Friends of Trees


TREEMAIL: News from Friends of Trees


A message from Yashar as the year ends

Morning dew lined the trail to Pintail Ponds as volunteers walked to the first planting event of Friends of Trees’ 34th season. 70 volunteers of all ages gathered at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve in Hillsboro, motivated by the warm October sun and beautiful setting. Cheered on by bald eagles overhead, the volunteers worked together and put in record planting numbers—3,500 bulrush plants, methodically planted in rows along the pond. Bunches of towering bulrush from past plantings gave the volunteers a preview of what their work would lead to, an investment in this wetland preserve that is enjoyed by wildlife and people.

The morning invigorated my spirit as we entered a new planting season, and served as a perfect reminder of how each bare root sapling can make a difference. When we put the right tree or plant in the right place, with the right intention, and do everything we can to set it up to survive and thrive, their impact grows with them. 

I also got to attend an in-person Crew Leader training this year at Nadaka Nature Park in Gresham, where I met 30 enthusiastic new crew leaders. Lut, the youngest volunteer there, was joined by his cousin Yaslim, a recent immigrant from Somalia who also trained to be a Crew Leader. Lut was so engaged and eager to contribute. When the training was over and we told him he was officially an Assistant Crew Leader, Lut’s eyes got wide and he couldn’t help but exclaim, “It’s happening?!” A fist bump sealed the deal. When I see someone like that, I just imagine him volunteering for decades, and it’s so inspiring.

This season has already provided so many amazing moments, and we’re not even halfway done! This month we had a Plant-a-Palooza in NE Portland, a hybrid neighborhood and natural area planting designed to improve air quality in neighborhoods and along the Columbia Slough. The event was staged at a brewery, and the community spirit was incredible.

Planting at a neighbor’s house was a huge highlight for me. It was great to meet neighbors and plant trees so close to home, trees that I’ll now get to watch and enjoy as they grow.” — Beth, Friends of Trees volunteer

I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard comments like Beth’s. Growing our urban canopy through planting street and yard trees not only fights climate change through shading streets, combating heat islands, and cooling neighborhoods, it also grows climate activists. When a volunteer has the hands-on experience of planting a tree and then is able to watch it grow during her neighborhood walks, she becomes invested in that tree–and that investment leads to greater engagement with the environment.

Coming together to plant trees that fight climate change while growing community makes a tangible difference. This season we’re on track to plant 40,000 trees and native shrubs in neighborhoods and natural areas and there’s never been a more crucial time for this—the planet depends on it. As we enter a new year, I invite you to join us in taking climate action, planting trees, and growing community.

All my best,

Yashar Vasef

Executive Director

Friends of Trees


Biking into the New Year!

Why take a car when you can take a bicycle? The Eugene Branch has always taken that mindset and incorporates bicycle crews into every neighborhood planting event.

“We have some really dedicated bike volunteers,” says Eugene-Springfield Program Manager Taylor Glass. “That’s how we can always have a bike planting crew.” Bike crews are able to transport trees and tools from the staging site to planting locations by using bicycle trailers.

“It’s so fun to see the look of amazement on people’s faces when a whole crew rides past hauling big trees. And when treecipients see us pull up, they’re so surprised to see we biked their tree over.”

—Eugene Director Erik Burke.

To give even more community members a chance to participate as a volunteer on two wheels, The Eugene Branch partners with a local bikeshare, PeaceHealth Rides, to have their bikes available at events and free to volunteers. In the past, we’ve had about one event per year with PeaceHealth Rides, but this year we’ll have three! The first will be on January 7th.

Learn more

Friends of Trees


Still looking for a holiday present for a loved one? How about a tree planted in their honor! Gift trees are a lasting legacy that honor or remember loved ones while improving our environment. All Gift Trees are planted through our Green Space Program, which restores sensitive natural areas in our region.

You will be able to choose the certificate you prefer, edit it, print it, and give it or mail it directly to your Gift Tree recipient. Thank you for supporting trees + community through the gift of trees.

Learn more here.

Friends of Trees


It’s our 34th season of planting and caring for trees – JOIN US!

Here are some upcoming volunteer events:

  • January 14, Neighborhood planting, Central Vancouver
  • January 14, Natural area planting, Durham City Park, Durham
  • January 21, Natural area planting, Spring Mountain, Happy Valley

We have plenty of other events going on as we continue our busy planting season! General volunteers: register here for Portland Metro area events, and check out the Eugene event calendar here. We can’t wait to plant trees with you!

Crew Leaders and Assistants—watch your inbox for Crew Leader News on the first of the month! Trained Crew Leaders sign-up for events here.

Friends of Trees


Show love for your tree with a Friends of Trees yard sign!

Do you have a tree from Friends of Trees in your yard or planting strip? We want to celebrate your tree and the benefits it provides with a beautiful yard sign! We designed these signs as part of a visibility campaign: We want people to know how important trees are to their communities, and to see the impact that Friends of Trees and its supporters have made throughout western Oregon and southwest Washington. Visit here to learn more and get in touch.

Friends of Trees


Willamette Week’s Give!Guide continues! Stay tuned to our social media channels for Big Give Days (where your donation gets you entered into a raffle for fabulous prizes like e-bikes, travel, and more!), special events, and more. Huge thanks to everyone who has already donated — this support is exactly what we need to plant 40,000 trees & native shrubs this season!

With your gift, however large or small, Friends of Trees is on its way toward hitting a $65k goal for the Give!Guide by year’s end. Your support will not only plant and care for trees—our climate superheroes—it will also help bring our communities together around the natural places we love. Donate here!

Friends of Trees
Friends of Trees

The #FriendsofTreesWay is planting trees—and so much more!

(503) 282-8846: Portland office

(541) 632-3683: Eugene office


1% for the Planet logo

Learn more about how Friends of Trees greens our region + grows community through checking out other issues of Treemail here

October 2019

Vote YES for Natural Areas | Trees & Health in Gresham | It’s Give!Guide Season!

September 2019

A word from our volunteers | Get to know yard trees | Crew Leaders have the most fun

Summer 2019

Friends of Trees at the Door | Get to Know our Partner: PGE

June 2019

Planting Trees, Fighting Climate Change | Get to Know Friends of Trees’ Post-Planting Work

May 2019

Vote for Trees | Meet our Awardees

April 2019

Urban Forestry Intern Program moving forward | Get to know our partnership with the City of Vancouver

March 2019

Asociación para empleos y oportunidades en Verde ~ Partnering for jobs & opportunities with Verde |  FOTreevia fun

February 2019

Green Space Program is natural area restoration and so much more | FOT gear is here!

January 2019

30 Years of Trees + Community | Get to Know Our Neighborhood Trees Program

December 2018

Celebrating trees + community | Get to Know Evergreens

November 2018

Training Future Urban Foresters | Get To Know Our Partner: The City of Wilsonville

October 2018

Celebrating 15,000 trees with the Blazers and Daimler | Get to know our partner: AWS Elemental

September 2018

Welcome to our 30th season of planting trees + growing community | Get to Know our Partner: City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services

Summer 2018

56,000 trees & native shrubs planted by 7,000+ volunteers in a record-breaking season | Get To Know Our Summer Inspector Program

May 2018

Senator Merkley Honors Trees + Community | Mary Harrell receives Oregon Community Trees Award | Get to Know Our Awardees

April 2018

Arbor Day, Earth Day: Celebrating trees + community | Get to know our partners: Daimler Trucks North America, Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks

March 2018

Our first bilingual planting ~ El Primer Evento Bilingüe de Plantar árboles de Friends of Trees | Get to know our partner: Sandy River Watershed Council

February 2018

Trees & Health | Pints Plant Trees … and more!

January 2018

Improving Habitat in an Urban Oasis | Get to Know REI

December 2017

Fighting Climate Change Every Day: 15,000 trees and native shrubs planted so far this season

November 2017

Growing the next Tree Team generation | Get to Know our Partnership with David Douglas High School

October 2017

Greening Roadways, Increasing Livability | Get to Know our Eugene Office

September 2017

You CAN make a difference: Plant trees with us! | Get to know our Crew Leaders

June 2017

54,000 Trees Planted | Burritos Plant Trees

May 2017

Community Partners Honored | Summer is for Tree Care

April 2017

A Grove for Grimm | Get to know our partners: Whole Foods Market

March 2017

Grove of States is Restored | Get to know our partners: the Jade Greening Project

February 2017

Industry, nonprofit, education & government come together to plant trees

December 2016

13,00 trees, 2,500 volunteers … and more to come: how the planting season is going so far