Friends of Trees


TREEMAIL: News from Friends of Trees


The Eugene Team shares their favorite signs of spring

“Many buds are starting to swell,” Erik Burke says when asked when spring will arrive. “Witch-hazel, Persian ironwood and osoberry are all insect-pollinated woody plants that are blooming. Spring is here.”

The Eugene Director has always noted that the seasons aren’t evenly distributed in Western Oregon and Southwest Washington. “We have a short autumn, a relatively short winter, and long springs and summers. January is our coldest month, and while February can be cold, spring typically begins early in the month.”

Meteorologists observe March 1st as the first day of spring. Our calendars say March 19th, the vernal equinox, when the days finally begin to be longer than the nights. But plants are on their own schedule.

“It’s a gradual roll out,” Erik says. We’ll see camas come out of the ground in December or early January as the incense cedar starts blooming. Filberts pollinate in January, and in February, we’re seeing willows leafing out, and daffodils and cottonwoods blooming.

Some ecologists point to osoberry blooming as the first sign of spring, because it’s the first native insect-pollinated woody plant to bloom, and blooms with or just after the introduced witch-hazel and Persian ironwood.

“I love when the forest edges are covered in osoberry blooms,” says Taylor, our Eugene-Springfield Program Manager.

Our early spring allows for most trees and plants to wrap up their reproductive processes by May, ahead of our annual summer drought. Until then, we get to enjoy the kaleidoscope of blooms in our canopy, across our hillsides, and in our own yards and gardens.

Read more here.


Volunteers needed for an important heat island planting

On March 16th, Friends of Trees and Multnomah County are hosting a tree planting event in East Multnomah County neighborhoods. The 72 trees planted at this event will serve as a memorial to the 72 lives lost in Multnomah County due to heat in 2021.

We’re looking for volunteers to help plant trees that will shade these low-canopy neighborhoods, particularly areas identified as heat islands, eventually helping to lower ambient temperatures. If you live in Gresham, you can sign up for a street tree at your home!

Sign up at our event calendar to join us on March 16th for a day of climate justice and community.


It’s our 35th season of planting and caring for trees – JOIN US!

We have so many more opportunities to join us in climate action this season! Whether it’s in a neighborhood or natural area, we would love your help building community with trees and native plants. As a volunteer named Caela puts it, planting is the “best reason in the world to wear rubber pants and play in the mud!”

Here are some upcoming opportunities to get involved:

  • March 1, Natural area planting, Columbia Slough Natural Area, Portland
  • March 2, Natural area planting, Village Green Park, Happy Valley
  • March 9, Natural area planting, Arrowhead Creek Park, Wilsonville
  • March 23, Neighborhood planting, NE Vancouver

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.



POIC is part of our IRA Community Forestry Grant’s 11-member coalition

On a sunny Saturday morning at Gateway Green Park, volunteers gathered to plant native plants on the wooded hillside of the park. Many of the volunteer crews were led by quiet but capable young folks from POIC.

Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC) connects high school youth with career training, including partnering with Friends of Trees. POIC students train as crew leaders and lead Friends of Trees plantings throughout the season. Gateway Green was this cohort’s fifth event overall this season, and second as crew leaders.

“They’re a really committed group,” says Leigh Rappaport, Program Manager for POIC’s Natural Resource Pathway. “They care about what they’re doing and are thoughtful about making sure volunteers are having a good time.”

POIC is part of the 11-member coalition led by Friends of Trees that was awarded a $12 million Urban and Community Forestry Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of the Inflation Reduction Act grants. The grant will fund community forestry work including tree planting, natural area restoration, post-planting care, community education, opportunities for direct community input and participation, and workforce training.

Part of the grant will help fund POIC’s natural resource training for five years. Leigh looks forward to all of the partnerships that will grow out of this expansive and collaborative project.

“We’re excited to be part of a coalition being built from the ground up.”

Read more here.

Friends of Trees


Our friends at Straightaway Cocktails are raising money for trees + community through the sale of a limited-run canned cocktail, Cascade Spritz. You can order some online, stop by their taproom, or swing into your local New Seasons to get your hands on some today!

Learn more and order here.

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