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Neighbors continue surveying trees in Eastmoreland

by: David F. Ashton Portland Tree Survey volunteer Roberta Deppe measures the diameter of a street tree, while Karen Williams records the data.

If you've wondered why teams of volunteers were in several Inner Southeast Portland neighborhoods on the morning of August 6, looking at and measuring your trees, they were involved in the Portland Tree Survey Project.

In Eastmoreland, we caught up with neighbor, volunteer, and Eastmoreland Tree Committee member Karen Williams - as she and Roberta Deppe documented trees on S.E. 26th Avenue.

'Eastmoreland is one of five neighborhoods doing the tree survey this year,' Williams said. 'We're counting all of our street trees in our neighborhood.'

A 'street tree', Williams defined, is a tree that is planted between the sidewalk and the street in the public right-of-way space commonly called a parking strip or planting strip. 'Street trees are actually owned by the city,' Williams said, 'But it is the responsibility of the resident who lives behind a tree, to take care of the tree.'

During the survey, Williams and Deppe measured each tree's diameter at chest height, identified the species and the tree's general health, before moving on to the next one.

'The city wants to make sure there are as many street trees planted as possible,' Williams explained. It's good for the city, and it's good for the environment.'

Deppe measured the diameter of another tree, while Williams recorded the size. 'The health of the trees in the neighborhood is important to me, and this seems like a very useful project. And, I'm learning all about trees from Karen!'

At project's end, the staff at Portland Urban Forestry will compile the notes from all the surveyors and present the neighborhood with complete listing.

'With this data, we can, as a neighborhood, develop projects to increase the number of trees, and study how to take care of the trees we have,' Williams explained.

There are still some opportunities to help with this effort. Check the calendar of events and activities in this issue of THE BEE.