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?
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.
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.
To celebrate Give More 24, the Tree Team is hosting virtual tree walks, both live & recorded, on our social media channels. Garry Oak will make an appearance or two. Plus, the tree walks will feature a special guest from the City of Vancouver’s Urban Forestry team, former Tree Team Member Jesse Batty. Here’s the schedule for Give More 24 with the Tree Team, join us!
Please note that live tree walks are not open to the public due to social distancing regulations, please join us on the tree walks through our social media channels.
All events are subject to change due to weather or other considerations.
Meeting our $3,000 goal today means that in just one day we’re 20% closer to bridging our tree gap in southwest Washington–and bridging our tree gap means everyone in our southwest Washington service area who wants a tree, gets a tree. When you donate to Friends of Trees with Give More 24 you are helping your neighbors get trees. Thank you for helping make this happen! Would you like a tree of your own? Get started here to get a tree.
Friends of Trees has been planting trees and growing community in Southwest Washington since 2003, and we’ve engaged local volunteers to plant 6,700 trees in here. In our last planting season, 600 volunteers donated more than 2,000 hours to plant 460 trees at 11 volunteer tree planting events in Vancouver and Clark County. Of course, our planting season this year will look a bit different as we respect social distancing and group size limits — but rest assured, we’ll still be planting trees and we’ll still be engaging with volunteers, You can learn more about what our volunteer events will look like this season here.
Friends of Trees plants 50,000+ trees and native shrubs every year throughout Western Oregon and Southwest Washington. Thanks to generous support from friends like you we’ve planted more than 850,000 trees and native shrubs in hundreds of neighborhoods and natural areas since 1989.
You can feel good about donating to Friends of Trees because all donations plant trees and bring people together.
Thank you for supporting trees + community!
Friends of Trees is taking our region’s COVID-related restrictions and guidelines very seriously. All public events from mid-March – July 2020 were cancelled, and we are actively planning future tree planting & tree care events with health and safety concerns at the forefront of planning efforts. You can find more information about our public volunteer events here.
Currently our office is closed to the general public. Staff are working remotely and on occasion have office hours; if you need to connect with a specific staff person you can find them in our staff directory.
If you ordered a street or yard tree last season and have questions about the tree, or if you are interested in ordering a street or yard tree to be planted during our October 2020 – April 2021 planting season, or if you have any other questions please email us at FOT@friendsoftrees.org
Thank you so much for your support and patience during these unprecedented times. We can’t wait to plant trees with you again!
We have some trees for sale – at prices far below retail!
Most of the trees for sale are in containers and are a good size. Conifer trees are at least 5 feet tall; all other trees for sale are 8.5 feet tall with 1.5 inch caliper trunks.
Trees are $75 each, less than wholesale and far less than retail pricing.
Selection is limited and includes a few bigleaf maples, a few types of dogwoods, Persian ironwoods, elms, hornbeams, crabapples, and five different types of oaks. We cannot guarantee this selection so act fast if you’re interested.
Due to social distancing do not come to the office before contacting Gustavo about the purchase process.
Here are the steps to purchase a tree:
- Email Gustavo at FOT@friendsoftrees.org and put Tree Sale in your subject line.
- Gustavo will let you know what is available, will take your order, and give you payment instructions. Please note: payment must be with a credit card through our website, Gustavo will let you know how to make the purchase.
- Trees will be available for pick up beginning Monday, May 11. We cannot reserve a tree for you until you connect with Gustavo and payment is confirmed.
- Once your payment is confirmed Gustavo will let you know when you can pick up your tree at our office at 3117 NE MLK Blvd, Portland, and what that process will be. Delivery is not available.
Please direct all questions to Gustavo. And please note that the above and left photos are not of the actual trees for sale, but they are similar in size and will actually have leaves.
Thanks for planting trees and be sure to water your new tree 15 gallons a week through October!
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!
THANK YOU to the sponsors of the Earth Day Party with the Tree Team!