It’s getting dry & warm out there …


We’re seeing some gorgeous sunny spring days recently, which means…it’s time to start watering your young tree(s)!  A newly planted tree needs at least 10-15 gallons of water each week from roughly now until late September for the first three years in the ground to ensure that they thrive going forward.  Providing one deep watering over the entire root system per week is recommended. You can think of it as giving your tree a weekly rain shower – every Saturday morning, for example.  If we have approximately 90-degree or warmer weather consistently or if your tree shows any signs of being thirsty (wilting, browning leaf margins, etc), it wouldn’t hurt to double up and water both Tuesday and Saturday that week.

There are a number of different ways to make watering easier. You can easily construct your own 5-gallon bucket drip system or purchase a 15-gallon slow-release watering bag (such as a gator bag). Please note we no longer will be offering these from the Friends of Trees as we have in years past, but that is because they are readily available online and in local hardware and garden stores.  Also, be sure to check out our Tree Care  page to get all the details on taking care of your new investment.

Remember that weeds and grass compete with your tree for water.  Please maintain the mulch for your tree(s) and hand pull weeds. When you mulch, be sure that there is a 3-6” radius from the base of the trunk of the tree that is free of mulch.  You want that space clear so there’s no moisture held at the base of the trunk, which can rot the tree’s root crown.  The moisture held by mulch should be above the growing root tips as they grow outward from the trunk, for the most part within about 18″ of the soil surface.  Also, please be careful not to damage the tree bark with lawn mowers, weed eaters, or car doors.  The bark is what contains a tree’s water and nutrient transportation system; it also keeps insects and diseases out.

We have volunteer Summer Inspectors out visiting every tree planted this past season and they are keeping us informed on the health of your trees.  If you have a tree that isn’t looking so great, please trust that after Summer Inspectors complete their routes this summer we will then determine if staff needs to check on your tree.

Portland Urban Forestry recommends an annual root pruning for trees planted in the streets, especially those in narrower planting strips, to discourage roots from growing under sidewalks. Here is a link  to learn more.

Pay it Forward!  Friends of Trees couldn’t reach our high goals without supporters like you.  In order to continue providing tree discounts and plant in as many neighborhoods possible, we need your help! Please consider making a donation to help us grow our urban forest for both this and future generations.

Hopefully we’ve answered your questions and you’ve found these links helpful, but feel free to contact us if you have any questions at 503-595-0212 or email me at .

Drip Drip,


PS: APOLOGIES if you are receiving this email and your tree didn’t get planted. Because we are remote-working due to COVID some of our systems don’t work as well, and updating our database with the list of trees that didn’t get planted is one of them. If your tree/s did not get planted and you would like to stop receiving these tree-watering messages, just reply to this email and we will update our records. Thank you!

Campus ReLeaf engages UO students to plant trees + grow community

The streets around the University of Oregon are cooler, safer and greener thanks to the hundreds of trees planted through an ongoing community partnership between Friends of Trees Eugene and UO’s Holden Center.

Every season 40-50 student volunteers from the Holden Center join FOTE during Earth Week for a UO Day of Service, planting and caring for street trees in neighborhoods filled with UO student rentals—they’re literally greening their own backyards! (OK, front yards 😉 The student volunteers help plant 50 trees every year during this event, along with helping to care for previously planted trees.

“I’m really excited that these trees are near campus, so I can watch these trees I helped plant grow.” Dayton, Holden Center FOTE volunteer.

An added bonus of this partnership is that many of these trees play a role in how we consider climate change when choosing trees to plant. This area is part of FOTE’s climate adaptive plantings, where we plant and monitor species such as Blue oak, California black oak, and canyon live oak. These species are appropriate for the hotter summers and more severe weather that come with climate change and we’re actively measuring their performance toward helping us plan future plantings.

“I love this program! This event was one of my first experiences as an FOTE Crew Leader, while I was still a UO student. So this event is extra special to me now that I’m on FOTE staff, it’s so gratifying to see this partnership continue after so many years!” Taylor Glass, FOTE Volunteer & Program Specialist

UO’s Holden Center engages UO students in “activities to develop unique talents and leadership skills in order to affect positive change and engage our community” and involves a wide array of UO students. In fact, some Holden Center students volunteered as high school students with FOT events in the Portland area, and they chose to participate with FOTE as part of their Holden Center activities because of their earlier, positive FOT volunteer experience

There’s often some flair from students at these events. For instance, yellow & green duct tape are usually on hand to liven up tree stakes; and sometimes the trees are named, with favorites including, McDuck, Linden Tree Johnson, and Roger.

We often hear from Holden Center students that volunteering with us was the first time they ever held a shovel, or ever planted anything—pretty common feedback from volunteers. And if our 32 years of community tree planting experience tell us anything, for many of these students, it’s just the beginning of a green path.

Get involved with trees + community in Eugene! Details here.

Photo: UO Holden Center student volunteers.

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:
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 measures are in place for current events to take place with the health and safety of our volunteers and staff at the forefront. 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 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

Thank you so much for your support and patience during these unprecedented times. We can’t wait to plant trees with you again!