Friends of Trees


TREEMAIL: News from Friends of Trees


72 trees planted for 72 lives lost in Multnomah County

On March 16th at Nadaka Nature Park in Gresham, dozens of volunteers gathered on an especially gorgeous morning, eager to plant trees. While all of our events represent real climate action, this one had a particular significance. All of these new community trees will serve as memorial to the lives lost during the 2021 heat dome event.

“The 2021 heat dome has brought us into stark understanding of the vulnerabilities of our neighborhoods, where the shade of trees is a precious resource”

Yashar Vasef, Executive Director for Friends of Trees.

It’s been nearly three years since the historic heat wave brought temperatures as high as 119 degrees Fahrenheit, but for many the memory is still fresh. Several families who lost loved ones during the heat dome joined the volunteers at Nadaka to reflect on the purpose of the planting event. The morning was not a somber one, because, as Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson put it in her remarks, “planting a tree is a hopeful act.”

After remarks from leaders, crews of volunteers headed out into East County neighborhoods to plant street and yard trees that will shade the community. And family members gathered to plant an American hornbeam at Nadaka Nature Park in memory of their loved ones. One family member said they plan to return to the park each year for a family barbecue and to visit and care for the memorial tree.

“Each tree we planted helps build a shield against the worst humanitarian impacts of extreme heat,” Yashar says, “and serves as a testament to our shared commitment to building a safer, more resilient community.”

The memorial planting event was organized by Friends of Trees, Multnomah County, and the City of Gresham. Read more here.


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

Our season is wrapping up soon, but there are still opportunities to volunteer! Whether it’s in a neighborhood or natural area, we would love your help building community with trees and native plants. It’s a great way to take climate action, and as a volunteer named Caela puts it, planting trees is the “best reason in the world to wear rubber pants and play in the mud!”

Here are some upcoming opportunities to get involved:

  • April 6, Neighborhood Planting, Oregon City
  • April 13, Neighborhood planting, Central-North Vancouver
  • April 20, Natural area stewardship, Village Green Park, Happy Valley

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.


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

For Alisa Kajikawa, it’s all about finding the balance of working toward the dream and working for the present. She’s APANO’s Community Development Manager for the Jade District, and we spoke to her about APANO’s vision for the community forestry coalition.

APANO 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.

APANO unites Asians and Pacific Islanders to build power, develop leaders, and advance equity through organizing, advocacy, community development and cultural work. Their coalition work will be geared toward education and outreach, workforce development, and community infrastructure.

“We can’t grow canopy overnight,” Alisa says. “What can we do now that will still help alleviate pollution and heat in our community?”

For APANO, it means a few things, like working with businesses in the Jade district to host planter boxes filled with native plants. It means hosting community workshops on environmental justice and heat impacts. And it means thinking big picture about creating a transportation system that doesn’t rely on cars.

Learn more about APANO here.



Preparing trees for an uncertain future

When it comes to trees, there are so many layers to preparedness, from the near to distant future, from the next heat wave or ice storm to what the climate might look like in 25 years. So much of the future is uncertain, but there’s plenty you can do to prepare your trees for what they might encounter.

“So much is unknowable,” says Eugene Director Erik Burke. “You won’t have the information you need to make your decisions when you make them. You just have to make your best guess.”

The very first decision you’ll make is what tree to plant. Considering trees that are adapted to your climate, and what the climate might be in the future, can set your tree up for a long, healthy life.

“For a while, the estimate was that by 2050, Eugene’s climate might be like Sacramento’s is now,” Erik says. “But that estimate is moving even further south to Stockton.”

What about trees that are already in the ground? How do we prepare our large trees? Our Eugene Team always emphasizes the importance and value of regular pruning. Appropriate pruning will set a tree up to survive in the urban environment and in the face of weather events.

“It’s important to remember that stress is additive. Even if a tree survives, stress can pile up from heat wave to ice storm to heat wave.” Erik says. “That’s why we need to water during heat waves and prune properly after ice storms.”

Read more here about tree selection and care in the face of climate change.



Let’s grow a community forest!

It’s almost Earth Month and you’re invited to join us in growing our community forest. What’s a community forest? It’s what you get when you plant trees, together, and so much more.

Throughout April, we’ll be telling the story of of our community forest, digging in on how our work addresses climate change, and celebrating another successful planting season. Check out our event calendar for volunteer opportunities, stay tuned to our social media channels for special content, and check your inbox for more ways to get involved.

And you can help with an Earth Month Fundraiser! Every Tuesday in April, Deschutes Brewery Portland is donating $1 per pint sold to Friends of Trees throughout the day. Thanks to Deschutes for being our Earth Day Oregon partners this year!

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