Disney sells tree planting kits to kids

Toy Story Space Alien Tree Planting Kit. (disneystore.com)

How many varieties of six- to 12-foot maple trees does Friends of Trees provide at discounted rates?


The Walt Disney Company?

One—and it is not at a discounted rate.

Well, Walt wasn’t in the tree selling business, but Disney is now offering a special Toy Story Space Alien Tree Planting Kit that comes with Red Maple seeds.

Friends of Trees doesn’t sell Red Maples because they have aggressive root systems that can damage urban infrastructure (curbs), but other species like the Vine Maple, Rocky Mountain Glow Maple and BigLeaf Maple are available.

While the planting kit looks like a good gift for an up-and-coming arborist, at $19.50 it may be hard to pass up on a large, developed street or yard tree from Friends of Trees.

–Toshio Suzuki

Vancouver celebrates 21 years as Tree City USA

Outreach: 04.14.10, Vancouver Arbor Day
Friends of Trees Program Director Brighton West, left, visits with Smokey the Bear, right, at the Vancouver Arbor Day celebration April 14. (FOT file)

By Jesse Batty

The city of Vancouver held its annual Arbor Day Celebration at the Mayor’s Grove April 14, continuing a commitment to the urban forest for many years to come.

The day consisted of a presentation of awards, tree games for kids, planting the mayor’s tree (Triumph Elm), and a Bigleaf Maple seedling giveaway for students.

Mayor Tim Leavitt, on hand to plant his commemorative tree, reminded the elementary students that when climbing trees, “remember that you have to get down!”

The celebration also saw the inaugural presentation of the Gordon MacWilliams Award, for those who have displayed excellence in preserving Vancouver’s urban forest.

Among the winners were Friends of Trees Neighborhood Coordinators Sue Sanders and Cynthia Thornton-Tang. Both have been amazing Neighborhood Coordinators with Friends of Trees and we congratulate them on their award!

Vancouver was presented with the designation of Tree City USA for the 21st straight year. For a full story of the event and photos, visit this story from The Columbian.

Batty is the Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator for Vancouver: 360-619-1127, [email protected]

A tree walk through history in Laurelhurst Park

From left, Friends of Trees staffers Kris Day, Andy Meeks, David Odom, Greg Tudor and Whitney Dorer join Phyllis Reynolds, center, for a historic tour of the trees in Laurelhurst Park. (Angie DiSalvo, Portland Urban Forestry)

By Andy Meeks

On Wednesday morning approximately 30 people were treated to a walking tour highlighting the trees and history of Laurelhurst Park.

Phyllis Reynolds, author of “Trees of Greater Portland” and longtime Friends of Trees supporter, led the tour as part of the Portland Parks & Recreation’s (PP&R) Arbor Week.

Reynolds has done extensive research and mapping work in the Southeast Portland park and said that there are nearly 1,000 trees in the park consisting of almost 115 species, about one-third of which are Douglas-firs. She gave a very thorough, descriptive and entertaining walk past ginkgos, grand firs, the Concert Grove lindens, black oaks, sycamore maples, giant sequoias, Kentucky coffeetrees, white oaks and dawn redwoods.

The group learned from Reynolds that Laurelhurst Park was once part of the 462-acre Hazel Fern Farm owned by William Sargent Ladd, a native of Vermont who twice served as Portland’s mayor in the 1850s. He used it as a dairy farm and also raised Clydesdale draft horses and cattle. Ladd died in 1893 and his heirs sold the surrounding land to a group of developers who created the Laurelhurst neighborhood in conjunction with Frederick Law Olmsted’s landscape architecture firm.

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Next generation street trees live in swales

Street swales, like this one on Southeast Division, have been going in for several years all over Portland. (sierraclub.org)
Street swales, like this one on Southeast Division, have been going in for several years all over Portland. (sierraclub.org)

It has been a few years now and Portland continues to develop its infrastructure of street swales and curb extensions.

The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) developed and is implementing these runoff-collecting tools along Portland’s streets in an effort to keep the Willamette River cleaner.

Runoff collects in a swale in the Hollywood District. (The Oregonian)
Runoff collects in a swale in the Hollywood District. (The Oregonian)

Street swales and curb extensions are also the next generation of street tree planters, combining both the tree-planting and storm water initiatives of the city’s Grey to Green (G2G) initiative.

On Southeast Ankeny Street—the popular east-west bike avenue—BES is about to finish the Oak B Sewer Project, which saw Queen Elizabeth Hedge Maples, American Hornbeams and Black Tupelos planted in the next generation planters.

The bureau works off of an approved tree list when planting in swales or extensions, but everything’s on a trial basis, said Jeremy Person of BES who worked on the sewer project.

“We’ve been doing sewer pipes for 100 years now,” said Person, “We’ve been doing swales—big time—for maybe two, three years now.”

What types of trees do you think would be best for Portland urban street swales or curb extensions?

–Toshio Suzuki

Conference begins with I-205 service project

GSI + ACT planting: 11.08.09, I-205 bike path
Friends of Trees and Alliance for Community Trees planted trees along the I-205 bike path Sunday, Nov. 8. (FOT file)

Partners in Community Forestry 2009

National Arbor Day Conference: Nov. 8

What once was a grassy slope opposite I-205 is now home to 30 trees, courtesy of a pre-conference service project put on by Friends of Trees and Alliance for Community Trees (ACT).

Early arrivers for the 2009 Partners in Community Forestry conference took an eco-shuttle from their hotel and spent the soggy afternoon comparing planting techniques and nursery containers as they created a future tree line along the interstate bike path, near Washington St.

GSI + ACT planting: 11.08.09, I-205 bike path
Conference goers pose for a photo after planting 30 trees. (FOT file)

“Look at this; look at all the potential,” said Sharon Kelly, program director for Canopy in Palo Alto, commenting on the scale and scope of the Green Space Initiative (GSI) project.

Partnering with Oregon Department of Transportation and Metro, GSI will begin planting 1,000 trees along the multi-use path this winter.

Today’s planted species included Rocky Mountain Glow Maple, Ponderosa Pine, Douglas Fir, Oregon White Oak, Garry Oak and Chinkapin Oak.

Check back on the blog this week for complete coverage of the national Arbor Day Foundation conference.

–Toshio Suzuki