Tree City USA

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The City of Hillsboro has been recognized as a 2018 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. Tree-City-USA-Flag

This designation celebrates the City’s dedication to public tree care and promoting the positive effects trees have on our neighborhoods, businesses, environment, and wildlife.

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. 


The benefits of being a Tree City USA include:

  • Reduced costs for energy, stormwater management, and erosion control: Trees yield three to five times their cost in overall benefits to the city.
  • Increased property values: Properly placed trees can increase property values from seven to 20 percent. Buildings in wooded areas rent more quickly, and tenants stay longer.
  • Stronger neighborhood and community ties: Trees and green spaces directly correlate to greater connections to neighbors.
  • Expanded community understanding of the value of trees: Participation in this program provides the opportunity for the community to come together to learn about the value of trees.

Annual Application for Tree City USA Designation

For the first time, the City of Hillsboro was officially named a 2018 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in February 2019.

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

The City earned designation by meeting 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 reapply annually for the Tree City USA designation.

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.

2019 Celebration

To celebrate the City being designated a Tree City USA, four Hiroshima Peace Trees will be planted at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve. 
A community tree planting event, in recognition of our Tree City USA status and Arbor Day, will be held in late fall. Further details will be posted on this webpage closer to the event.

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