Growth Rings

Friends of Trees Partners with over 120 students from University of Oregon for their 5th annual Day of Service!

Posted on April 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm

When these students put their mind to something, anything is possible! Friends of Trees was fortunate to partner with the University of Oregon to plant 35 trees for the UO’s annual Day of Service! This incredible planting, which was generously sponsored by Eugene Water & Electric and the UO Government and Community Relations, was just one of four amazing events. Other events included neighborhood litter pick up, a community food drive, and a tree inventory.

Trees 300x225 Friends of Trees Partners with over 120 students from University of Oregon for their 5th annual Day of Service!

Everybody say “Trees”!!

Led by eager crew leaders, teams of students and public volunteers split into six teams to plant trees in the West University Neighborhood, an all-rental area occupied primarily by UO students. All the trees were mulched by a bike team that used trailers to haul mulch to the newly planted trees! Hummingbird Wholesale’s co-owner Charlie Tilt personally rode one of the amazing Hummingbird large capacity bike trailers on the mulch team.

For the second year in a row, FOT selected “adaptive management trees,” species we believe are likely to thrive despite climate change. These drought tolerant trees include valley oak, blue oak, Oregon white oak, silver linden, California black oak, and red horsechestnut. Students learned the importance and value of planting and caring for trees in their community, and got a little muddy while doing so!

Despite the cool weather and on and off rain, over 120 students showed up to the event ready to work to make their community a better place! The experience was very rewarding for everyone involved. The event wrapped up with a catered lunch from Qdoba and a special thank you to all participating groups by Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy. It was another incredible event and Friends of Trees is looking forward to participating again next year!

This annual service project was a collaborative effort of the University of Oregon (Office of the Dean of Students, Government and Community Relations, the Holden Center, UO Student Alumni Association), the City of Eugene (Parks and Open Space, Neighborhood Services, City Manager’s Office,) and near campus neighborhoods (South University and West University neighborhoods).

A special thank you to New Day Bakery for providing the hot coffee and delicious breakfast treats that fueled our volunteers during the planting! FOT is very grateful to EWEB and the UO Government and Community Relations for their sponsorship of FOT’s work on this project. The project continues with work to engage UO students to water, weed, mulch and prune these trees to help them establish and thrive.

See coverage of the event from local news channel KMTR HERE!


Arbor Day is almost here!

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm

By Susie Peterson

Come help Portland Parks & Recreation and partners (including Friends of Trees) celebrate our city’s trees and those who work so hard to plant and care for them! Highlights of the day will include: 1) Portland getting its 37th annual Tree City USA banner; 2) the Urban Forestry Commission Education and Outreach Committee awarding the Bill Naito Community Trees Award at 10:00 a.m.; and, 3) the reading of the Arbor Day Proclamation at 12:00 p.m.

There is a new theme each year for Arbor Month. This year the theme is ‘Trees Care For Us: We Care for Trees.’ Some of your favorite local tree groups will have booths to visit and you can find out how trees care for you and how you can help care for trees. They’ll be giving away several different kinds of tree stickers, as well as cool Arbor Month posters, which have fun games on the back. Plus, Garry Oak will be there in person to give big tree hugs to everyone!

Arbor Day poster side B 2014 300x193 Arbor Day is almost here!

2014 Arbor Month Poster!

When: this Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. till 2:00 p.m.
Where: Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University, South Park Blocks between SW Hall & SW Montgomery (map)

In addition to Arbor Day, feel free to attend any of the other fun Arbor Month activities planned.

See you out there!

– Susie is a Neighborhood Trees Specialist with Friends of Trees.

Shiver me Timbers, it’s ARRRRRbor Day!

Posted on April 11, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Oregon has Arbor Week, and Portland has Arbor Month including a specific Arbor Day.  But the pirates of our community have been asking, when is ARRRRRbor Day?  Well this year they took the matters into their own hands.  ARRRRRbor Day is a pirate-themed fundraiser for Friends of Trees on Saturday, April 26 at the Clinton Street Theater (2522 SE Clinton Street in Portland). All are welcome to attend! Feel free to join the Facebook ARRRRRbor Day event.

Starting at 7pm, ARRRRRbor Day features live entertainment by Dingo Dizmal and Olive Rootbeer, Toucan Sam and the Frootloops, and Ace of Ruin Piratical entertainment, followed by a showing of the Douglas Fairbanks classic “The Black Pirate.” Proceeds to benefit Friends of Trees. The event is all ages, but adult beverages will be for sale with ID. Pirate outfits encouraged. For more information, see

13786959853 d3e6754589 Shiver me Timbers, its ARRRRRbor Day!

Find your perfect fruit tree match

Posted on April 7, 2014 at 1:14 pm
Apple tree AmieFedora type Find your perfect fruit tree match

Saturday, April 19, 2014
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Take home bare-root stock fruit trees for a $5 suggested donation. Shade tree stock will also be available at wholesale prices. Come early for best selection! View the event on Facebook.

Dreaming of a fresh fruit harvest from your own yard? Many fruits grow well in the Pacific Northwest with enough sun, space and care. However, it’s worth taking time to choose the right fruit tree for your lifestyle to ensure that come harvest time, you’ll be saying “oh joy” instead of “oh boy.”

So… which statement best describes you?

I love fruit, but I’m pretty busy.
Choose: Fig or persimmon
In general, fruit trees are more susceptible to pests, fungus and disease than regular trees. But the fig and persimmon have few of these problems. Figs grow quickly and are very forgiving to less-than-expert pruning regimens. You can even grow a fig bush. Persimmons grow slowly, are fairly easy to maintain and put on lots of bright, orange fruits in the fall. King fig and Fuyu persimmon are good choices.

FuyuPersimmonFruit1 Find your perfect fruit tree match

Fuyu persimmon

I’ll do a little work for some jam.
Choose: Italian or Asian plum
These plum varieties usually have abundant, healthy crops in the summer, with only a few pests to worry about, though trees require regular pruning and harvesting. This semi-dwarf Italian plum can be kept to a manageable height and has large, purple fruit.

ItalianPlum Find your perfect fruit tree match

Italian plum

I’m a beginner but want a ton of fruit.
Choose: Asian pear
Asian pears produce huge crops but are less susceptible to disease than typical European pears. You’ll need a little knowledge about pruning to maintain a healthy structure so the branches can hold loads of fruit without breaking. You’ll also be harvesting a lot—but you can do it!

AsianPear Find your perfect fruit tree match

Asian pear

I make my own pie—bring it on.
Choose: Apple or European pear
Though popular, apples and pears are more challenging to grow in our area—though certainly feasible. The reason? Pests and fungus. Depending on the season, you may have to battle pests like maggots or codling moths—the proverbial worm in your apple. In our wet climate, outbreaks of scab (a fungus) can show up as brown spots on leaves and fruit.

But don’t be discouraged—if you don’t mind a worm or two, we suggest choosing a semi-dwarfing variety (12-15 feet tall and wide without pruning) that is resistant to scab, such as Akane and Liberty.

Semi dwarf apple tree Find your perfect fruit tree match

A well-pruned semi-dwarfing apple tree.

I want to grow something weird.
Choose: Paw paw.
Full of potassium, the paw paw is like the banana of North America (it’s native to the southeast). The common paw paw can be a fun addition to your garden and table, with custardy flesh that some people say tastes kind of like a cross between a banana and a mango.

pawpaw Find your perfect fruit tree match

Paw paw

Want to dig deeper? Read these four things to consider before choosing a fruit tree for your yard.

And we’ll see you at the 2014 Fruit Tree Giveaway Saturday, April 19! Check out the event on Facebook.