A lot of trees and tree stories – 16,000+ trees planted so far this season!

“It was an amazing day, perfect weather, awesome people and healthy trees! Couldn’t ask for a better planting day, truly.” Alex, volunteer tree planter (above photo taken at our Gresham planting event)

So far in our 2019-20 planting season we’ve planted more than 16,000 trees and native shrubs! Here are some highlights from some amazing days this season:


Neighborhood Trees Program: 820 trees planted

“It was wonderful to plant in our neighborhood! I look forward to checking up on all of our trees over the next few years.” -Neighborhood Trees volunteer planter

820 street and yard trees have been planted at nine events so far this season. 900 volunteers turned out to plant trees in Portland, Eugene, Vancouver, Oregon City, Beaverton, and Clark County, WA. (above photo from our November planting in Vancouver)

Green Space Program: 15,800 trees planted

“The team created a warm and welcoming environment. It was a lovely event that we truly enjoyed!” -Green Space planting volunteer
15,800 trees and shrubs have been planted in natural areas at 16 events since October. 1,000 volunteers turned out for restoration events in Eugene, Hillsboro, Troutdale, Tigard, Salem, Tualatin, Gresham, Cornelius, Happy Valley, and Wilsonville. (above photo taken at our Cornelius event in November)

Get to know our partner: the City of Vancouver

“Friends of Trees does more than simply plant a tree at a Vancouver resident’s house. They plant the right tree, the right way, in the right location.” -Charles Ray, City of Vancouver Urban Forester

For 16 years Friends of Trees has been planting the right trees, the right way, for Vancouver residents in partnership with the City of Vancouver. Currently more than 500 trees are planted every year here, thanks to the help of hundreds of community volunteers.

Vancouver’s Urban Forester, Charles Ray, reflects on this long-lasting, impactful partnership, and the important role trees play in the community,

Vancouver has a long history with trees and considers trees community assets that provide multiple benefits, including clean water. The simple truth is trees in the community have practical, quantifiable values and are not merely decorations. They provide essential benefits that we cannot live without.

“We are fortunate to have an organization like Friends of Trees that shares the same mission and helps us accomplish more. Most municipal programs across the country dream of having an opportunity such as this. Friends of Trees does more than simply plant a tree at a Vancouver resident’s house. They plant the right tree, the right way, in the right location.

“Friends of Trees engages that person several times through the process, enabling staff and volunteers to share the benefits of trees and educate them about the City’s processes and requirements around trees. It also offers them an opportunity to engage hands-on with the community asset, the tree that will be planted in front of their house. This often leads to stronger community connections and civic involvement, and knowledge of the benefits, how to care for and needs of the urban forest.

“Planting the right tree in the right place and giving it the right care and pruning make all the difference to ensuring a healthy urban forest today and for generations to come. It only takes a minute to improperly prune or remove a tree but a lifetime to grow one.

“We cannot do it alone. I am excited by Friends of Trees’ commitment to Vancouver and the community’s efforts to meet this need. If I could ask for one thing it would be participation from the business community to sponsor plantings so that we can increase our annual planting goals with Friends of Trees.”

Charles, we couldn’t say it better ourselves; Vancouver businesses, join us!

Pictured above: Far left, Jessica George, City of Vancouver; standing, third from left, UF Program intern Bruce

This is from the April 2019 edition of our e-news, Treemail; check out that issue of Treemail, and others, here.

Bicycles + Trees: A match made in Portland

By Ian Bonham

Bike planting: it’s carbon-negative!
(photo: Greg Raisman)

We ride our bikes a lot here in Portland.

You ride your bike to work. You ride your bike to the grocery store. You ride your bike while eating a vegan donut with cereal on top. You even ride your bike in a sea of naked people.

So it only makes sense that, here in the Pacific Northwest, you also get to ride your bike while planting trees on Saturday morning (fully clothed, of course–it’s cool out there!).

Here at Friends of Trees we’re snapping our rain fenders back on, refreshing our rain gear, and pumping up the tires on our trailers in preparation for another season of planting trees–on our bicycles!

Sign up here:
Join a bike planting crew this season!

We need your help!  Let us know what role works best for you: tree planter, tool carrier, tree chauffeur, or some combination of the three. Meet your neighbors, get some exercise, and beautify Portland & Vancouver neighborhoods all at the same time. And let’s not forget the breakfast coffee and treats, as well as a potluck lunch to fuel you up!

Bikes, Trees, and happy planters. (photo: Greg Raisman)

Bicycling crews transport all of the trees, tools and people to various homes in the neighborhood to plant trees that will ultimately absorb CO2 and mitigate stormwater runoff—as well as a host of intangible benefits.

2015 Neighborhood Bike Plantings (sign up here):

  • 1.24.15 :: Laurelhurst, Kerns, Sunnyside, N. Tabor (SE Portland)
  • 1.31.15 :: Piedmont, Woodlawn (NE Portland)
  • 2.14.15 :: Boise, Eliot, Humboldt, King (NE Portland)
  • 2.21.15 :: West Vancouver Neighborhoods

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Jenny Bedell-Stiles or Ian Bonham at volunteer@friendsoftrees.org or use our volunteer hotline: 503-595-0213.

—Ian is the Volunteer & Outreach Program Specialist for Friends of Trees.

Portland Timbers 2013 Dribble Oregon tour & tree plantings

Timbers' Eric Brunner placing a tag on a tree planted in honor of his goal for Timbers-FOT "Score a Goal, Plant a Tree" (Craig Mitchelldyer)
Timbers defender Eric Brunner adds a tag to the tree planted with Friends of Trees last winter in honor of his goal (Craig Mitchelldyer)

This Saturday the Portland Timbers will launch the team’s second annual tour across Oregon and SW Washington. Hosted with Timbers Founding Partner JELD-WEN Windows and Doors, the Dribble Oregon tour will include youth soccer clinics, meetings with fans, and tree plantings with Timbers Pillar Partner Friends of Trees.

Dribble Oregon begins in Vancouver, WA on Jan. 5. Timbers players Brent Richards and Ryan Kawulok, team mascot Timber Joey, and members of the Timbers Army Northern Alliance will plant a dozen trees with Friends of Trees and Vancouver Urban Forestry. The planting begins at 1:30 pm at 2204 Wahclellah Avenue in the Meadow Homes neighborhood.

“It’s a full day of fun-filled events and we are proud to help bring the Portland Timbers to a community near you,” said Bill Hueffner, Director of Development & Professional Relations for JELD-WEN.Read More

One more role for Ian …

During the past year and a half, Ian Bonham has taken on many roles at Friends of Trees and inspired many to plant trees.

Ian & George Bonham
Ian Bonham on Mt. Tabor with his father, George Bonham

Shortly after receiving his bachelor’s degree in Geography from Portland State University last spring, Ian became a summer inspector so he could check on new street trees during their first summer after planting. He also attended FOT’s Neighborhood Coordinator Training so he could help coordinate his neighborhood’s planting in Piedmont for the next planting season. Then, since he didn’t own property where he could plant trees, he decided he could help add trees to city neighborhoods by becoming a Neighborhood Trees crew leader.

What inspired him? In addition to having a father who loved nature and hiked with him when he was younger, two people helped him appreciate city trees while he was in school: PSU Geography Professor Joe Poracksy and Portland Bureau of Environmental Services Grey to Green Canopy Coordinator Jennifer Karps.

It’s not surprising that Ian was hired as a canvasser for BES’s Grey to Green Initiative last year to help people in Portland neighborhoods sign up to plant trees with Friends of Trees. It was especially fun, Ian said, to introduce himself in Piedmont as both a canvasser and a neighbor. He also enjoyed meeting hundreds of homeowners in other Portland neighborhoods.Read More