Last fall, the Port of Portland began a project to remove trees that were starting to grow into the federally-regulated airspace at Portland International Airport. The trees will be replaced with lower-growing, native vegetation. The work is taking place in several phases to help increase the survival rate of the new vegetation. The project will take a little over a year to complete and is expected to run through late 2014.
Under Federal Aviation Administration requirements, the Port is responsible for ensuring the airspace at PDX remains free of obstructions to continue to maintain safe aircraft operations. The stand of black cottonwoods in the Blue Economy Parking Lot was growing to heights that were beginning to penetrate regulated airspace. If the growth continued, the trees would have affected the instruments that help aircraft land on the north runway.
In the past, the trees had been topped to address the problem, however, repeated topping makes them hazardous to work around. Permanently removing the cottonwoods provides a long-term, sustainable solution. Approximately 400 cottonwoods will be removed. Other tree and plant species that did not pose a present or future risk to the airspace remain at the site. The trees will be replaced with more than 23,000 native shrub and small tree species such as vine maple, Oregon grape, red-flowering currant and native roses and willow.
Artist’s rendering of future site conditions following project completion.
Lisa Timmerman at 503.415.6047