Trees bedded for winter by volunteer ‘Friends’

See why it takes more than simply planting trees to grow a shady grove …

This volunteer “Friends of Trees” crew spends a sunny Saturday morning helping protect recently-planted trees along the I-205 Multi-use Path.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
In July, representatives from the Metro and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) held a “Party on the I-205 Multi-use Path” with the Friends of Trees organization, celebrating the conclusion of a multi-year, 5,000 tree planting project.

> Read about this event, and see links to other stories about the project: CLICK HERE.

But, on October 5, Friends of Trees volunteers were again out in force – this time with buckets of mulch, instead platters of party food.

Union High School students Jaimie Ding and Melody Gao spread mulch around the base of these trees.

Friends of Trees Green Space Initiative Specialist Heather Durham and Friends of Trees Green Space Initiative Manager Logan Lauvray load up buckets of mulch they’ll then drive to volunteers working, down the block.

“We look at this as our first event for the 2013-2014 season,” smiled Friends of Trees Green Space Initiative Manager Logan Lauvray, about the event.

“This is a ‘tree care’ event at which volunteers are mulching trees,” Lauvray told East Portland News. “As you remember, over the last couple years, these trees were planted along the I-205 Multi-Use Path here in outer East Portland. We are coming back and re-mulching those trees.”

Union High student Zhengyi Chen makes wheeling a heavy load of mulch look easy.

Replacing settled mulch is a help to “make sure the trees are off to a good start, and survive the winter weather,” Lauvray explained.

Several grade school kids, teachers, and parents, were busy filling buckets with mulch – carrying it to the new trees, and making a careful ring of mulch around the base.

“We are really excited to have some students here from the Creative Science School; it’s just a couple of blocks away from here, on SE 92nd Avenue,” Lauvray pointed out. “We also have older students from De La Salle North Catholic High School, as well as students from the Eastmoreland neighborhood.”

Volunteers say helping improve the area’s ecology, and having fun with people they know, makes Friends of Trees events fun.

If you’re interested in getting low-cost street trees in your neighborhood, Friends of Trees is taking sign-ups for their winter planting season, Lauvray added. To learn more, see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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