Portlanders can get a rebate on their utility bills to plant a tree, as of this morning. And a gentleman named Bryan showed up with to council what looked like a violin case to testify about it. "You showed up in Chicago with one of those, and we'd be nervous," said City Commissioner Randy Leonard. But it turned out, Bryan just wanted to sing a song about the trees:


TREE SONG: "How beautiful it will be when we plant a tree. Forests will grow with the magic of time for our children to see. Green over grey, we will succeed, when we plant the trees, we plant the trees. Paradise not lost but gained to see. When we plant the trees. We, friends of trees."


"A single mature tree with a 30 foot crown can intercept up to 700 gallons of water annually," said City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, introducing the resolution. "The program will provide a small incentive for Portlanders to plant trees in their yards," he continued. "This is an emergency ordinance because the best time to plant trees is in the fall, winter, and early spring."

Here's how it works:

1.Buy a tree
2.Plant it
3.Submit a treebate application form with a proof of purchase to the city.
4.Receive up to $50, as a utility bill credit.

The city is hoping to manage 10-15 million gallons of stormwater a year, with the program, to prevent sewer backups. And there's a limit of ten trees per residence, before you get carried away.

"Our tag line is plant a tree, increase livability," said Jennifer Karps, who'll be running the program at the city.

Get more information here.

"When I bought my house I saw it had a big leaf maple, and shortly after we closed, it collapsed on my house," said City Commissioner Nick Fish. "Shortly afterward I got an $800 bill from the city to chop it up into firewood. I'd been thinking about replacing that tree, and now I have a financial incentive."

"This is a win win win for everyone," said Saltzman.