By Sandy McCollum
Portland, OR (March 6, 2010)- I was visited by a happy, talkative group called Friends of Trees on Saturday morning. They poured out of three trucks, one of which had our two trees and several others slated for plantings elsewhere. Shovels, buckets, trees and people made a beeline for my backyard and they showed us the best places to plant the three-year-old trees, they’re are hardly bigger than saplings, yet old enough to be sturdy on their own. It was fun and educational, both.
Friends of Trees has a full planting calendar but will easily fit you into their schedule, should you want a tree or two. I couldn’t believe how easy this was and I recommend it to every property owner. Knowledgeable people come with the volunteer group to guide and teach both volunteers and homeowners about growing trees. They dug the hole, planted the tree and even gave them their first buckets of water and mulched around them. I watched, took photos and listened. They left me with easy instructions that say give them 15 gallons of water a week for the first 2-3 years.
Trees are very important to the ecology, as we’ve seen in places like Easter Island and Haiti. We need them for shade, erosion prevention, wildlife, clean air, green spaces and scenic beauty. Not to mention the tax breaks some homeowners can get.
At their website you can find the planting calendar and volunteer opportunities and even get started on getting your own new trees. First is easy sign-up, which can be done at the website for your convenience, and then they’ll give you a list of the trees that will grow well in your area. This may or may not require a visit to the property to determine the list; they didn’t need to visit for mine. Choose your trees from that list- we chose two Incense Cedars- and then schedule weekend planting with them.
The discounted trees from Friends of Trees cost only $25 to $75 and the price includes delivery, hole digging, planting, mulching, stakes and even follow-up maintenance. The education that comes with it is totally free.
They like you to participate (even if you don’t buy trees, it’s fun to help) and they also like it if you go with them to the next planting. Their plan is to plant thousands more trees between the Columbia River and Gladstone. Since 1989 they’ve planted well over 385,000 trees in the Portland/Vancouver area.
Friends of Trees is a member of Coalition for a Livable Future, Alliance for Community Trees, Oregon Community Trees and Earthshare Oregon. Friends of Trees also meets all 20 BBB Charity Standards and is Recycle at Work certified by the City of Portland.
Let’s get Greener, Portland!
Portland Home & Living Examiner- Portland gets new trees from Friends of Trees
Friends of Trees