Simple ways to protect your tree on windy days

The Pacific Northwest is experiencing a historic windstorm event in September, 2020. These winds can cause serious damage to both young and established trees. When the winds pick up, you can take some simple steps to prevent damage to your tree friend.

What should I do to protect my trees from wind?

Watering your trees on windy days can help reduce or prevent damage to leaves.

1. Wind causes leaves to dry out more quickly. That’s why it’s important to make sure tree roots have access to water in the soil to replenish the water lost through their leaves. If trees don’t have enough access to water in the soil, the leaves can dry out, and potentially cause dieback.

  • Newly planted trees (1-5 years since planting): Make sure to give young trees a nice, deep soaking of the root zone with about 10-15 gallons of water. That’s three large buckets of water, slowly added to the soil. Make sure you soak all of the soil within two feet of the trunk, and imagine you are trying to reach the roots about a foot deep in the soil.
  • Established trees (5+ years): This is a great job for a soaker hose or sprinkler, slowly moistening the soil around the edge of the canopy of the tree. Some mature trees are already experiencing drought stress, so it’s extra important to give them an extra drink during windy periods.

2. You can try to protect the leaves with windbreak.

If it’s possible to establish a windbreak, or to attach a frost cloth securely to your tree’s canopy, this can protect your tree from harsh winds. Friends of Trees cautions against this simply because young trees don’t have established root systems, and a fabric covering might act as a wind sail. You may just end up sending your tree on an unintended journey across your yard. Use your best judgement.

 

Wind can cause water to exit leaves too quickly, causing damage to the leaves or canopy dieback on this Seven Son Flower tree.

Why does my tree lose water through its leaves?

Water loss through leaves is due to a process called transpiration, which is essentially the process that occurs after your tree takes up water from the soil, uses it for photosynthesis, and then releases it back into the air. The US Geological Survey explains it this way:

“The typical plant, including any found in a landscape, absorbs water from the soil through its roots. That water is then used for metabolic and physiologic functions. The water eventually is released to the atmosphere as vapor via the plant’s stomata — tiny, closeable, pore-like structures on the surfaces of leaves.”

That water (H2O), of course, plays an important role in photosynthesis while inside the plant, reacting with carbon dioxide (CO2) to produce some delicious sugars for the plant to eat (C6H12O6) and some complimentary fresh oxygen (O2) for us!

So, why does the wind cause tree leaves to dry out more quickly?

Because water likes to distribute itself evenly, it will tend to move from a moist location to a drier location. If the inside of the leaf is moist, and the outside air is also moist, water won’t feel the need to jump ship.

But, as Wikipedia explains, “wind blows away much of this water vapor near the leaf surface…speeding up the diffusion of water molecules into the surrounding air.” The wind moves the moisture away from the leaf, encouraging more water to exit the leaf and re-moisten the surrounding air.

So, keep an eye out for dry/windy weather in the forecast, and make sure your trees and plants are prepared. And give special attention to evergreens in windy/dry periods during the winter, as these trees with year-round leaves and needles will transpire year-round as well.

Tree walks & tree talks for you

It’s the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this year. Friends of Trees was planning to celebrate in our usual fashion: Planting trees. Together. But, like everyone, our plans changed.

We would, of course, prefer to be outside with you. But since we can’t we have some really special virtual tree treats for you.

Since trees and nature can be so comforting, the Friends of Trees staff contributed to Earth Day with some homemade tree talk videos; we’re hoping these will tide you over until we can plant trees with you again. Below is a selection of our work, you can find the entire playlist here (we’ll be adding more, so check back!).

April 22 Earth Day Party with the Tree Team – it’s virtual!

In honor of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary Friends of Trees is hosting a virtual, day-long celebration on our social media channels – it’s the virtual EARTH DAY PARTY WITH THE TREE TEAM! Tune in on Wednesday, April 22, beginning at 10 a.m. We’ll have Tree Talks, LIVE tree walks, and more! Here’s the schedule, and here’s the agenda for the virtual Earth Day party hosted by Friends of Trees Eugene!

TimeTopicWhere To Join
10:00Tree Talk: Friends of Trees Neighborhood Trees Specialist Andrew Lands talks about the European beech
Sponsored by J Frank Schmidt & Son
FacebookInstagramTwitter
10:30Tree Walk LIVE: Andrew (who has TONS of tree knowledge!) talks about his favorite tree – and more! – with Corporate & Business Relations Specialist Sam Erman
Sponsored by New Seasons Market
11:30Tree Talk LIVE with Timber Joey! That’s right, the Timbers’ beloved mascot Timber Joey will ask Sam his top tree questions. Not to be missed!
Sponsored by the Portland Timbers
NoonLunchtime Chat LIVE Learn about Friends of Trees’ EDI work and our Urban Forestry job training program. Sam joins Friends of Trees EDI Specialist Surabhi Mahajan for a Q & A.
Sponsored by Portland General Electric
1:30Tree Walk LIVE Sam Erman visits some trees & talks about some of the many benefits of trees
Sponsored by the Port of Portland
2:30Tree Talk Friends of Trees Green Space Specialist Hanna Dornhofer talks about the native Red flowering currant
Sponsored by Oregon Soap Company and Cafe Yumm
3:00Tree Walk LIVE Hanna is joined by Sam at a restoration site as they explore some of the native trees and shrubs we plant, and more!
Sponsored by Daimler Trucks North America / Portland Trail Blazers / Threes for Trees
4:30Tree Talk Friends of Trees Interim Executive Director Whitney Dorer visits some Giant sequoias
Sponsored by the Portland Timbers
5:00LIVE chat with Friends of Trees Interim Executive Director Whitney Dorer. Whitney shares what she loves about trees + community.
Sponsored by Portland General Electric
5:30We’ll recap Whitney’s chat  in case you missed it
Sponsored by Rigert Shade Trees

 

Facebook
Facebook

Instagram
Instagram

Twitter
Twitter

 

THANK YOU to the sponsors of the Earth Day Party with the Tree Team!

 

 

 

Earth Day Party with the Eugene Tree Team – it’s virtual!

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with the Eugene Tree Team – virtually!

We’ll have tree talks and LIVE tree walks + talks on our Facebook and Instagram channels, and we’ll share some of the Portland Tree Team’s events, too! Join us for #EarthDay2020 !

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIMETOPICWHERE TO JOIN
10:00Tree Talk: Learn about the evergreen conifer, Cunninghamia!                 

 

10:30Tree Walk LIVE: Volunteer & Planting Specialist Taylor Glass chats about our Summer Inspector volunteer programInstagram
NoonLunchtime Chat LIVE Taylor is joined by Friends of Trees Eugene Metro Director Erik Burke for a Q & A.Instagram
2:30Tree Talk: Learn about one of our office’s favorite natives, Pacific madrone! 

Instagram

3:00Tree Walk LIVE Erik visits some trees around our office & talks about our Trees for Concrete programInstagram
4:30 *Tree Talk Friends of Trees Interim Executive Director Whitney Dorer visits some giant sequoias

> Sponsored by the Portland Timbers

 

Instagram

5:00 *LIVE chat with Friends of Trees Interim Executive Director Whitney Dorer. Whitney shares what she loves about trees + community.

> Sponsored by Portland General Electric

@friendoftrees
5:30 *We’ll recap Whitney’s chat in case you missed it

> Sponsored by Rigert Shade Trees

@friendoftrees

 

Facebook: FOT Eugene
Facebook: FOT Eugene

Instagram: FOT Eugene
Instagram: FOT Eugene

 

Thank you to our #EarthDay2020 sponsors!

Mountain Rose Herbs

 

 

 

We need to do something bigger than ourselves.

“We need to do something bigger than ourselves.”

– Mohamed, Friends of Trees volunteer since 2014

Mohamed and his wife Farah, and their children and friends, have planted hundreds of trees with us in memory of their daughter, Ayan. Farah very candidly shares why, “Every tree that we plant I feel like it’s for her. And I think about all of the benefits that all these trees will produce … it keeps on giving. It’s a way of sharing her with the world.”

This beautiful video shares the story about why Mohamed, Farah, and their family plant trees together in honor of Ayan:

“When you are outdoors and in nature you tend to forget whatever problems you may have. When you go into nature with others and look at the beauty, how big things are … it has that healing process.” -Mohamed

The more than 50,000 trees and shrubs we plant every year with so many community volunteers transform neighborhoods and natural areas. Trees clean our air and water, cool the planet, provide habitat—and can help us feel better. There are many examples of how trees improve our health; just the act of planting a tree can be personally transformative; digging in the dirt with the hope and intent of something taking root just feels good.

It’s about trees and it’s about community. When we come together to plant trees we are doing something good, we’re making a difference and we’re making our world a better, more welcoming place.

There is so much we can do that is bigger than ourselves. Donating to Friends of Trees’ programs that plant trees and grow community will help our planet and its inhabitants for generations to come. As Mohamed also shared, “Planting trees really will outlive us. The effort that you put is so small, the benefit is just gigantic.”

Thank you for the gigantic act of supporting trees + community. We look forward to planting trees with you!