Friends of Trees

July 2022: Trees for Clean Air | TLC for Climate Trees | Summer Happenings

TREEMAIL: News from Friends of Trees

Trees for Clean Air in NE Portland

The Clean Air Canopy project will plant 800 new neighborhood trees

Of all the benefits that trees provide, clean air is one that entire communities benefit from. When the Owens-Brockway glass facility was found to be excessively polluting in the vicinity of several Northeast Portland communities and the Columbia Slough Watershed, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality fined the facility and granted funds to Friends of Trees and our partners to lead community tree plantings in the area.

Friends of Trees, in partnership with community members and organizations, will coordinate the planting of 5,000 native plants and trees over the course of the Clean Air Canopy project in the next year. Of these, about 800 trees will be located along neighborhood streets and private properties in the Sumner, Cully, Parkrose, Argay, and Wilkes neighborhoods. 4,200 more native plants and trees will be planted in natural areas located across these neighborhoods and along the Columbia Slough watershed.

This project would not be possible without our partners: Verde, the Cully Air Action Team (CAAT), and the Cully Association of Neighbors. Verde and CAAT’s advocacy work held this polluter accountable and led to this project’s creation. These partners have been instrumental to our outreach efforts.

“This project really represents the breadth of what we do at Friends of Trees: working in both neighborhoods and natural areas, connecting with community members, and providing a tangible benefit in the form of cleaner air.”

-Green Space Program Manager Michelle Yasutake.

Learn more about Clean Air Canopy here!


Get to Know Verde

Verde has been an important community partner to Friends of Trees. We have worked together on outreach in Portland on projects like the Adult Urban Forestry & Restoration Training Program and  Greening Wilkes, and we are excited for the opportunity to grow the partnership even further through the Clean Air Canopy project.

Verde serves communities by building environmental wealth through social enterprise, outreach, and advocacy. They are known for their work in NE Portland’s Cully neighborhood, but they also drive change at local, state, regional, and federal levels. Verde’s Energy, Climate and Transportation team collaborated with other environmental justice organizations, clean air advocates, and community members to hold Owens-Brockway accountable for the dangerous toxic emissions that the glass recycling facility releases, leading to Clean Air Canopy.

Verde’s ability to connect with community members around environmental opportunities makes them an invaluable partner. Learn more here!

Planting trees together

The Eugene Branch

Caring for climate trees can mean a little extra TLC

We pay extra attention to all of our trees during their first few years of establishment. Watering, mulching, pruning, inspection—this little bit of extra work has a huge impact on the tree’s success in the long run. Over the last decade, the Eugene Branch has been integrating more climate resilient trees into its planting regimen. They’ve found that these trees need a bit more attention, but because these trees will stand up to the changing climate, it’s definitely worth it.

Because these trees are not widely used in the nursery trade, they have not been selected for form in the same way. More common trees in the nursery trade tend to have a more manageable form—they’ll have trunks that go straight up and branches that are spaced nicely. Some of the climate resilient trees the Eugene team are working on—like valley oak, blue oak, and California live oaks—often exhibit rapid, explosive growth, sometimes taking on a “rangy” or “shrubby” appearance.

“These climate trees need about twice as much pruning as a typical tree during their establishment years,” says Eugene Director Erik Burke. “But they are very drought tolerant and tough, and that gives them a leg up in the face of the changing climate.”

Learn more about the Eugene Branch’s climate tree care here!



Aphids are everywhere, but don’t worry!

We’ve been getting a few inquiries about aphids this summer. And with the arrival of the emerald ash borer (a devastating issue we’ll keep you posted on), we have plenty of reasons to keep an eye out for pests. With aphids, however, we don’t need to fret about them on our trees like we do in our veggie gardens.

In almost all instances, you don’t need to take any action—the tree can take care of itself. Aphids will only make a noticeable impact if the tree is still working to establish itself, or is somehow otherwise weakened. If some wilting or crinkled leaves have you worried, here are some action steps you can take. Some folks might want to go straight to spraying, but pesticides really aren’t necessary to deal with aphids.

If you have more than just a few aphids on your leaves, the first thing to try is to just rinse them off with water. A good hose down will take care of a minor infestation. If that doesn’t quite do the trick, you can spray with soapy water. A treatment like this just once or twice a year will be enough.

Read more about aphids here!

Get Involved

Summer Happenings

Find us this summer at community events, where we’ll be on hand to chat and share planting and volunteer opportunities! Look for Garry!

  • Sun, 7/31, 1-3pm: 7th & Sandy Block Party, NE Portland
  • Tue, 8/2, 4-8pm: National Night Out Picnic, E Vancouver
  • Sun, 8/7, 11am-4pm: Carefree Sunday, Milwaukie
  • Sat, 8/13, 10am-4pm: Englewood Forest Festival, Salem
  • Sun 8/21, 11am-4pm: Sunday Parkways, E Portland
  • Th, 8/25, 5:30-8:30pm: Wilsonville Block Party, Wilsonville
You make this possible
Friends of Trees



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

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Learn more about how Friends of Trees greens our region + grows community through checking out other issues of Treemail here