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Heritage Trees

Trees play an important role in the history, culture and livability of Clackamas County.

They provide shade, wildlife habitat, scenic beauty, erosion control and pollution mitigation.  There are also individual trees and groups of trees that are significant to a community because of their size and/or beauty, rarity or association with an historic person or event.

Clackamas County established the Heritage Tree Program in 2007 to encourage residents and property owners to identify and protect individual trees or groups of trees that meet one or more of the following qualifications.

  • Specimen:  A tree of exceptional size, form or rarity, or horticultural value
  • Historic:  A tree of exceptional age, and/or associated with or contribution to an historic structure or district or with a noted person or historic event
  • Landmark:  A tree that is a prominent identifying feature of a community
  • Collection:  A group of trees in a notable grove, avenue or other planting

People who want to nominate one or more trees to be recognized as Clackamas County Heritage Trees are asked to complete a nomination form and submit it to the Clackamas County Planning Division no later than February 12, 2013.  Nominated trees will be inspected by a certified arborist in March to ensure criteria are met, and then forwarded to the County’s Historic Review Board.  The Historic Review Board will recommend trees to be recognized to the County Board of Commissioners, which will designate Heritage Trees every year in May (National Historic Preservation Month).

Anyone may nominate a tree or trees, but the person who owns the land on which the tree stands must consent to the nomination.  Trees located in County right-of-way are not eligible. There are no regulatory restrictions associated with the designation.


  • Recognize, foster appreciation and inspire awareness of the contribution trees make to the community
  • Increase public awareness of the significance and importance of trees in general
  • Draw attention to and protect unique trees
  • Encourage public participation in identification and perpetuation of heritage trees
  • Connect the past to the present by preserving historic trees for the enjoyment of future generations
  • Increase public awareness of the important contribution of trees to our cultural and community history, and the significant role they play in the quality of our daily lives
  • Provide property owners with recognition and reward for preservation of significant heritage trees

Tree Resources

Timeline for Designation of 2013 Heritage Trees

February 12, 2013 Completed nomination forms due in to Clackamas County Planning Division
March Arborist inspects nominated trees
April Clackamas County Historic Review Board reviews nominated trees, makes recommendations for which ones should be designated Heritage Trees
May Clackamas County Board of Commissioners designates Heritage Trees during National Preservation Month. 

For more information, call the Planning Division at 503-742-4500.

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