Co-Op Tree Planting Program

Program Overview

The City of Portland’s ‘Co-Op’ Tree Planting program is a tree-planting partnership where Portland residents purchase a tree at one of two local nurseries, Skillin’s Nurseries & O’Donal’s Nurseries. Portland’s Forestry crew will pick up the tree and properly plant it for you. The tree must be in view of the public and planted along or close to excepted city street right-of-ways. Trees can be planted within the street ‘right-of-way’, between the sidewalk and street, or setback on lawn areas in view of the public. Trees must be purchased and the registration form received by Monday June 4th and trees are planted during the month of June only.

The goal is to plant the 'Right tree - in the Right space'.

Residents purchase the tree at one of the ‘Co-Op Nurseries’ before June 4th and the Forestry crew picks up the tree at the nursery and properly plant the tree in June. Co-Op Nurseries supply quality plant material, often at discount, to the Co-Op Program and provide a guarantee. Nurseries will care for your tree until it is picked up and delivered to the planting site.


Step 1: Tree Selection
Review recommended tree list, web references and consult with Portland Forestry or Co-­Op nursery staff as needed to select the right tree for the location.  

Step 2: Tree Purchase
Visit your local nursery and check out the trees on your list. Once you purchase your tree, the nursery will tag it and set aside until planted in early June.

Step 3: Registration Form
We need to have your form in order to plant ! Return the Co-Op Program Registration Form  or Peaks Island Co-Op Form to Portland Forestry prior to June 4th to 212 Canco Road, Portland ME 04103, email to


  • Trees can be planted within the street "right of way" in tree-wells, esplanades or setback on front or side lawn areas of your property, in view of the public, between the home and the street. Setback tree planting should be close to the street as possible while avoiding overhead utility lines
  • Location - Trees should be planted at least 10' away from intersections, utility poles, hydrants, driveways and traffic signals. This includes tree-belts or esplanades and tree wells. Sidewalk tree planting grow spaces need to be 3.5 feet wide minimum for 1.75” trees & the remaining sidewalk ADA accessible. Avoid future tree / utilities conflict both underground and overhead. All tree locations are sent to ‘Dig Safe Systems’ for clearance prior to planting. ‘Set back’ panting behind the sidewalk on lawn area is best in heavy traffic roadways or where overhead utilities exist.
    NOTE – private underground utilities, underground irrigation systems and dog fences are the responsibility of the property owner.
  • Tree Selection -­ Street-­trees are selected from our Recommended Tree List, trees in set-­back or lawn locations are more flexible. Tree sizes range from 1.5” to 2.0” caliper for shade trees, 4-­6’ height for conifers.
  • Purchase Trees by June 4th at one of the local Co-Op Nurseries.
  • Planting is limited to two trees per year.

Tree Planting & Marking Your Planting Site

Co-Op Tree Planting will take place in June. Trees must be purchased by June 4th from one of the Co-Op Nurseries. Your tree will be properly cared for and watered as needed at the nursery. Residents will be contacted by the Forestry Section to locate the planting site. Tree locations can be marked with a small stake or white ‘X’. All planting sites are sent to ‘Dig Safe Systems’ for underground utilities to review. Co-Op tree registrations will be accepted between May 1 and June 4th.


The City of Portland reserves the right to refuse tree planting due to poor site conditions, presence of underground or overhead utilities, or trees that do not meet city standards. Replacement trees may be adjusted away from utilities, old stumps, or roots.