Growth Rings

2015-16 Monitoring Report (aka, about the trees we planted)

Posted on January 10, 2017 at 4:28 pm

by Jesse Batty, Neighborhood Trees Senior Specialist; ISA Certified Arborist

Planting a tree is a relatively simple act. Ensuring that a tree survives the first growing season and the subsequent ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????years thereafter is more difficult. The goal of FOT’s Neighborhood Trees monitoring program is to provide proper tree planting education and after-planting care assistance to new tree owners so that a tree will survive its first growing season and ideally become an asset to the community during the many years to come. With the help of over 180 volunteers, Friends of Trees is proud to report another successful monitoring season. Below are a few highlights from the past season of summer inspecting (read the entire Monitoring Report here):

  • The total number of trees planted within the City of Portland during the 2015-16 planting season was 2,781 trees. The 2,781 trees represent 63 genera and 174 species of trees, which highlights FOT’s dedication to planting a diverse urban forest.
  • Of the trees monitored in Portland, a total of 97 trees did not survive their first summer season in the ground. That equates to a mortality rate of 3.6% for the monitored tree set, or a 96.4% survival rate if viewed in a more positive light. Those trees that died represent 41 species.
  • Of the 174 different species and cultivars planted, 41 species had at least one incidence of mortality. Goldenrain tree, Oregon White Oak, Scarlet Oak, and Western Redbud showed the highest mortality rates of trees planted in high quantities (more than ten total).
  • FOT will continue to record historical knowledge of tree inventory; continue its vigilance while maintaining bare root and b&b stock prior to planting and during transport; continue to monitor performance of different species; continue to adhere to an inclement weather protocol; continue to improve stewardship education, particularly to those who receive trees at no cost; and continue to send additional watering reminders in the form of email and postcard to supplement the visits of summer inspectors.
  • FOT continued its study of a sample of 10% of trees that were planted two seasons prior, also known as Tier II inspections. This subset of trees showed a 3.5% mortality rate, which is in line with the mortality rate seen in previous years of 2 year old trees.
  • FOT also began a study of a sample of 10% of trees that were planted three seasons prior, also known as Tier Gamma inspections. This subset showed a 7.55% mortality rate. This confirms FoT’s belief that year 3 is a “make or break” year for the establishment of young trees. We have expanded our outreach around young tree establishment to include the first three seasons as opposed to the first two.
  • We also continued our study of 10% of the trees planted during the 2009-10 planting season, also known as Tier Omega inspections. This subset of trees showed a 3.7% mortality rate during Year 7. It is promising to note that 73.66% of all Tier Gamma trees are rated Good or OK after 7 years in the ground.

All of these findings will help FOT continue to provide appropriate & accurate tree care advice for homeowners who acquire trees through our program. A huge thank you is owed to our volunteer Summer Inspectors who provide tree care guidance to homeowners and accurate data reporting to FOT staff to help keep FOT’s mortality rates low.

It’s cold out there! Arctic-weather tree-care tips

Posted on January 5, 2017 at 1:37 pm
Yep, it’s cold out there! Friends of Trees plants trees that are adapted to our hardiness zone, though cold and icy weather can still take its toll. Here are some tips:pruning
1) Have your trees assessed by an ISA Certified Arborist at the beginning of winter
2) Add an organic mulch like wood chips around the root zone to help retain moisture
3) Correctly prune dead or damaged limbs or where there are weak branch attachments
4) Never try to shake an icy branch or limb as you could cause more harm than good
5) After a storm or a cold snap, inspect your tree for frost cracks or damage to branches

Here’s to a 2017 filled with trees + community

Posted on January 3, 2017 at 2:20 pm


We look forward to planting with you this year!

Let’s Hear It For Trees

Posted on December 27, 2016 at 10:55 am


There are so many ways trees improve our lives and our world. Trees clean our air and water, provide habitat, cool us in summer, warm us in winter, speed up hospital recovery time … they even relieve stress!

Trees are multi-purpose–and so are donations to Friends of Trees. A $75 donation covers the cost of 15 green space trees and native shrubs; waters a new street tree for an entire summer; provides enough mulch for 40 young trees; covers the cost of 8 shovels, which are used by 50 volunteers to plant 1,000 trees in a season …

All donations to Friends of Trees put trees in the ground and help keep them healthy. A gift to Friends of Trees keeps on giving. Thank you for your support!