Featured Stories

Inner Southeast Friends tree-planting gears up for another winter


by: ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF - A Forest Pansy Redbud - a tree that will have fragrant red-purple blooms in early spring and a profusion of red, purple, and yellow leaves in the fall - is planted in the Woodstock Neighborhood by Friends of Trees Crew Leaders Amanda Riesenberg, Amy Michet, Krystal Lum, and Joe Hand. Mixing hard work with great enthusiasm, Friends of Trees volunteers kicked off the 2012-2013 season by planting 125 trees on Saturday, November 3rd, in the Brooklyn, Sellwood-Westmoreland, Eastmoreland, and Woodstock neighborhoods.

“Our planting season starts at the beginning of November and ends at the end of April. Our goal for this upcoming season is 3,900 street and yard trees in Portland,” smiled Susie Peterson, F.O.T. Neighborhood Trees Assistant.

Ardy Dunn, a Sellwood resident, was ecstatic with her choice of a Crimson Spire Oak that was planted in their side yard that day. Described by one Internet source as “one of the most exciting new tree varieties to appear in decades”, it is columnar, and will grow 45 feet tall and 15 feet wide, is mildew-resistant, and has beautiful fall color.

A $500 tree such as the Crimson Spire Oak is a real bargain at $50, when ordered through Friends of Trees. Many residents then “give back” to the nonprofit organization by volunteering, as Dunn did during that Saturday planting. “I spent four hours working with one of the Friends of Trees crews, and learned lots about how to plant correctly!” she exclaimed.

Summer watering can be a challenge for both residents and young trees. The recommended twice-a-week watering during the hot, dry months can be difficult, because residents go on vacations, don’t have the time, or just plain forget to water when the trees seem to look happy and healthy.

While hand-watering is optimal, Friends of Trees has a summer solution called the ooze tube. “What costs $20, rhymes with ‘snooze,’ and lets homeowners sleepwalk through their summer time tree watering duties?” asks the F.O.T. website. The staff of the organization reveals that the ooze tube price has been reduced to $18.

The ooze tube is very simple to install, and provides adequate watering for two weeks, when it then needs to be refilled. A green plastic 15-gallon watering tube has several tiny holes, and an emitter (like a small throttle to regulate flow) to force deep watering. The tube can be repaired with duct tape if accidentally punctured.

The next Inner Southeast planting in THE BEE’s readership area is on December 8th, when trees will be planted in the Brentwood-Darlington, Mt Scott-Arleta, and Woodstock neighborhoods. January 19th is the date for a combined planting with the Creston-Kenilworth, Foster-Powell, South Tabor, and Reed Neighborhoods. Go online to HYPERLINK "http://www.friendsoftrees.org" www.friendsoftrees.org for more information on trees, tree varieties, ooze tubes, and upcoming plantings. Volunteers are always welcome to join a crew. You can also call 503/595-0213 and ask for Andy or Jenny to learn about volunteer details and opportunities.