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From Stumptown to Treetown Tree #2 The Burrell Elm

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By David-Paul Hedberg

Trees are historic landmarks. This American Elm, Portland’s first historic landmark tree, is the last living connection to a neighborhood that was once full of homes and gardens. Rosetta Burrell, one of Portland’s socially minded women, planted it in her lush garden around 1875. Westshore magazine featured Mrs. Burrell’s home and garden in 1888-- a nineteenth-century "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" if you will. An active member of the First Unitarian Church and the League of Women Voters, Mrs. Burrell made many important social contributions to the city. In 1887, she was instrumental in founding the Portland Woman’s Union, and donated $10,000 of her own money to build the Martha Washington Hotel: a boarding house for single mothers that also provided educational training. Over the years the Burrell’s suburban home became part of the downtown core. The gardens, greenhouses, and stables were cleared to make room for more dense development. By 1973, all that remained of the Burrell’s property was the elm tree. That year, a member of the Oregon Historical Society had an idea: If the city of Portland could preserve historic buildings, why not a historic tree? So in 1975 the city’s Historical Landmarks Commission approved the Burrell Elm as the first landmark tree in the city. As a historic landmark, it’s no surprise that this tree was first on the list when the city created the Heritage Tree ordinance in 1993. Now legally protected, any construction or development that could affect the tree requires approval of the City Forester.

Download your free copy of my book "From Stumptown to Treetown" and get outside to explore Portland's oldest living features! Follow me on Instagram  and Twitter to learn more about our shared history.

Summer Outreach Booth

Urban Forestry Outreach Booth Summer 2015

PP&R Urban Forestry Outreach Booth will be teaching about trees this summer at community events. Staffed by Urban Forestry seasonal staff, Dayja Curry, this booth will teach tree biology, tree pruning, general tree care, and benefits of urban trees.  This booth will also provide fun art activities and give out free tree seedlings.  If you are interested in helping Dayja at the Urban Forestry Booth please email  Please take this great opportunity to share your tree knowledge with other Portlanders and help staff the urban forestry booth.


Date Event Location
Wednesday, July 08, 2015 Movie Despicable Me 2  Peninsula Park
Thursday, July 09, 2015 Movie The Princess Bride Woodlawn
Saturday, July 11, 2015 Mississippi street Fair ANTT Neighborhood 
Sunday, July 12, 2015 Movie The Book of Life  
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 Muthaship  Music Dawson Park
Thursday, July 16, 2015 Concert Vagabond Opera - Eccentric Operatic Cabaret Glenhaven
Friday, July 17, 2015 Movie The Imitation Game Irving Park
Saturday, July 18, 2015 Tree HUG  Hoyt
Saturday, July 18, 2015 Movie Back to the Future Glenhaven
Sunday, July 19, 2015 Movie Goonies Lent Green team Lent school
Monday, July 20, 2015 Sellwood Concert  
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 Concert  Mt Tabor
Wednesday, July 22, 2015 Movie Big Hero 6  Reed College Sports Field
Friday, July 24, 2015 Movie The Never Ending Story Woodstock park
Saturday, July 25, 2015 Movie Wreck it Ralph Russian Lent Park
Monday, July 27, 2015 Concert Sellwood   
Wednesday July 29 Jackson Middle School MOvie
Friday, July 31, 2015 Movie Laurelhurst Park Toy Story II
Saturday, August 01, 2015 Earl Boyles Park SE 112th & Boise  
Sunday, August 02, 2015 Sellwood Movie Frozen
Tuesday, August 04, 2015 Movie Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Gateway Green?
Wednesday, August 05, 2015   Ventura Park
Thursday, August 06, 2015 Tony Starlight Berrydale Park
Saturday, August 08, 2015 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Wilkes Park
Sunday, August 09, 2015 Movie April Hill Park
Monday, August 10, 2015 Concert REGGIE HOUSTON’S CRESCENT CITY Washington Park 
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 Concert Little Sue Kenton park
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 Concert Pete Krebs & the Earnest Lovers - Old School Western Swing Ventura Park 
Saturday, August 15, 2015 Jade District Market Jade District night market
Sunday, August 16, 2015 Movie Mary Poppins Arbor Lodge Park
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 Concert Pa'Lante McCoy Park
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 Movie ET Wellington Park NE 66th & Skidmore
Thursday, August 20, 2015 Concert Keegan Smith - Original Urban Americana Berrydale
Saturday, August 22, 2015 Jade District Market Jade District night market
Sunday, August 23, 2015 Sunday Parkways Belmont and SE
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 Movie- 101 Dalmations Mt Scott Park
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 ConcertObo Addy Legacy Project: Okropong  Ventura Park
Friday, August 28, 2015 Movie Home Montivilla Park
Saturday, August 29, 2015 Movie Back To the Future Spring Garden park
Saturday, September 05, 2015 Movie Maleficent Hamilton park
Sunday, September 06, 2015 Movie Toy Story Overlook Park
Friday, September 11, 2015 Movie Big Hero 6 Multnomah Art Center 7688 SE Capitol
Saturday, September 12, 2015 Belmont Street Fair Belmont Street Team
Sunday, September 27, 2015 SundayParkways Sellwood and Tillicum Crossing 

Dutch Elm Disease Season 2015

Elm Trees


Following a particularly dry year, the City’s elms are hanging in there, but some are looking stressed. With sixteen elm samples currently being cultured in the lab and seven elm trees to be sampled, the true extent of Dutch elm disease this year remains to be seen.

So far, one right-of-way elm in the south of Eastmoreland has tested positive for Dutch elm disease. Elms in this area have tested positive for Dutch elm disease in the past. Additionally, three elms at Lovejoy Fountain, another Dutch elm disease hotspot, are scheduled to be removed soon due to severe decline and showing signs of the disease. One Heritage Dutch elm in Northwest Portland and one elm in Southwest Portland are dead or in severe decline, with removal pending. One young dead hybrid elm from the South Park Blocks has been removed.


With three major elm locations and several more individual Heritage elms receiving inoculations in June, elm inoculation season is off to a strong start. Despite this year’s high temperatures, the elms have proven to take up the inoculant more quickly and successfully than expected. Nineteen trees in

Wallace Park and trees in portions of North Park Blocks and the Plaza Blocks received inoculations by Urban Forestry Arborist Todd Keeland, with the assistance of Urban Forestry Establishers Steve Robinson, Xavier Ritchie-Martinez, Laura van Fleet, and Jess Tyler. Urban Forestry is set to inoculate a total of 125 elms this summer.

While Eastmoreland completed their elm inoculations mid-June, Save Our Elms’ inoculations in Ladd’s Addition are still pending.

Folks with any elm concerns or questions can contact Natasha Lipai, Urban Forestry’s Elm Monitor. Natasha can be reached at 503-823-8398 or at with any elm/DED-related questions.  


10 Trees That Witnessed Portland's History

Portland’s urban forest is rooted in history. Relive that history through a look at 10 Heritage Trees in downtown Portland.  Painstakingly researched by David Hedberg at Portland State University, in partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry, From Stumptown to Treetown, connects historic photos to those same trees today, and invites you to explore Portland’s oldest living features.

Download the book here:

From Stumptown to Treetown: A Field Guide for Interpreting Portland’s History though its Heritage Trees,

Join the Parks Team! AmeriCorps Members sought for Tree Plan and Stewardship Equity Coordinators

Applications due July 12, 2015

Passionate about community outreach and environmental stewardship? Portland Parks & Recreation is seeking three AmeriCorps members to work with our environmental stewardship and urban forestry programs to help us better serve our diverse communities.

Tree Plan Coordinator (2 positions)

This position engages neighborhoods in the street tree inventory project and tree plan workshop events for neighborhood tree teams. These workshops include tree pruning, planting, species diversity, tree care, and other topics. You will promote the city’s street tree inventory project to diverse residents and communities throughout Portland. For the full description, please click here. 

Stewardship Equity Coordinator (1 position):

This position evaluates barriers to participation by diverse communities including communities of color in the PP&R City Nature natural areas stewardship program. Determine gaps in current volunteer demographics, and create a strategy to engage underserved communities by forming new community partnerships and leading hands-on restoration events in natural areas throughout Portland, particularly in Portland’s eastside. These projects will connect local non-profits, communities of faith and individuals in underserved communities through hands-on natural area restoration projects around native and invasive plants, local wildlife, and watershed health. For the full description, please click here.

These positions also include professional development activities through Confluence such as a Professional Development Series, completing a Change Agent Project, team meetings, National Service events and other self-directed development.

Applications are due July 12, 2015. See full descriptions for application details.

Position term: September 9, 2015 - July 29, 2016 (11 months – 1700 hours)

Benefits: monthly living allowance ($12,530 paid over the term of service), education award of $5,730, loan forbearance, basic medical insurance, child care allowance for those who qualify

To learn more about Confluence AmeriCorps positions, visit
For more about Portland Parks & Recreation visit

Street tree pruning with AmeriCorps members in Brooklyn in 2015