Oregon Department of Forestry

  • Are trees a good investment?Yes - better than the stock market! Research conducted in the Pacific Northwest by the USDA Forest Service shows that for every $1 invested in trees, $2.70 worth of benefits is returned.
  • How are threatened and endangered species protected on Oregon's forestland?Oregon's forests are home to many species of fish and wildlife, including some who are threatened and endangered. Endangered species are those that are extremely rare and in danger of becoming extinct; threatened species are those likely to become endangered throughout some or all of their habitat range. ODF supports a 'take-avoidance' policy to reduce the potential for harming threatened and endangered species on forestland. Forest activities may be prohibited or limited should these species exist on the planned area of operation. An ODF stewardship forester will notify you if your planned operation may impact a threatened or endangered species. Threatened and endangered fish and wildlife lists are available from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
  • How can I get grass to grow underneath my tree?Trees and turf have different water requirements. If you gave grass underneath a tree all the water it needs, you would kill the tree. Trees with lawn/turf do best when surrounded by mulch.
  • How can I obtain seedlings for reforestation?ODF provides reforestation resources on the Replaning Forests webpage.
  • How can I volunteer with the Department of Forestry?There are many ways you can help care for Oregon's State Forests, from one-time to reoccurring volunteer opportunities for youth, families, groups and individuals. ​Follow the link to check out the volunteer opportunities.
  • How do I notify the State of Oregon of my intent to harvest timber?Notifications of Operations and Permits to use Fire or Power Driven Machinery are now completed online. This online notification system will
  • How do I plant a tree?Follow the tree planting guide to start your trees out on the right foot.
  • How do I prune fruit trees?Fruit tree pruning involves using different techniques than you would usually use on landscape trees. This type of pruning encourages fruit production and makes it easier to pick.
  • How do I sell my product to the Department of Forestry?Use the ODF staff directory to contact the ODF Procurement Office.
  • How does a firefighting contract crew contract to work with the department of ForestryContact the Protection from Fire Division
  • How many state forests are there in Oregon?Six state forests comprise nearly three percent of the overall forested landbase in Oregon. These six include the Clatsop (northwest Oregon near Astoria) Tillamook (also northwest Oregon, between Tillamook and Forest Grove), Santiam (east of Salem, midway to Detroit Lake), Elliott (southwest Oregon, near Coos Bay. The Elliott is owned by the Department of State Lands and managed by ODF), Sun Pass (north of Klamath Falls), and Oregon's newest state forest, dedicated in 2010, the Gilchrist (just north of La Pine).
  • Is converting Oregon forestland to other uses prohibited?The Forest Practices Act does not expressly prohibit changing the use of forestland to another use. However, many of these changes are subject to other state and local regulations.
  • Is it safe for a homeowner to stand on a ladder and run a chain saw?Basically, no – you should call in a licensed tree care professional to properly and safely prune a tree that requires use of chain saw.
  • Is replanting always required after cutting trees in Oregon?Usually, but sometimes, the land is converted to a bona fide non-forest use. The landowner must document compliance with county ordinances and all necessary permits. The land use change must be completed within 24 months of harvest completion and must be maintained for at least six years.
  • My tree is too big for me to prune myself, how can I find a good arborist?Only hire someone who is a Certified Arborist. Visit the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Internationals Society of Arboriculture to find one near you.
  • My tree is too big, should I top it?No, topping is one of the worst things you can do to a tree. Not only is topping unattractive, but it removes the leaves that supply nutrients to a tree and can make your tree prone to insect and disease damage by creating improper pruning cuts. Topping also creates a more dangerous tree by sprouting back weakly attached branches that are more likely to break in a storm event.
  • My tree looks sick, what can I do?Contact the Master Gardeners at your local university extension service for professional advice on what may be affecting your tree.
  • Should I stake a tree after I plant it?Not necessarily. Only stake a tree if the characteristics of the site and the tree make it necessary. Learn more about tree staking from Colorado State Extension.
  • The roots of my tree keep coming up in my yard and I run over them with the lawnmower. Can I do anything about this?While you can remove small roots, be careful not to injure the tree. Help avoid the problem by making a bigger mulch circle around the base of the tree. This will also keep the soil moist and help avoid unwanted grass or weeds from growing beneath the tree.
  • The utility company pruned the trees on my street, and now they look ugly – is there a better solution?We enjoy the benefits of trees, but we also need safe reliable delivery of electricity. Your utility has a tough job making trees and utility lines co-exist. While they should prune to correct standards, some trees under powerlines really are better off being removed and replaced with a better suited tree for the location.
  • There is construction going on near my trees, should I be concerned?Yes - Impacts from construction can potentially damage a tree. Make sure that a tree protection zone is set up around the tree to avoid potential damage to the tree itself or the roots.
  • What can I do to give my new tree a good start?Water and mulch are two of the best things for new trees. The Oregon State University Extension tree guide has additional advice for after planting trees.
  • What do I do if I think my tree might be hazardous?Trees need care, and if left uncared for, they can become liabilities instead of assets. You should learn to recognize potential hazards and be proactive by performing preventative tree maintenance. If your tree has significant structural issues, you will want to contact a Certified Arborist to get a hazard tree assessment.
  • What grants and financial inventives are available to private forest landowners?Financial and technical assistance programs help private forest landowners plan for and manage their forest resources. Contact the Private Forests Division for additional questions about each program and to determine if you are qualified to receive financial assistance.
  • What is forestland?"Forestland" means any woodland, brushland, timberland, grazing land or clearing that, during any time of the year, contains enough forest growth, slashing or vegetation to constitute, in the judgment of the forester, a fire hazard, regardless of how the land is zoned or taxed.
  • What is land classification and the forest patrol assessment?ODF provides wildland fire protection on private forest and rangelands within their Fire Protection District boundaries. This fire protection service is funded by a combination of an assessment on lands within the Fire Protection District and the General Funds for the State of Oregon. The landowner contribution is termed the Fire Patrol Assessment. Currently, the General Fund and the landowner’s assessment each contribute approximately 50% of the funding. Forestland classification is a process by which a committee studies all lands within the fire protection boundary to determine which lands are "forestlands." Follow the link to find out about land classification and forest patrol assessment in your area.
  • What is reforestation?Reforestation means more than simply planting seedlings or saving residual seedlings, saplings, or trees already on the site. The landowner must see to it that the trees are in "free to grow" condition six years after harvesting. "Free to grow" means that a tree has a good chance of outgrowing competing grass and brush to become part of a vigorous, healthy forest. This makes it very important for landowners to plan for reforestation before harvesting begins. Good planning will minimize costs and ensure successful reforestation. The reforestation rule "clock" starts when the operation is completed or 12 months after felling begins, whichever comes first. From that date landowners have: 12 months to start reforestation tasks such as site preparation and ordering seedlings; 24 months to complete planting; and 6 years in total to establish an adequately-stocked, free to grow stand. (Time extensions may be granted for circumstances beyond the landowner's control.)
  • What kind of tree should I plant in my yard?Consider the location you want to plant before you decide on the species. That way you can select a tree that will be well suited to its planting location. The Oregon State University Landscape Plants Guide provides photos of trees and information about different trees you can plant.
  • What triggers a reforestation obligation?Reforestation is required if the post-harvesting numbers of residual seedlings, saplings, and trees are below rule-specified levels. The potential tree-growing productivity (site class) of the site determines the stocking to be re-established. There are three broad productivity ranges. Landowners in this area generally need to replant either 125 or 200 trees per acre. Residual seedlings, saplings or poles, and trees may all count toward stocking.
  • When should I prune my trees and how do I do it?The best time to prune deciduous (hardwood) trees is when they are dormant. Some flowering trees you may want to prune right after flowering. Conifers may be pruned any time of year, but pruning during the dormant season may minimize sap and resin flow from cut branches.
  • Where can I go to learn more about urban trees?Find information about partner organizations: Oregon Community Trees, Trees Are Good, The Arbor Day Foundation, and others.
  • Who do I contact to find out about a specific burn operationUse the ODF offices map to find contact information for your District Office.
  • Who do I contact to find out about a specific harvest operationUse the ODF offices map to locate your District Office.
  • Who do I contact to report pesticide spraying?The Oregon Department of Agriculture, Pesticide Division​ (ODA) administers rules relating to applicator licensing, proper application, and pesticide labeling. Contact ODA if you think pesticides have drifted or moved across property lines and have damaged human health or property.
  • Who does the state hold responsible for reforesting harvested land in Oregon?Oregon holds the forest landowner responsible for reforestation, regardless of who cuts the trees. When the land is sold, any uncompleted reforestation obligation transfers to the buyer. The law requires a seller to inform the buyer of this in writing.
  • Why do trees change color?A combination of factors – shorter fall days and cooler nights cause trees to stop producing chlorophyll (green) and allows the true colors of the leaves to be seen.
  • Why should a forest landowner know about reforestation requirements?Reforestation after harvesting keeps forest land productive and valuable. The Oregon Department of Forestry administers forest practice reforestation rules in order to ensure future generations will also benefit from Oregon's many forest resources: timber, water, air, soil, and fish and wildlife habitat. Failure to reforest can result in: a citation, an order to repair the condition, a fine up to $5000, and removal from forestland tax deferral with a bill for back taxes.
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