Growth Rings

Volunteers Needed to plant trees in North Clackamas County, Sat Dec 5th!

Posted on November 18, 2015 at 11:21 am

Located within one of the fastest growing counties in the state, snugged-up between heavily-urbanized Portland and rural farmland in Clackamas County, Damascus is a super place to plant trees!  Friends of Trees is working to plant native trees and shrubs to restore natural areas and farmland within this rapidly developing region — and we need your help on Saturday, Dec 5th!

  • When:  Saturday, December 5th — please meet by 8:45am at the staging site listed above. Planting activities will wrap up by 1:00;
  • Where: Rock Creek Headwaters, please meet at Hillsview Community Church, 23225 SE Borges Rd, Damascus, OR 97089 (map) — look for the Friends of Trees signs to guide you as your arrive
  • Parking and Shuttle: We will be having volunteers take a short shuttle ride from the church parking lot to the farm where we’ll be planting.  Unfortunately, the farm has very little parking available.
  • What:  Please dress appropriately for the weather, wear sturdy shoes or boots, and be prepared to get a little dirty. Friends of Trees will provide gloves, tools, and expert planting guidance, as well as breakfast snacks and coffee/hot chocolate to get everyone fueled up!  Tree-planting is a great activity for individuals, families, and groups alike!
  • Youth Waiver: We require everyone under age 18 volunteering without their parent or guardian to bring a signed youth waiver to the event.  Any youth planting with their parent/guardian do not need a waiver.


Check out all our photos from our recent Rock Creek Headwaters events HERE

Friends of Trees, SOLVE, and Clackamas River Basin Council are working together to enhance streamside properties in the Rock Creek watershed in northern Clackamas County.  This collective restoration effort, the Rock Creek Partnership, is supported with funding from Clackamas County Water Environment Services on behalf of Clackamas Service District No. 1 with the aim of improving and preserving water and habitat quality in this rapidly developing city. Enhancing and protecting the riparian corridors in this fast-growing region will have positive effects on the health of the Clackamas River and its plant and animal populations, as well as people and their communities in the area.

With the holidays right around the corner, this is the season of giving, so consider giving a little bit of your time and come plant trees with us! Your time and generosity will have a lasting impact on the environment and those who inhabit it.

Open Letter to Our Friends

Posted on November 12, 2015 at 9:48 am


Dear Friends at Friends of Trees,

First, thank you all for the hard work you do advocating for and planting trees in our beautiful cities.

Second, here are some of the measurable results of the work you do. Volunteers and Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry staff inventoried all street trees within 20 neighborhoods in 2015. Street trees are trees planted in the city right-of-way, between the taxlot and the street. It took many volunteers countless hours plus additional staff time to collect data on 51,626 street trees. A good portion of these were planted by Friends of Trees. Data collected included tree type (species or genus), tree condition, tree size (diameter at breast height, 4.5 feet above the ground), planting site width, and presence of overhead high voltage wires. Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 9.44.05 AMThe data is being used to inform the creation of a Neighborhood Tree Plan to guide the communities, so that they can care for their trees.

Key Findings

  • This year, the neighborhoods included were Montavilla, Irvington, Powellhurst-Gilbert, Hazelwood, Buckman, Mt. Tabor, Roseway, King, Woodlawn, Mt. Scott-Arleta, North Tabor, Sabin, Parkrose, Parkrose Heights, and Old Town-Chinatown.
  • These neighborhood’s street tree populations consists of trees of 151 types.
  • Diversity in species and functional type is a concern; just Acer (Maple) Prunus (Cherry/Plum) make up 28% of the street tree population in these areas
  • Broadleaf deciduous trees account for 91% of all street trees.
  • Fifty-seven percent of all street tree planting spaces are currently stocked with trees, and 17,861 empty spaces are available for street tree planting, 5677 of which are high-priority large sites with no overhead wires.
  • For these neighborhoods, street trees produce $5,961,010 annually in environmental and aesthetic benefits. This calculates to approximately $114.26 in benefits per tree per year. The replacement value of this resource is $166 million dollars.
  • Over 68% of trees in large sites are too small for their site. Continued efforts to plant appropriately-sized trees in Portland’s rights-of-way will ensure that tree canopy and its benefits are maximized in the long-term.

We are looking forward to the 2016 Street Tree Inventory. We are focusing on a different group of neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are:

Alameda, Argay, Beaumont-Wilshire, Brentwood-Darlington, Creston-Kenilworth, East Columbia, Glenfair, Goose Hollow, Grant Park, Hollywood, Humboldt, Lents, Madison South, Pearl District, Reed, Rose City Park, Russell, and Wilkes 

If you are interested in applying for the inventory, or want more information, please contact Patrick Key or Matthew Downs. or

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 9.46.43 AM



How to plant a tree (balled and burlapped)

Posted on October 14, 2015 at 2:25 pm

How To Plant A Tree

Written By: Kira Cazenave

Planting your own tree? For the best results to ensure that your new foliage friend is happy in its new home, follow the Friends Of Trees step by step guide to planting a balled and burlapped tree!

Remove plastic tags and prune off broken branches. Just like when you buy anything new, the first step you take to making it your own is removing the tags from it, right? Well the same goes for when you are planting your very own tree. Your first step to introducing your tree to its new home should be to remove the plastic tags from its branches and to prune off any broken branches.

1a 1b

Dig a hole to create a nest for your tree. To determine how big the hole should be, loosen the burlap and dig until you find the top root or root flare. Then, proceed to dig the hole so that it is as deep as the top root and twice the width of the root ball. As you dig the hole, try to keep the grass on one side and the soil on the other to minimize how much they mix. You want to have as much soil without grass as possible. To check that you have the proper planting depth, measure the height of the first major root against the initial hole depth by using a stake or tool handle. Adjust the hole as needed to ensure that the top root will be level with the top of the surrounding soil and use your shovel to break up the sides of the hole so that the roots are able to penetrate.

2a 2b

Use the burlap to set the tree in the hole. If the tree is encased in a small wire basket, remove the basket before putting the tree in the hole. If the basket is large, remove it by cutting it off after you place your tree in the hole.


Remove the burlap. Carefully tilt the tree to one side and tuck the burlap underneath it. Then, tilt the tree to the other side and pull the burlap out. Be careful not to break the root ball during this step in the process! Some arborists recommend leaving the burlap in the ground, but some burlap is chemically treated, so we recommend removing it completely.


Straighten and support the tree. Support your tree by putting soil at the bottom of it. At this point, you can very slightly compact the soil.


Finish adding the soil. Make sure to break up any large chunks of soil that you see and use your hands to gently compact the soil. After your tree is secure, use the remaining soil and grass to fill in around the base of the tree for additional support. Ideally, you want to only use soil so we urge you to try to get as much of the grass out as you can before adding the additional soil.


Add 5-10 gallons of water. Let the water soak into the soil slowly.


Add three inches of mulch. Make sure the mulch doesn’t touch the trunk of the tree. This will help prevent moisture from building up on the bark which will help protect it from bugs getting to it.


Stake your tree, if possible. Friends Of Trees does this to help protect the tree from cars and lawnmowers as well as to hold it upright during severe weather, such as wind. When fastening the knot on the stake, keep it loose so that the tree has some flexibility to move. This will teach the tree that it must grow a strong root system. When planting with Friends Of Trees, we add a sticker that reminds the home owner how to maintain their new tree and lets the neighbors know what kind of tree it is.

9a 9b

And finally, celebrate the successful planting of your new tree!

Congratulations! You just successfully planted your tree! Now it’s time to watch your new friend grow and thrive in its new home. Planting is just the start of a long relationship with your tree. Be sure to plan for maintenance like watering a pruning to best enjoy your new garden companion!


Friends Of Trees is proud to help you learn how to plant a tree. View our tree planting video below!

Trick, treat or plant: Halloween planting at Milo McIver

Posted on September 24, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Friends of Trees is ecstatic to announce our first tree planting at Milo McIver State Park along the Clackamas River in Estacada!  Get outdoors with Friends of Trees to restore an area of oak savannah at this hidden gem of a park.  We’ll be planting Oregon White Oak and associated shrubs across the area known as the Upper Meadow.  These efforts will be part of an exciting first phase of meadow and oak-savannah restoration in the park!

Your help needed!  Seeking volunteers to plant these oak trees and native shrubs for a Halloween morning planting on Saturday, Oct 31st!  No experience needed.  Feel free to bring friends and family — the more the merrier!

Where: Milo McIver State Park, South Entrance Rd, Estacada, OR (map); please note that there will be a free day-pass provided to all Friends of Trees volunteers and no need to pay the park user-free

When: Saturday, October 31st — please meet by 8:45am at the above site.  Planting activities will wrap up by 1:00pm;

What: Please dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes or boots, and be prepared to get a little dirty.  Friends of Trees will provide gloves, tools, and planting guidance, as well as breakfast snacks and coffee/hot chocolate to get everyone fueled up!

Youth Waiver: For any youth under age 18 volunteering without their parent or guardian, we ask they bring a signed youth waiver to the event.  Any youth planting with their parent/guardian do not need a waiver.

With a group? We welcome groups of all sizes!  RSVPs are kindly requested for groups of 5 or more people – click HERE to do so. RSVPs are not required for individuals or groups of 4 or fewer — you may simply show up!

  12-11-10 Gresham Woods 001 










We’re pleased that our planting will be helping this park continue its restoration efforts!  This park also offers a bevy of outdoor recreation options, from fishing to boating, hiking to wildlife viewing.  The park hosts a 18-hole disc golf course, a salmon and steelhead fish hatchery, camping, and even a hike dedicated to bat viewing.  Feel free to stay after the planting to enjoy the wonders of Milo McIver!

PS — Feel free to dress up for the occasion.  Ghost and ghouls welcome!