Important Alerts, Registrations, New Staff and more.
Important Alerts, Registrations, New Staff and more.
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Tree Bark, News From Urban Forestry - All Trees, No Pulp
August 2017

In This Issue

  • Hot! Hot! Hot! Water Those Young Trees, Please!
  • Buy It Where You Burn It! Don't Transport Firewood. Learn Why
  • Reminder: It's Dutch Elm Disease Season, Know the Symptoms
  • Sign Up Now: Neighborhood Tree Steward Classes, Oct. - Nov.
  • Backyard Habitat Certification Program, Plan Fall Plantings Now!
  • Register Now: Annual Friends of Trees Community Tree Care Training, Saturday, September 30th!
  • New Parks Tree Inventory Staff
  • Upcoming Urban Forestry Events

Hot! Hot! Hot! Water Those Young Trees, Please!

When the weather gets hotter, young trees need water! Watering young trees – those planted within the past three years – is vital for tree health during the summertime.

Young trees die for a variety of reasons. Drought stress during the first few years after planting is one of the most common reasons.
Tree Crew members from the Youth Conservation Crew have tended young trees around Portland since 2009.
“Planting a tree is a great first step,” says Jenn Cairo, Portland’s City Forester. “Trees provide years of benefits, including cleaner air, shade, and wildlife habitat. They cool the nearby area naturally, and help to improve our health. But watering young trees regularly and carefully for their first two to three years is a critical part of their survival."
Newly planted trees – in the ground for three years or less - need help to survive. Their root systems are immature, and not able to access water as well as larger, older trees.
Consistent and attentive watering is key for new trees, or they risk dying – even during a pleasant, relatively mild summer.
At least two years of supplemental watering during the summer dry season will help young trees establish for years to come. Tree professionals, including those at nurseries where trees are purchased, may be able to advise on specific watering needs. Below are general tips from Urban Forestry.
Where to water:
It's important that the water directly reaches the root ball of your tree, close to the trunk, usually within one to two feet.

How much to water:
Approximately 10 gallons of water per diameter inch of tree trunk (i.e., a tree trunk 1.5 inches in diameter requires about 15 gallons).

How frequently to water:
Approximately once a week. If the soil feels dry, or just slightly damp, it is time to water again. Pressing a finger gently into the soil below the mulch surrounding your tree is a good indicator. If the soil is wet or very damp, wait a day or two and then test again. Note that overwatering can kill trees, too! 

A garden hose and soaker hose can be set to a timer to slowly release water for about 5 minutes. Watering tubes can be filled up about once a week for a fill-and-forget-it approach. A 5-gallon bucket (with holes drilled in the sides or bottom to slowly release water) is another option. This bucket should be filled at least twice a week, and frequently moved to different areas around the root ball. 

For questions or more information, please contact Urban Forestry at (503) 823-TREE (8733), or by email at

Buy It Where You Burn It! Don't Transport Firewood. Learn Why

With the upcoming solar eclipse in August, we'll have millions of people travelling from across the country to the path of total eclipse (which includes parts of Oregon). Many people will be camping in the path of the eclipse, and that means that there is a risk of infested firewood coming into the state. 

Don't move firewood
Tell your friends and others who are coming to Oregon for the eclipse about the risks of moving firewood – no one wants to be responsible for starting a new pest infestation. Remind them- don’t move firewood. Instead, buy it where you’ll burn it, buy certified heat treated firewood, or gather firewood on site if permitted. For more information, visit the Don't Move Firewood website. 

Reminder: It's Dutch Elm Disease Season, Know the Symptoms

Elms are most susceptible to Dutch elm disease (DED) infection from the time they first leaf out in the spring until midsummer. In Portland, there is a moratorium on pruning elms between April 15 to October 15, and elm wood disposal procedures apply at all times of the year.

DED is caused by a fungus that compromises the tree's ability to move water through its system, which often results in the rapid decline and death of the tree. Keep reading to learn about DED symptoms, and check out Portland's Elm Protection Program for more information.

Dead, brown leaves in the tree canopy, called "flagging," is often an indicator of a potential DED infection.
The most obvious sign of DED in an elm is when part or all of the canopy begins to turn brown, usually starting with a single branch or limb. This discoloration is referred to as "flagging." Brown leaves do not always mean that an elm tree is infected, but it's best to have it checked out. Contact Urban Forestry at:
(503) 823-TREE (8733) or email to arrange an elm tree inspection.
"Streaking" is another indicator of the presence of DED. This is characterized by dark discolorations inside the wood of an infected branch, below the bark.
For positive identification after symptoms have presented, Urban Forestry sends samples of suspected DED infected elms to the Oregon State University Plant Pathology Clinic.
To read more about DED in Portland, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions sheet.

Sign Up Now: Neighborhood Tree Steward Classes, Oct. - Nov.

Urban Forestry is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2017 Neighborhood Tree Steward (NTS) Program, scheduled for this fall. The focus of this year's course will be "Equity and the Urban Forest." 

An NTS class prepares to prune young trees in the park.
Through this seven session course, consisting of hands-on workshops and interactive class activities, participants will learn about: 
  • Basics of tree biology and tree ID
  • Tree pruning and care
  • Tree planting and establishment
  • Pests and pathogens of the urban forest
  • The many ways that trees improve public health and the environment
  • The importance of ensuring that tree benefits are distributed equitably as our city grows
  • A primer on the city tree code and how Tree Stewards can speak for the trees
The cost for the entire 22 hour course is only $25 and upon graduation, Tree Stewards receive a Certificate of Completion and official NTS apparel!
Scholarships, childcare and TriMet vouchers are available upon request. 
For more information:
or call Nik Desai at (503) 823-4441
Click HERE to register.
Please share this information with anyone that you think might be interested in environmental justice, community building, and supporting our urban forest.

Backyard Habitat Certification Program, Plan Fall Plantings Now!

The Backyard Habitat Certification Program is planting roots, creating habitat, and transforming the world – one yard at a time.

Backyard Habitat Certification Program
The Audubon Society of Portland and the Columbia Land Trust have teamed up to create a unique program that supports urban gardeners in their efforts to create natural backyard habitats. The intent of the Backyard Habitat Certification Program (BHCP) is simple: it provides technical assistance, financial incentives, encouragement and recognition to people that want to create gardens that are healthy for people, wildlife, and the planet.

Since 2009, more than 4000 properties have participated, spanning over 1000 acres of our metro area. It is through these collective efforts to revitalize urban landscapes that positive change happens. Together we make our cities a healthier place, for ourselves and for wildlife.

To learn more about the program and to sign up, visit their website at
For more information, also feel free to contact program co-managers:

Nikkie West
Backyard Habitat Program Manager,

Audubon Society of Portland,
(503) 292-6855

Susie Peterson
Backyard Habitat Program Manager,

Columbia Land Trust

(503) 841-5918

Register Now: Annual Friends of Trees Community Tree Care Training, Saturday, September 30th!

Take another step in your tree education and join the Community Tree Care Program (CTC) with Friends of Trees! The annual Pruning Leader Training is a chance to develop (or further hone) your skills pruning urban shade trees.

This program focuses on pruning young trees in the public right-of-way during their first 3-5 years of life, which results in healthier, safer, and longer-living trees in our urban environment. And did we mention it's fun!?

The CTC training includes an inside presentation, outside demonstration, and arborist guided pruning practice.
This year's annual Pruning Leader Training is Saturday, September 30th, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm in SE Portland at the Montavilla United Methodist Church (map). This free event includes both classroom and hands-on field sessions, as well as free lunch and 'Tree Team' t-shirt! 
Trained Pruning Leaders are asked to commit to four Saturday morning pruning events from October through March (the training counts as one) and work alongside Urban Forestry and Friends of Trees arborist staff. There are 10 scheduled Friends of Trees pruning events on Saturday mornings between October - March; event dates available at the training.

Space is limited, register for the training HERE!

Please note: This role is NOT open to the general public, only Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry volunteers and Friends of Trees volunteers with previous experience may register for this training to become a Pruning Leader.
Any questions or comments? Please contact Jenny or Pablo with Friends of Trees: // (503) 595-0213.

New Parks Tree Inventory Staff

We are pleased to welcome a dedicated Urban Forestry volunteer and 2017 Naito Community Trees Award winner, Catherine Clark, to this summer's Parks Tree Inventory staff. Read below for more information on Catherine, straight from the source!

I’m a Texas native, but left the state when I was 16. I bounced between the west coast and east coast a couple of times, then to Minnesota, and finally to Santa Fe, New Mexico before moving to Portland in 2013.

During my six years in New Mexico, I taught biology at two small colleges including: Plant Biology, Ecology, Stream Ecology, and Human Anatomy and Physiology.

My educational background includes an undergraduate Biology Naturalist degree from Appalachian State University. Following that, I went to nursing school and worked as a Registered Nurse for almost ten years.

I later earned a Master’s degree (Botany) and Ph.D. (Forestry/Plant Biology) from North Carolina State University. 

It’s been a great pleasure working with Urban Forestry staff and volunteers as a frequent volunteer, and I look forward to working with all of you as seasonal staff.

Come say hi!

Upcoming Urban Forestry Events

August 5th, 8:30 am – 12:00 pm: Alberta Park Tree Inventory Workday Meet @ Alberta Park, NE 19th Ave & NE Jarrett St. In partnership with the Albina Coalition of Tree Teams.

August 9th, 4:30 pm – 8:00 pm: Rose City Park Tree Inventory Workday Meet @ Rose City Park, NE 62nd Ave & NE Thompson St. In partnership with the Rose City Park Tree Team.

August 12th, 8:30 am – 12:00 pm: Irving Park Tree Inventory Workday Meet @ Irving Park, NE 7th Ave & NE Fargo St. In partnership with the Irvington Tree Team.

August 16th, 4:30 pm – 8:00 pm: Wilshire Park Tree Inventory Workday Meet @ Wilshire Park, NE 35th Place & NE Skidmore St. In partnership with the Beaumont-Wilshire Tree Team.

August 26th, 8:30 am – 12:00 pm: Irving Park Tree Inventory Workday Meet @ Irving Park, NE Fremont & NE 7th Ave. In partnership with the Irvington Tree Team.

September 9th, 8:30 am – 12:00 pm: Ventura Park Tree Inventory Workday Meet @ Ventura Park, SE 113th Ave & SE Stark.

September 13th, 4:30 pm – 8:00 pm: Wilshire Park Tree Inventory Workday Meet @ Wilshire Park, NE 35th Place & NE Skidmore St. In partnership with the Beaumont-Wilshire Tree Team.

September 16th, 8:30 am – 12:00 pm: Arbor Lodge Park Tree Inventory Workday Meet @ Arbor Lodge Park, N Bryant St & Delaware Ave. In partnership with the Arbor Lodge Tree Team.
Urban Forestry
1120 SW 5th Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204503-823-8733
Portland Parks &
Commissioner Amanda Fritz • Director Mike Abbaté
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