Common Tree Issues

SIDEWALK / TREE ROOT PROBLEMS

Sidewalk / tree root problems occur when surface tree roots contact sidewalk causing lifting or cracking. The majority of these problems exist in areas where large trees occupy small grow spaces and in areas where there is clay or compacted soils. 


INTERFERING with road SIGNS

Pruning trees around traffic and regulatory signs and signals are a priority. We also prune trees for business signs, often with a caveat with the term ‘within reason’ of the amount of tree pruning and the distance.


Tree root / sewer lateral problems

Tree root / sewer lateral problems occur when old clay-tile sewer laterals fail and advantageous tree roots clog the drain. Requests are often made to remove the closest tree to the problem but the solution ranges from auguring the drain to installing a new PVC or plastic sewer lateral, this often can be sleeved through the existing pipe. 

We recommend that residents with this problem check with the Public Works Wastewater Division and consult a plumbing contractor. Note: Trees are not removed to alleviate sewer drain problems. Tree / Sewer lateral problems increase at the time of year of root growth – just prior to Spring bud break (April) and in the Fall after leaf drop (November). 


Vista Pruning

Portland is a great city with many fine views of Casco Bay, Western Mountains, Back Cove, city skyline and much more. Recent ‘hotspots’ for vista pruning include the Eastern and Western Promenades. We do generate pruning requests for vista pruning where we meet with residents to go over various options. 


SQUIRRELS

These arboreal creatures often cause concerns for homeowners, especially in the Fall season. Tree pruning often seems to be a last chance, plausible solution that never seems to result in solving the rodent problem due to their adaptability of gaining access via gutters, overhead utility lines and other creative ways. Thus – tree pruning requests for squirrel-proofing tend to be low priority calls due to the ineffectiveness.


SHADE

Our urban tree canopy helps reduce temperature, however, we do receive requests that some trees are “too shady”. We do generate work orders to conduct ‘crown thinning’ pruning or crown lifting as needed – they tend to be low priority requests. Recommendations include using grass seed mixes and using woody & herbaceous landscape plantings that are ‘shade tolerant’.

Parks and Recreation
Fix It! Portland.

Contact Us

  1. PARKS OFFICE

    212 Canco Road, Ste A

    Portland, Maine 

    PH:207-808-5400

    parks@portlandmaine.gov      

    Office Hours

    8:00 am - 4:30 pm Mon- Fri  

    PARKS DIRECTOR

    Alex Marshall                

    CITY ARBORIST

    Jeff Tarling

    trees@portlandmaine.gov

    PARK RANGER

    Timothy Stephenson

    Office: 207-808-5454

    Ranger Cell: 207-232-3721


    DURING NON-WORKING HOURS

    CONTACT PUBLIC SAFETY

    (207) 874-8575


    The mission of Portland Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department is
    to enhance the quality of life through people, parks and programming
    while creating lasting memories for the citizens of Portland and its visitors. 


    Love Portland square