Friends of Trees is seeking its next Executive Director

We are currently searching for our next Executive Director.

This person brings experience with nonprofit management, volunteer management, fundraising and business development and a passion for authentic community engagement together with a belief in planting trees as a way to build community, address socio-economic differences, and improve our environment.

The Executive Director works with a staff of 27 in Portland and Eugene including 4 direct reports. They report to an active board of directors and engage with the community on a daily basis.

The Friends of Trees team is seeking an Executive Director to help build a stronger equity lens and develop a revenue sustainability model that allows Friends of Trees to continue its efforts greening neighborhoods and restoring natural areas through community tree planting events.

A complete job description and an application portal is here, this position closes on October 9.

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.

You can help test a new way to plant & care trees

           
We have a new, unique volunteer opportunity Aug 20th & 21st in Tualatin at beautiful Brown’s Ferry Park.
Due to safety concerns with COVID-19, we’re trialing a style of community-powered event we’re calling a “Do-It-Yourself Event.” With our friends at the City of Tualatin, FOT is hosting a mulching party where volunteers sign up for a 1.5 hr shift.  Mulching is an important step to ensure the highest levels of survival for these recently planted trees and shrubs during tough summer conditions. Each shift will have only one volunteer (maybe more if any of your household members also want to attend). You (and your household members) will be the only ones on site during your shift time.  You’ll be sent detailed information before your shift starts so you’re prepared to have fun and make a difference!  This is the very first time we’ve tried this event model, and if successful FOT will host more of this sort of event.  Will you help us trial something new and green the community at the same time?
When:  Saturday, August 15th – Friday, August 21st — shifts available on the 20th & 21st
Where:  Brown’s Ferry Park, Tualatin (map) *exact meeting address sent upon registering
What to expect: Volunteer activities will involve filling 5-gallon buckets with mulch from a big mulch pile and carefully depositing the mulch around small native trees and shrubs.  Before your shift begins, you’ll be sent detailed instructions on site location and mulching how-tos.  Wear close-toed shoes or boots, clothes you’re comfortable getting dirty in, and a brimmed hat and sunscreen.  We’re also asking that you bring and wear a face mask as you volunteer.  Please plan to bring your own water and snacks, unfortunately due to COVID-19 FOT will not be providing refreshments.  Friends of Trees will provide all tools and sanitizing spray.  If you have your own work gloves, please bring them.  If you need to borrow a pair of gloves, please let us know and we’ll have some on site waiting for you.  FOT has our gloves professionally washed between each and every use.
How to sign-up: Use our Volunteer Page to sign-up for the shift of your choice.  Our system will only allow one person to sign-up per shift.  If you have two or more adults in your household and you would all like to volunteer together, please let us know and we can send you the appropriate online sign-up form.  Pre-registration is required in order to participate.  Youth (anyone under 18) are welcome to volunteer as well.  Youth 15 and under will need a parent/guardian present to volunteer. Youth age 16 and 17 may volunteer without an adult.
Your valued feedback + Zoom Party: This is a trial run for this “DIY” event model. Your feedback, should you have any, is invaluable. After your volunteer shift we’ll send you a survey to request your feedback. It’s okay if you don’t have any feedback too.  We’ll also be hosting a Zoom call after all volunteer shifts have ended on Fri, Aug 21st, 5pm to celebrate your successes!  Join this optional call to hear about the collective progress that was made and ask questions of our staff!
We’ll have more updates on these and other events when planting season arrives later in Fall 2020. Meanwhile, if you have any thoughts or questions, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with Jenny, Pablo, or Carey on our Volunteer & Outreach team: volunteer@friendsoftrees.org
Thank you!

Update on planting events and tree orders

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!