) pruned by an ISA Certified Arborist when Urban Forestry staff will not be able to respond to a service request quickly. These permits include root pruning.
- Street Tree Removal Application - Issued when a property owner, adjacent to a planter strip or section of right-of-way, wants to be able to remove a street tree(s) that Urban Forestry would otherwise remove. These permits are for situations not related to construction activities.