Welcoming the return of the sun … with trees

“Each Friends of Trees planting event is a series of moments, whether it’s somebody seeing a lizard, or a kid planting their first tree, or people who just happened to be walking by pitching in to help. One of the best moments is at the end of the day when everyone has a big smile on their face because they’ve really accomplished something: they planted trees.” Matt, Friends of Trees volunteer

     Did you know that the oldest tree in the world is 5,062 years old? It’s a Pinus longaeva (Great Basin bristlecone pine) and it’s in California.

     While we can’t claim with certainty that Friends of Trees just planted the newest tree in the world, it is possible, at least for a moment on any given Saturday, October-April, that we did indeed just plant the newest tree in the world. That’s another Friends of Trees moment: adding a tree–to our region, to our planet. And there are more than 50,000 moments like that every tree planting season.

     As we celebrate the Winter Solstice and welcome the return of the sun we’re thinking about the various ways the shortest day of the year is celebrated, especially, of course, the celebrations that include trees. We’ve learned that some Winter Solstice celebrations include specific trees that have specific meanings; for instance, for some observants evergreens symbolize continuity of life, and oak trees symbolize endurance, strength, protection, and good luck.

     We love this. Here’s how Friends of Trees interprets these special meanings of evergreens and oaks:

Continuity of lifetrees provide oxygen!

Endurance, strengthtrees can live to be hundreds, thousands of years old.

Protectiontrees clean our air and water and help make us healthy.

Good luckto me, it’s clear: the more trees we have, the luckier we are.

     A recent paper by U.S. Forest Service scientists* reported that metropolitan areas in the U.S. are losing more than 30 million trees each year. This is tragic, but thanks to Friends of Trees’ friends and supporters, we’re not fretting, we’re taking action and tackling this loss, together, one moment at a time, one tree at a time – at more than 50,000 moments, and 50,000 trees, every year. You can help us take positive action through making a donation to Friends of Trees today! Your support helps grow our urban canopy, restore sensitive natural areas, and helps build community through planting trees – together.

     Happy Solstice to you and yours, we  look forward to longer days, the return of the sun, and more trees – join us!

‘Tis the season for Give!Guide – a delicious way to donate

Willamette Week’s Give!Guide is an annual fundraiser for Friends of Trees + other great causes

Give!Guide runs through December 31st and is a great way to learn about organizations that are doing amazing work on behalf of people, places, critters and causes (including trees + community, of course ;). G!G features Big Give Days when donors get a shot at fabulous incentives like Trail Blazers tickets, vacation packages, and more. Please give, and THANK YOU!

Join the Tree Team–be a Crew Leader!

“I have a few favorite things about crew leading. One, I get to interact with all kinds of different people; two, I get so many positive remarks and thank you-s for making people so happy—all because I’m wearing a colored vest that associates me with a great cause.” –Ryan, Friends of Trees Crew Leader

If you’ve planted trees with us, then you’ve met a Crew Leader. Crew Leaders are the friendly, knowledgeable folks who teach our volunteer tree-planters how to properly plant trees and use tools, and they’re your #1 go-to for help and questions at a Friends of Trees planting event.

Crew Leader is a key leadership position with Friends of Trees, and is ideal for people who love planting with Friends of Trees and who want to do a bit more. As a Crew Leader you gain valuable leadership skills and lots of tree knowledge! Plus, you get to spend a lot of time outside and you’ll meet an awesome assortment of new people.

So, ready to try something new? We train Crew Leaders every season and our fall trainings are coming up—Join us!

Give More 24! Planting trees + growing community in Vancouver and Clark County, WA

It’s time for GiveMore 24!

Do you know about Give More 24? It’s a one-day, online giving marathon just for Southwest Washington, focusing on raising money for organizations that serve Vancouver and Clark County–organizations like Friends of Trees!

Give More 24 takes place on Thursday, September 20–and we can use your help to spread the word to raise some money for more trees + community in Southwest Washington.

Here’s how you can help:

THANK YOU!

PS: Any chance you’ll be in downtown Vancouver around 7:00 a.m. on September 20? There’s a Give More 24 rally in Esther Short Park at the foot of the clocktower. Yep, it’s early. Yep, there’ll be coffee & donuts. Yep, there’s a dance-a-thon at 7:24 a.m. Yep, we’ll be there (weather permitting) and we’ll have your favorite dancing-high-fiving tree, Garry Oak! Plus, our good friends at the Portland Timbers are sending Timber Joey! What a time, Join Us!

56,000 trees & shrubs planted last season!

Our 2018 planting season was one for the record books! More than 7,000 volunteers donated 40,000 hours to plant 56,000 trees and native shrubs.

Picture this: 52 acres. 482 basketball courts. Or, 50 soccer fields. That’s what 56,000 trees can fill.*

Now picture $987,600. That’s the value of 40,000 volunteer hours.**

Here are some highlights from the 2017-18 planting season:

  • Our first bilingual planting took place in the Sandy River Delta.
  • Our second bilingual planting took place in NE Portland’s Cully neighborhood.
  • In our Green Space Program (51,798 seedlings & native shrubs planted!), we had our first events in Salem’s new Minto Brown Island Park; we had our first planting in Cornelius; we hosted our second Touchdowns for Trees planting in Eugene-Springfield (Go Ducks!); and we didn’t have to cancel a single event (thank you Mother Nature!).
  • The Neighborhood Trees Program (4,451 street & yard trees planted!) returned to Gresham after eight years; we worked with APANO to host Vietnamese and Chinese focus groups to address potential barriers to program participation; we have more Summer Inspectors in more neighborhoods doing more tree care checks than ever before; and we have a larger outreach staff than ever before, going door-to-door spreading the word about our program and helping folks get a tree of their own.

Our 2019 planting season begins in October and the calendar of volunteer planting eventswill be ready in Septemberwe look forward to planting trees with you next season!

Want to read more? This article appeared in the summer edition of Treemail, our e-news, read more here.

Rough estimates, based on a mid-range of 1,000 seedlings per acre for the seedlings used in our reforestation work, and somewhat less acreage for the larger street and yard trees we plant.

**  The national value of a volunteer hour for 2018 is $24.69, per The Independent Sector.