Friends of Trees

December 2021: K-8 Plantings | Winter Pruning Techniques | Pinecone Identification

TREEMAIL: News from Friends of Trees


Cascade Education Corps leads plantings with Fowler Middle School students.

You can always hear eighth graders coming. On a clear day at Fowler Middle School in Tigard, Cascade Education Corps members eagerly awaited leading their first planting of the season. The shovels stood in a neat circle, the trees were placed where they needed to be planted, and with an excitement you could hear before you saw it, the students from Ms. Scheller’s science class arrived to do the work.

Friends of Trees has been working with kindergarten-through-eighth graders for over twenty years. It was put on pause because of the pandemic, but with this planting at Fowler Middle, K-8 plantings are officially back!

The CEC are all high school students following an alternative path to graduation by working on hands-on environmental projects, gaining skills and knowledge that can lead to career opportunities.

Teachers enjoy having the CEC teach the students. It’s really bridging the gap between high school and middle school.

Meng Vue, Green Space Specialist

Read more about the planting at Fowler Middle School.


Prepare your trees: Winter is here

The temperatures have dropped, and it’s probably just a matter of time before we get some serious winter weather. Pruning is the best thing we can be doing this time of year to make our trees more storm resilient. We’re going to walk you through the pruning techniques that will help a tree if and when we get another serious winter storm.

As we’ve seen more and more in recent winters, the combination of wind and ice will lead to branch failure—in short, nature prunes itself. Ice can increase the weight load on a branch by up to 30 times. That’s exactly why it’s best to prune problem areas now rather than waiting until snow and ice is predicted.

We’ve got all the pruning techniques you need to make your trees more resilient to winter storms: Read the new Leaflet.

The Eugene Branch

Pints & Pinecones at Oakshire Brewing

This month, the Eugene Branch put on a tree trivia—Treevia!—at Oakshire Brewing. The Eugene staff was joined by partners, arborists, volunteers, and supporters to talk trees over a few pints. For the trivia, they focused on cones, the strange and varied structures that are specific to conifer trees.

FOT laid out an assortment of cones, big and small, prickly and smooth, and quizzed folks on which trees produced which cones. Incense cedars have little cones that look like duck bills, and western red cedar cones look like little roses. Amazingly, redwoods and sequoias, the largest trees in North America, have little cones with tiny seeds.

“Showing them all these really cool cones, it’s a fun way to connect,” said Taylor Glass, the volunteer and program specialist in Eugene.

See if you can guess what tree produced the pictured cone, and check out the awesome variety of cones! Read more.

Willamette Week’s Give!Guide continues! There are still two more Big Give Days in December, with prizes from John’s Marketplace and the Oregon Cultural Trust.

With your gift, however large or small, Friends of Trees is on its way toward hitting a $55k 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.

Get Involved

It’s our 33rd season of planting and caring for trees – JOIN US!

Here are some upcoming volunteer events:

  • January 8, Neighborhood planting, Highland Park, NE Salem
  • January 15, Natural area planting, McKay City Park, NE Salem
  • January 15, Neighborhood planting, Central Vancouver

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

Our events are modified as part of our COVID response to ensure they are as safe and healthy as possible, more information is here.



Friends of Trees inspires people to improve the 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