Forestry Services

The Forestry Section provides a wide range of arboricultural & landscape related services from tree planting, pruning and maintenance. Our goal is to provide a healthy and safe community forest throughout Portland.

Forestry - Seasonal Work Plan:

SPRING - April through June

Park treework, Landscape projects, Priority tree services. Tree planting in May & June only.

SUMMER – July through mid September

Treework – tree pruning & removal ‘Resident-requests’, Traffic sign & signal pruning, Tree watering.

FALL – Mid September through November

Stump removal, Tree removal, Priority tree work, Holiday decorations.

WINTER – December through March

Winter Operations, ‘Area-wide’ Programmed tree pruning & removal, including requested work ‘Small-Tree Maintenance’ (STM) pruning on newly planted street & park trees by our Horticulture crew. Winter Ops – snow plowing & clearing of Schools & Public Buildings.

Program vs. Reactive Service

We strive to provide ‘programmed’ or planned tree maintenance in neighborhoods or geographic regions whenever possible. In this mode all the trees in an area are pruned or cared for on a regular cycle. Storm events often compound.

In the ‘reactive mode’, tree-work is generated by a ‘resident request’ at a single address. Once the tree-work at that request is completed it is often followed by requests from adjacent neighbors. In the ‘reactive mode’ production is lost to travel, mobilization and setup of the crew and equipment.

Utility Tree Pruning

Trees within the City of Portland, both ‘City’ trees located in the street right of way and private trees located next to the public way that are near the overhead utility wires trees, the utility line clearance is maintained by local utilities.

Central Maine Power Company (CMP Co) conducts programmed utility line clearance to its system on a regular pruning cycle throughout the Portland District. Priority is given to distribution circuits and primary lines that provide electrical service to streets and neighborhoods. Utility pruning is contracted by the utility to commercial utility arborist line clearance contractors. We work closely with CMP arborists and utility tree contractors to review tree & electrical conductor issues.

Contact CMP 1-800-750-4000 or the CMP ‘Tree Care’ web page.


– The City of Portland is up on the utility pruning cycle starting in January 2017. This includes the Riverton, East Deering, Ocean Avenue, Munjoy Hill & West End neighborhoods up first and other neighborhoods including Casco Bay Islands later on.

Storm / Tree Emergencies

Portland Parks, Recreation & Facilities and the Portland Public Works ‘Communications Office’ maintains 6 day coverage from April to November (Monday – Saturday) and 24 / 7 Dispatch during winter months. Call (207) 874-8493 During non DPS hours contact the Public Safety Office. We maintain an Emergency ‘On-Call’ program for arboricultural emergencies that include weather related storm damage & tree incidents.


During major storm events Public Works Department Forestry Section crews are joined by city staff from other sections & departments. Major events may trigger the City’s ‘Emergency Operations Center’ (EOC) incident command led by Portland Fire Department. This unified effort brings together city departments, utilities, regional & state resources. During ‘tree emergencies’ safety is the number one priority.

Hurricane & Storm Preparedness

- Be Ready ! Having a ‘storm plan’ ready is always helpful. See NOAA web site:

Storm Restoration

- storm damage assessment following an event involves a number of safety / risk factors. Power restoration, removing down trees & limbs, opening streets are part of the overall restoration effort. The City of Portland Public Works Department – Forestry Section works in unison with other City Departments and utilities in this regard. CAUTION is advised during & after a storm due to potentially unsafe condition.

‘No Wires are Safe to Touch – Ever ! ’

has been the safety slogan of CMP for many years during storm events and power outages – and it is always good advice. After many of our storm events we see unaware public out to survey the damage while conditions remain unsafe. Downed wires can look dead and still be active, those without power and using generators can back-feed lines. STAY SAFE !

Central Maine Power Company offers storm & power outage information: