Our pruning heroes (and how you can become one)

Urban trees have a tough life. You often see street trees with damage from where vehicles have hit them, or where improper pruning has caused major limbs to fail as the tree grows. Or even worse, street trees that have been topped!

Pruning a young street tree
Pruning street trees when they're young creates a strong structure that increases a tree's life.

To address these issues, the volunteers behind our new Community Tree Care Team are out on our city streets pruning young trees and helping ensure our urban tree canopy grows strong.

In August 2013, 25 volunteers came together to launch Friends of Trees’ Community Tree Care Team. The volunteers were trained by our wonderful group of certified arborist partners in how to make correct cuts and structurally prune young street trees. The first event was so successful, we held three more. Volunteers have now pruned about 500 trees in several Portland neighborhoods, and they’re just getting started.

Why prune street trees when they are young? By structurally pruning at an early age, we can remove defects that may become hazardous in the long term. Smaller branches make for smaller cuts and a shorter recovery time than sawing off big limbs. Early investment in young tree care is important to ensure that these urban trees continue to be assets, rather than liabilities. A healthy tree with a strong structure is a happy tree.

Interested in joining the pruning fun? If you are a Crew Leader, Neighborhood Coordinator, or someone with a particular interest in tree care, we’d love for you to attend an upcoming Community Tree Care trainings (we’re planning one in June). It’s a great way to increase your knowledge of trees in our city and ensure our wonderful tree canopy continues to grow.