Friends of Trees inspires people to improve the natural world around them through a simple solution: Planting Trees. Together.
Friends of Trees was founded in 1989 by Portland resident Richard Seidman. Inspired by a national Global ReLeaf program, Richard wanted to create an organization that both helped the environment and brought people together through the act of planting trees in Portland neighborhoods and natural areas. Today, Friends of Trees is a nationally recognized, regional leader in improving the urban tree canopy and restoring sensitive natural areas—through programs delivered by thousands of volunteers. Friends of Trees greens our region while growing community.
Since our founding Friends of Trees has planted 800,000+ trees and native plants with thousands and thousands and thousands of volunteers in 120+ neighborhoods in six counties across two states.
Whether it’s a forest created from our canopy of urban trees or the forest to come from our restoration plantings in sensitive natural areas, there is no doubt that the trees planted by Friends of Trees play a vital role our region’s livability. Given rising temperatures and all that we know about the cooling and cleansing effects of trees, it’s easy to see how our work improves our natural environment. But what’s really something else is the people-power: the trees we plant are actually planted by 7,000+ volunteers every planting season.
What We Do
Neighborhood Tree Plantings
Get a tree of your very own! We organize the planting event, deliver the trees, dig the holes, and make it affordable for all homeowners. Street and yard trees are just $35 each, and if affordability is a barrier the tree is no cost thanks to our donation-funded tree scholarship fund.
We offer an incredible selection of city-approved trees, sourced from almost a dozen local wholesale tree farms. You’ll receive an 6-foot tall tree, delivery, hole digging, planting assistance from neighborhood volunteers, mulch, stakes, and follow-up maintenance checks and tree care tips.
Tree planting volunteers simply sign up, show up dressed for the weather, and get to know the neighbors while greening the neighborhood and enjoying a potluck lunch afterward.
We plant neighborhood trees in Portland, Gresham, Oregon City, Salem, Eugene and Springfield in Oregon, and in Vancouver and Clark County, Washington. If a planting is scheduled in your neighborhood, you can sign up to see a list of street trees or trees for your yard. You’re never obligated to reserve or plant any trees, signing up just makes it possible for us to send you a list of recommended trees and help you get started when you’re ready.
Green Space Plantings
From the edge of the Columbia Gorge to the farmlands of Washington County, and up and down the Willamette Valley, our Green Space Program restores natural areas, increases habitat, improves watershed health, and plants trees in large quantities (about 1,000-2,000 native trees and shrubs per planting!). When mature, these trees will create significant improvements to our region’s air and water quality.
Our Green Space Program hosts more than 70 events annually in 12+ cities. We enjoy partnerships with a variety of groups and municipalities, including Clean Water Services, Metro, East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District, Sandy River Basin Watershed Council, USDA Forest Service, City of Salem, and many more.
Volunteering for a Green Space planting is a great way to explore some of our region’s natural areas while contributing to watershed health and habitat restoration. It’s also a great opportunity for groups to volunteer together. Interested? Check out the Green Space Planting Calendar (Green Space plantings are in green) and then visit our Group Registration Form. See you out there!
Tree Care & Maintenance
We water. We prune. We mulch. We visit and assess. We want all of our trees to survive and thrive, so we spend the summer months caring for the trees we plant.
Did we mention we prune? Last season we pruned more than 1,500 street trees, which is vital toward proper growth and really helps them survive wind, snow and ice storms.
Volunteers help with this! We train volunteers to inspect and prune trees, and volunteers are crucial to effectively mulching thousands of new trees at tree care events.
All told, we care for and monitor more than 54,000 trees a year! We visit our newly planted neighborhood street trees twice during their first summers, and we monitor our natural area trees for 10 years.
Engaging Community Volunteers
We bring people together. Inspiring our community members to plant, care for, and learn about trees is key to our mission. We welcome individuals, families, and businesses throughout western Oregon and SW Washington to help restore and beautify our region.
Volunteering for a Saturday morning tree-planting is a great way to give back to the community and make a difference in a few short hours! Groups of all sizes are welcome (companies, schools, churches, birthday parties, scouts, etc).
Friends of Trees recognizes that not everyone has equal access to the benefits of trees. As we work to remedy that, we strive to be a welcoming and safe place for everyone, regardless of age, ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, political views, or economic status. Without our volunteers, we are nothing. But together, we do amazing things.
We are always looking for more people to get involved with this work! Please visit our Volunteer Page for the most up-to-date volunteer opportunities. We hope to meet you soon!
How do we do it?
Our work is possible with volunteer support and financial contributions from local municipalities, businesses, and individuals like you. Be a friend of the trees and donate today!
Impact Reports — a snapshot of planting season: