Beginning next week, during Oregon's Arbor Week, 54 Oregon cities will be recognized as Tree City USA (TCUSA) communities.
"Tree City USA" is a program of the National Arbor Day Foundation sponsored by the Oregon Department of Forestry. It recognizes cities that develop programs to plant and care for trees.
"Trees are important to the quality of life here in Oregon, where we have some of the most productive forestland in the world and some of the most livable cities around," says Paul Ries, who manages the Oregon Department of Forestry's Urban and Community Forestry Program. Trees and forests enhance quality of life by providing wood products, fish and wildlife habitat, shade, economic benefits, clean, healthy streams, and by raising property values, adds Ries.
Congratulations to these cities
A grand total of fifty-four Oregon "Tree Cities" earned recertification this year.
They are Albany, Creswell, Klamath Falls, Redmond, Ashland, Dallas, La Grande, Rogue River, Baker City, Eagle Point, Lake Oswego, Salem, Bandon, Eugene, Lebanon, Sandy, Banks, Forest Grove, Lincoln City, Seaside, Beaverton, Echo, Madras, Sherwood, Bend, Gervais, McMinnville, Sisters, Toledo, Brownsville, Grants Pass, Medford, Sunriver, Troutdale, Coburg, Gresham, Metolius, Sweet Home, Tualatin, Coos Bay, Happy Valley, Monmouth, Talent, Veneta, Corvallis, Hood River, Philomath, Tigard, West Linn, Cottage Grove, Irrigon, Portland, Tillamook and Wilsonville.
Arbor Week events abound around the state
The many cities currently planning Arbor Week events with ceremonies or tree plantings include:
The City of Metolius is sponsoring a poster contest for 4th and 5th graders, and winners will be recognized and prizes awarded at a tree planting ceremony April 6th at the City park.
In NE Oregon, the City of La Grande is sponsoring a "Trees are Terrific" poster contest for 4th & 5th graders. Posters will be on display at City Hall and the public library through April, and winners announced at an April 25 tree planting event. The city is also planting street trees on Saturday, April 28th. New this year: tree tags in the center of town, displaying the monetary value of the environmental contributions of each tree.
ODF's Tillamook Forest Center, located 50 miles west of Portland and 22 miles east of Tillamook on Oregon Highway 6, is inviting the public to help with a tree planting in the forest on April 7th. For more info: http://www.tillamookforestcenter.com/events_05.html
The City of Wilsonville's tree planting at 10:30 April 7th is especially significant for the community; they'll be planting 5 Oregon White Oak trees at a prominent corner of Murase Plaza - a focal point of the park system and the community.
Eugene is hosting a tree planting event Saturday, April 7, from 10 – 1:00 at Jefferson Park just west of 16th & Jefferson, along Fern Ridge bike path. A wide turnout is expected including Friends of Trees and Mayor Piercy, and a barbeque lunch for volunteers follows.
The City of Irrigon is celebrating with a tree planting April 20th, and giving away bur oak trees to the first 100 families at the completion of the ceremony.
Hood River is combining Arbor Day with a weeding event at Hood River Waterfront Park April 22nd.
The City of Portland is hosting numerous Arbor Week-related events, including a magnolia tour at Hoyt Arboretum at noon on April 2nd, a talk on drought-tolerant trees at noon, Wednesday April 4th, and a Friends of Trees sponsored tree planting along the bike boulevard from NE Hassalo to SE Bush on Saturday, April 7.
Just because you don't see your city listed here doesn't mean an event isn't planned, so check with local city government officials for details pertaining to your community.
Tips for tree planting at home
For homeowners, now is an excellent opportunity to take stock of trees and plan for the future. If your trees experienced recent storm damage, find a certified arborist to help you assess them. You also might like to consider planting a new tree to improve the look of your property, provide wildlife habitat, a visual screen, and wind or heat protection.
For long-term success, remember these tree planting tips. First, consider the site and room you have available before selecting your tree. For small spaces, consider dogwoods, Japanese maple, or perhaps a Hawthorn. For larger areas that include plenty of overhead room, you can choose from maples, birches, ash, tulip trees, or sycamores.
Trees are often planted too deeply, so when planting a tree, never dig the hole deeper than necessary and plant the tree with the root collar at ground level or slightly (2 inches) higher to allow for settling. Remove all containers, wire, plastic and string from the trunk and roots before planting.
Mulch your tree, as it helps prevent soil temperature and moisture fluctuations during summer months, softens rain penetration during winter, and discourages weeds. Add a depth of 4 to 6 inches of mulch around the base of the tree, leaving 3-4 inches around the base mulch-free.
Fertilizing at the time of planting is not necessary, but the tree should be deeply watered after planting.
More information about trees can be found online, at http://www.treesaregood.com/
To learn more about Arbor Week, visit http://www.arborday.org//oregon/