Helping young trees grow to their full potential

Pruning a young tree (Angie DiSalvo)

On Saturday, Dec. 1, Friends of Trees joined Portland Parks & Recreation’s Urban Forestry Division for a morning of pruning young trees in the Concordia neighborhood.

Ten ISA-certified arborists made it possible for small groups of volunteers to learn proper structural pruning. Altogether, 234 young trees were pruned!

This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the Concordia Tree Team and Portland Parks & Recreation Tree Inventory leaders from several neighborhoods.

Friends of Trees Neighborhood Trees Senior Specialist (and ISA-certified arborist) Jesse Batty said:

“By structurally pruning young street trees at an early age, we can remove defects that may become hazardous in the long term. Early investment in young tree care is important to ensure that these urban trees continue to be assets which provide a suite of benefits, rather than liabilities. FOT hopes to conduct future trainings and events involving structural pruning of young street trees and would love to have more people involved.”

Don’t miss this slide show of photos taken by Portland Parks & Recreation’s Angie DiSalvo, which shows how to prune a young tree so it grows to its full potential as a sound, strong and sturdy member of our city forest.

What if our cities had no trees?

Why plant trees in cities? This video shows the many ways our trees can help us.

You may recognize three people in this video who have helped our Portland-Vancouver area treescape, including a Friends of Trees staff member. Many thanks to Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, Portland Parks & Recreation, and all of you who have helped make our city forests grow.

And thank you, American Forests, for all you do for urban forests across our country.

Portland urban forester offers vision, leadership & a love of trees

Portland Urban Forester Jenn Cairo
Jenn Cairo directing then-Metro Council President David Bragdon at a 2010 FOT planting (Teri Ruch)

Though she earned her bachelor’s degree in International Policy, Law and Diplomacy, Portland’s new urban forester, Jenn Cairo, is committed to the local Portland community and its environment. She grows her own vegetables, serves on the board of the Alberta Co-op Grocery, and bicycles to work. She’s also been a Friends of Trees volunteer since she moved to Portland to become one of three region managers for Oregon Parks and Recreation four years ago.

At her first Friends of Trees planting, Jenn added tupelos to the planting strip in front of the house she was renting. She’s grateful that her neighbors continued to water the trees after she moved, and the trees are growing. Soon after her neighborhood’s planting, she became a crew leader in Friends of Trees’ Green Space Initiative program.

“I grew up in the woods,” she explained, “and enjoy planting on vast pieces of ground.” She also appreciates GSI Manager Logan Lauvray’s consideration for volunteers.

Jenn Cairo at a Friends of Trees Gift Tree Planting
Jenn Cairo crew leading at Friends of Trees' Gift Tree planting last December (Joanie Belden)

Raised “on the doorstep of the Mohonk Preserve” in New York state, Jenn was drawn to both environmental studies and foreign affairs. As an undergraduate, she chose to study foreign affairs at Georgetown University rather than environmental studies at Cornell because Georgetown offered her more scholarship money. After graduating, she lived in Central Europe but found that she missed the green spaces in the U.S.

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Solstice work party

By Sean Sweeney

Summer is here! BBQs, swimming, camping and—best of all, longer days full of sunlight are upon us.

As most of us know, the longest day of the year is the summer solstice. Friends of Trees, the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, Portland Parks & Recreation, and East Multnomah Soil Water Conservation District hosted an evening work party at Clatsop Butte on Thursday, June 21.

March 5, 2011 Clatsop Butte Planting
FOT Volunteer Planting at Clatsop Butte (Kris Day)

Clatsop Butte is a natural area managed by Portland Parks & Recreation City Nature East. Its 43 acres contain tributaries to Johnson Creek, a major urban creek that traverses five cities and two counties from the foothills of Mt. Hood to the Willamette River. Friends of Trees has been working to re-establish native plant communities along these tributaries to provide shade for the streams and to increase wildlife habitat and biodiversity.

On June 21, we did some light sheering and mulching around newly planted trees and shrubs. It was a great way to get some exercise, blow off some steam after a day of work, help the environment, and connect with the community. Above are photos taken at the event by Amy Lodholz. Sticking with the celebratory spirit of the event (solstice!) folks congregated at O’Malley’s at 6535 SE Foster afterward for pizza and beverages.

Happy Solstice & Happy Summer!

–Sweeney is Green Space Initiative Specialist for Friends of Trees.


Welcome, Jenn Cairo, Portland’s new city forester

May 17, 2012 Leadership Awards Luncheon
Friends of Trees Executive Director Scott Fogarty & Portland City Forester Jenn Cairo at FOT's May 17 Leadership Awards Luncheon (Lucia DeLisa)

By Greg Tudor

Congratulations to Jenn Cairo, Portland’s new city forester! Jenn has been a Friends of Trees volunteer since 2009, working in both the Neighborhood Trees and Green Space Initiative programs. A summer inspector and Neighborhood Trees planter in her own North Portland neighborhood, she is most active as a GSI crew leader.

Hailing from the southeast corner of New York state, Jenn has a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, an MS in Forestry from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and an MPA (Master’s in Public Administration) from Syracuse University.

Before coming to the City of Portland, Jenn worked as a region manager for Oregon Parks and Recreation. She oversaw state parks in the Columbia River Gorge, Portland-metro area, and Willamette and Rogue River valleys.

Congratulations, Jenn. We look forward to working with you for years to come!

–Tudor is Development Manager for Friends of Trees.