Tree City USA

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Autumn Trees line a park sidewalkHillsboro community members will enjoy cleaner air, improved storm water management, energy savings, and increased property values as a result of the City’s commitment to become a Tree City USA. 

The Arbor Day Foundation sponsors Tree City USA in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. Since 1976, more than 3,400 cities across the country have made this commitment to support urban forestry. 

Becoming a Tree City USA recognizes the City’s commitment to: 

  • Create and maintain a healthy environment 
  • Manage a sustainable urban forestry program 
  • Promote the positive effects trees have on our neighborhoods, environment, and wildlife 

Tree City USA Application

Hillsboro’s 2020 Vision and Action Plan and 2035 Community Plan identify Tree City USA as an important sustainability action item.

In 2018, the City Council made Tree City USA a priority and the City submitted an application for consideration to the Arbor Day Foundation in the fall.

To achieve recognition, the City will meet four fundamental standards of sound urban forestry management: 

  • Maintaining a tree board or department
  • Having a community tree ordinance
  • Spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry
  • Celebrating Arbor Day

The City will receive notice of the application status in February 2019, and must reapply annually.

Annual Timeline for Sustainable Urban Forestry

 A young girl raking leaves in the fall
  • January–February: City tree maintenance in parks and open spaces
  • February: Notification of Tree City USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation
  • March: City tree planting in parks and open space. Plans may vary by year
  • April: Arbor Day community event celebration
  • October: City tree planting in parks and open space. Plans may vary by year
  • November: City submits annual Tree City USA application 
  • November/December: Leaf Pick-Up Program

Check back for additional details on how community members can support these efforts.

Help us Meet Tree Care Standards

As part of the Tree City USA initiative, the City Council updated tree care standards in the Hillsboro Municipal Code to clarify public and municipal responsibilities.

Trees hang over sidewalk

The Code requires community members: 

  • Properly maintain and care for trees that are planted in the area between their property line and the curb or edge of pavement. This area is called the public right-of-way (ROW). 
  • Obtain a free General ROW permit from the City before planting, major pruning, or removing a tree from within the ROW.
  • Trim trees to create an eight foot clear zone over sidewalks and a fifteen  foot clear zone over roadways beside their property. Although the city suggests property owners trim their trees to the 15 foot roadway clear zone at their earliest convenience, the effective date for this requirement is January 1, 2020. 

The City of Hillsboro will continue to retain the authority to trim or remove any public trees and vegetation that could affect public safety or the use of sidewalks or roadways.

These standards ensure:

  • Trees remain healthy
  • Drivers have unobstructed sight lines
  • Trucks and equipment can provide services 
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists can safely utilize sidewalks and streets

Learn more about caring for public trees.

Obtain a free right-of-way permit

Tree Care Resources