Friends of Trees

April 2021: Earth Month highlights | Climate adaptive tree planting | Volunteer spotlight

TREEMAIL: News from Friends of Trees

Earth Month events explore climate justice + more

Friends of Trees has been celebrating Earth Day & Arbor Day all month long with live, virtual events in Portland and Eugene, celebrating community tree planting and all it does for our natural and social environments.

Planting 870,000 trees and native shrubs with tens of thousands of volunteers over the past 32 years significantly improves our environment while growing community—not a surprise.

What you may not know, though, is how much of this work is uplifted through partnerships and projects. Our community connections help connect workforce development and youth environmental education with different historically underserved communities; they help us experiment with different tree species as we work to fight climate change; and more!

We hope you’ll take a moment to celebrate the final days of Earth Month with us through the Earth Month highlights reel below (and in the Eugene Branch below that); there’s even more covered on our playlist of Earth Month events. Finally, be sure to tune in on Friday, National Arbor Day, for our final Earth Month events! Details here & below.

Equitably growing the urban tree canopy


Friends of Trees Deputy Director Whitney Dorer strolled Portland’s Memory Garden with Dr. Vivek Shandas of PSU’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions, talking about what it means to consider equity when planting trees in urban neighborhoods:

“What we’re finding is that these wonderful trees, our green leafy friends, have a lot more presence in some neighborhoods than others … certain areas of cities, especially those that are wealthier, often that are demographically a whiter population, tend to have more trees.

“If a community doesn’t have a lot of trees we have to ask ourselves, are they getting hit harder when it’s hotter out, when the air pollution is worse? Are these the communities that end up suffering the hardest as a result of not having that rich, verdant canopy around them?”

Dr. Vivek Shandas


The power of partnerships

“There’s a big advantage to living in places with a high tree canopy. Historically, communities of color tend to have a lower tree canopy, and educating folks about that has been a really important focus of our programming.” -Jason Stroman, Blueprint Foundation Program Director


Planting trees for climate change

“Keep climate change in mind. Choose the most durable tree that will do the most good for the most people for the longest amount of time.” -Andrew Land, Neighborhood Trees Senior Specialist 

The Eugene Branch


Planting for climate change in Eugene? Consider the Mediterranean

Would it surprise you to hear that Eugene has a Mediterranean climate? Warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters are typical of the Mediterranean and, yes, Eugene.

As the climate crisis progresses this likely will become more so. Which means, when we think about which trees to plant, we need to think about trees that will survive and thrive in this climate, and it’s not always the same trees we planted 100 or even 25 years ago.

We’ve been experimenting with planting climate adaptive trees in the Eugene area for more than 10 years now. We look for trees that are adapted to summer drought, as opposed to trees that receive summer rainfall in their native land (like red maple or flowering dogwood, which need summer water here, even when established); we also take into consideration other ingredients necessary for successfully growing trees, such as Eugene’s poorly drained soils.

Some of these trees that are native elsewhere can be hard to get here, so we take a three phase approach to acquire climate adaptive trees for planting … Read more.

Photo: Oregon myrtle planted at I-105 Rose Garden, grown from seed by Jeff Lanza, Eugene Tree Team


Learn even more about climate adaptive tree planting from Erik’s Earth Day tree walk in a University of Oregon neighborhood planted with climate adaptive trees.

Thank You + our final Earth Month events

We asked you to give generously to support trees + community in honor of Earth Month, and you did! As of this writing we are just $1,700 away from meeting our Earth Month $25,000 challenge, made possible by some very generous donors. THANK YOU for being a part of this important work. And if you haven’t donated yet in honor of Earth Month, you still can! All donations to Friends of Trees plant trees + grow community.

Earth Month Grand Finale: National Arbor Day, Friday, April 30

NOON LIVE tree walk ~ Facebook-Eugene. Erik talks about the trees right outside the Friends of Trees-Eugene office!

1:00 & 2:00 p.m. Earth Month highlights ~ Facebook + Instagram. Revisit some of our favorite Earth Month moments.

3:00 p.m. LIVE ~ Facebook. Sam bids adieu to an incredible Earth Month from a mystery location. You have to tune in to find out where he’ll be!

3:30 p.m. LIVE ~ Instagram. You have to tune in to find out where he’ll end Earth Month, maybe it’s different for IG!

Volunteer Spotlight

An incredibly challenging planting season has come to a close and we are indebted to many people who went above and beyond to help make sure 21,000 trees + native shrubs were planted. We’ll be highlighting a few of these folks over the coming months, volunteers who really made a difference, despite the obstacles.


Mallory (she/her) started volunteering back in 2013. Ever since she’s been a powerhouse planting, pruning, summer inspecting where it’s most needed. When it comes to community tree work Mallory does it all! In her own words:

I love trees and Friends of Trees is an amazing organization that puts science and civics and people and fun all together to give our urban landscape more of them! How could I not volunteer?

Read more.

Buy cider, plant trees!

During the month of May, $2 per case of 2 Towns Ciderhouse products (2 Towns Cider & Seek Out Seltzer) will be donated to Friends of Trees! PLUS, also all May-long, 2% of 2 Towns’ Corvallis Taproom sales will be donated to Friends of Trees to plant trees + build community. Cheers!



Friends of Trees inspires people to improve the natural

world around them through a simple solution:

Planting Trees. Together.

(503) 282-8846: Portland office

(541) 632-3683: Eugene office

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