NE Portland comes together to plant for environmental justice
Earlier this month, 110 volunteers gathered in the Cully neighborhood in Northeast Portland for the first planting of our Clean Air Canopy project. Volunteers were so excited to help, to get to know each other, and to help get trees planted, not just in their own yard but in their community.
“There was a lot of camaraderie from the get-go,” said Neighborhood Trees Senior Specialist Litzy Venturini. “It was a really positive morning with great energy from the moment I got there.”
This Clean Air Canopy project is the result of an Oregon Department of Environmental Quality lawsuit against a polluter in the neighborhood. The DEQ fined the facility and granted funds to Friends of Trees and our partners to lead community tree plantings in the area. This project would not be possible without our partners— Verde, the Cully Air Action Team (CAAT), and the Cully Association of Neighbors— who chose tree planting with Friends of Trees as a way to address pollution in these neighborhoods.
“Polluted air and water are among the biggest environmental injustices we face. Tree planting is among the most instant-impact civic actions you can perform.”
-Neighborhood Trees Senior Specialist Andrew Land.
That sentiment was shared among volunteers, who were grateful to turn this negative — pollution — into a positive thing for their neighborhood. Volunteer crews planted 100 trees, and 31 different species of trees. Read more here.
The Eugene Branch
Our Favorite Trees to Watch in Winter
Many trees have shed their leaves and are on their way to being dormant for the winter.But not all of them! Late fall and winter in Oregon and Washington is still a wonderful time to admire trees. Our Eugene team put together some of their favorites to watch out for this time of year.
One of the most brilliant fall trees is the gingko, whose intense yellow leaves tend to fall all at once, thanks to their unique stems. Although ginkgos have “broad” leaves, they are actually more closely related to conifers. Another favorite? The Atlas cedar, one of our true cedars. It’s notable this time of year because it’s already releasing its pollen. Many conifers, like the incense cedar pictured, “bloom” during late fall and winter. Atlas cedars have exceptionally large and showy pollen cones
For many the Douglas-fir, Oregon’s state tree, is a quintessential evergreen conifer, especially as many of them head into our living rooms for the holidays. Conifers like the Doug-fir are perfectly adapted to our area’s wet winters and dry summers. Evergreen conifers work year-round, producing oxygen and storing up carbon through photosynthesis, and providing important stormwater benefits by intercepting precipitation in their dense canopies. Learn more about trees in winter here.
Get to Know Connecting Canopies
This coalition creates pathways into the green workforce
In January, a new cohort will begin Friends of Trees’ Adult Urban Forestry and Restoration Training Program, a 10-week curriculum and internship designed to increase career opportunities for underrepresented communities in the urban forestry and natural area restoration fields. Many of those participants come to us through Connecting Canopies, which offers a 9-month training in urban forestry and restoration to BIPOC young adults. Their time with Friends of Trees is one piece of that training, focused on a community approach to planting trees.
Connecting Canopies is a coalition formed by the Blueprint Foundation, the Urban Greenspaces Institute (UGI) and The Nature Conservancy with the goal to create a more equitable canopy cover in the Portland metro region and beyond. Their approach involves increasing community knowledge and reducing barriers to trees and green infrastructures by providing access into the green workforce for BIPOC communities.
“When people work in the forestry or restoration field, their skills and knowledge trickle down into their community. We’re hoping that this will help the community keep the trees that they have and encourage them to plant more.”
–Theresa Huang, Partnerships & Planning Manager at the Urban Greenspaces Institute.
We’ve already seen plenty of cold weather and frost. If you haven’t already refreshed your tree’s mulch, make sure you do! Think of it as a winter blanket, insulating the tree’s roots against extreme temperatures.
The mulch is meant to retain moisture and temperaturefor the tree’s roots, so envision those roots as you spread your mulch. Remember the 3-3-3 Rule: 3 inches away from the trunk of the tree, 3 inches deep, in about a 2-3 foot radius. We encourage you as always to leave the leaves. Leaves will provide extra nutrients to your tree’s roots.
Crew Leaders and Assistants—watch your inbox for Crew Leader News on the first of the month!Trained Crew Leaders sign-up for eventshere.
Willamette Week’s Give!Guide continues! Stay tuned to our social media channels for Big Give Days, special events, and more. We are still working toward our first 300 donors of $10+, who get a slice from HOTLIPS Pizza and a pint from Level Beer. It’s a great day to give!
With your gift, however large or small, Friends of Trees is on its way toward hitting a $65k 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. Donate here!
Show love for your tree with a Friends of Trees yard sign!
Do you have a tree from Friends of Trees in your yard or planting strip? We want to celebrate your tree and the benefits it provides with a beautiful yard sign! We designed these signs as part of a visibility campaign: We want people to know how important trees are to their communities, and to see the impact that Friends of Trees and its supporters have made throughout western Oregon and southwest Washington. Visit here to learn more and get in touch.
Friends of Trees inspires people to improve the world around them through a simple solution:Planting Trees. Together.