Friends of Trees

March 2022: Park & Ride & Shade | Community Relationships | Spring Tree Care

TREEMAIL: News from Friends of Trees


Partnering with TriMet to plant trees at MAX stops

We are always looking for creative places where trees can go. A MAX stop is a fantastic candidate, so when the public transportation agency TriMet came to us about a project, it made a lot of sense. Adding shade trees to MAX train stops and Park & Rides is an opportunity to improve the rider experience and address climate change .

This winter, working with TriMet with funding from the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, we planted over 100 trees at 6 different Max Stops and Park & Rides throughout Portland and Gresham.

“We are excited about replacing trees in an effort to restore our sites,” says Justin Hale, Landscape Manager at TriMet, “especially those with diminishing tree canopies.” Learn more here.

The Eugene Branch

Sourcing Trees for a Changing Climate

What trees should we be planting in a changing climate? That question has been top of mind for the Friends of Trees Eugene Branch for a long time. For the past decade, they have been sourcing and planting appropriately resilient trees in anticipation of the changing climate.

We are limited to some extent by what is available at nurseries, and that has a lot to do with consumer demand. So the Eugene team is working with local nurseries that will take seeds or liners (baby trees) and grow climate resilient species out to planting size.

“Some nurseries are open to growing climate resilient trees,” Eugene Director Erik Burke says. A great success story is Oregon white oak. “We’ve seen Oregon white oak go from a little used tree to one of the most common street trees we plant each year.” To open up their options even further, Erik has started growing trees himself. Some of the species he’s excited about growing: blue oak, California black oak, valley oak, canyon live oak, Oregon myrtle, and many more. Learn more here.

Get to Know Clean Water Services

A Unique Partnership in the Tualatin River Watershed

You can’t have clean water without trees. One of our oldest partnerships is with Clean Water Services, a water resource management utility that recognizes the importance of trees to watershed health. For over two decades, Clean Water Services has worked with Friends of Trees on planting events throughout Washington County, from Beaverton and Tigard to Forest Grove and Banks.

“It’s a unique partnership,” says Michelle Yasutake, the Green Space Program Manager at Friends of Trees. “To be working with a single entity that connects us to so many municipalities.”

“Friends of Trees is hugely important in our efforts to engage with the community,” says Randy Lawrence, Project Manager at Clean Water Services’ Natural Systems Enhancement & Stewardship Department. “To fulfill our investment in green infrastructure, we need community investment. We need to get their point of view.” Learn more here.


Our new EDI & Workforce Training Manager on community relationships

Our Adult Urban Forestry Workforce Training Program is a project with the power to change lives and build community. “It’s one of the more impactful things we’ve done, period,” says Rudy Roquemore, who is stepping into the role of EDI & Workforce Training Manager after six years with our Neighborhood Trees program.

He brings to the Workforce Training Program a philosophy of relationship building that seeks to be more equitable and less transactional. “When we work with an organization, it’s important to make sure we’re aligned in our goals,” Rudy says. “Build trust, then project plan.”

The program enrolls adults in a ten-week urban forestry curriculum and places them in a 100-hour internship with Friends of Trees or an affiliated partner organization. “We can make trees relevant to people’s lives,” Rudy says, “by addressing and eliminating barriers to the green workforce.” Learn more here.


Spring has Sprung! What can you do for your trees?

Trees are breaking dormancy, but that doesn’t look the same for every species. Some are early risers, and some sleep in. A bunch of factors go into it, including species, daylight, and temperature.

For instance, you may have noticed that some trees hold their leaves through winter. They’re called marcescent leaves, and they are a sign of last season’s growth. Come spring time’s flush, these leaves will be shed to make room for new growth. Fun tip: You can use these leaves as mulch!

We put together some things you can do to take care of your trees this time of year. Learn more here.

Get Involved

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

April is your last chance to volunteer until October! Here are some upcoming volunteer events with openings:

  • April 2, Neighborhood planting, Oregon City
  • April 2, Natural area planting, Rock Creek Headwaters, Damascus

We have 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