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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)

Fax: 503-823-6007

1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204

Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry News and Activities 

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Madrona Park Nurse Log Dedication

Wednesday, May 20 6:45 pm at Madrona Park

Madrone on ground Feb 16 2015

Back in February on a windless day, Portland’s only heritage madrone failed, falling across a walking path in Madrona Park. Urban Forestry carefully removed the 60 foot tree. This beautiful, sentinel tree, and namesake of the park, had been in decline for several years. Many in the community were sad to see its death. To celebrate this tree, and provide habitat to the park this venerable madrone tree’s remains will be returned to the park as a nurse log.

Nurse logs are rotting logs that provide the nutrients and habitat for the next generation of plants and animals in forests.  As the log decomposes its nutrients are released back into the soil, providing substrate for seed to germinate, decomposers to live and habitat for animals.  Nurse logs are the foundation of the food web and provide insects, amphibians, small invertebrates and mammals a place to live.   

Since the tree fell on a walking path it could not be left where it landed. Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry staff removed and stored the madrone in 20-foot lengths until a location could be decided to place the madrone back in the park. On  March 18 Portland Parks & Recreation Natural Area Supervisor Lynn Barlow, Ecologist Laura Guderyahn, Urban Forestry Outreach specialist Karl Dawson, Overlook Neighborhood Vice Chair Alan Cranna and neighbors Herb and Judy Perrin met to talk about where to put the nurse log in Madrona Park. It was decided to place the tree on the north side of the field close to where the tree grew. This is in the wooded area of the park and visible to users.

Please join Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry, Overlook Neighborhood Association, and Sustainable Overlook to celebrate this magnificent tree as it continues the cycle of life with a celebration Wednesday, May 20 at 6:45 pm. There will be food, heritage tree coasters/necklaces souvenirs, historical information and fun kids educational activities.  As well as information about future restoration efforts and volunteer opportunities in the Park.

When: Wednesday, May 20  6:45 pm

Where: Madrona Park 2499 N Wygant (limited parking please use Wygant, Humboldt or Alberta to access the park)


 Madrone in 2003           Madrona in December 2014 

 Heritage Madrona Tree 2003                                     Heritage Madrona Tree December 2014

 top: February 16 2015 Overlook neighbors who witnessed the tree fall inspect the damage. 

 below new resting spot of madrone nurse log

Madrone Nurse log



Join the Heritage Tree Committee

New Committee Members Sought

Thank you for your interest in the Heritage Tree Committee! We are seeking new committee members. 

Please complete a committee interest form by August 1, 2015 and email to Interest forms will be reviewed in August for a September start date.

About Heritage Trees
Heritage Trees are trees that have been formally recognized by City Council for their unique size, age, historical or horticultural significance. Heritage Trees are protected by City Code; once designated, no Heritage Tree can be removed without the consent of the Urban Forestry Commission and the Portland City Council. The program is administered by the Heritage Tree Committee and Portland Parks Urban Forestry. The committee Chair is a member of the Urban Forestry Commission. Volunteers and staff work together to review nominations, monitor tree conditions, and educate the public on the program.

Committee Members must be able and willing to:

  • Commit to a two-year appointment
  • Commit to 60 hours of volunteer time per calendar year
  • Attend meetings and field tours. Meetings are held every two months on Fridays from 8-10 am. Field tours occur approximately twice a year and occur on weekdays from 8 am – 3:30 pm.

 Committee Member responsibilities include:

  • Attend meetings and field tours
  • Become familiar with the 300 trees in the system by visiting trees independently and reviewing program materials
  • Evaluate nominated trees for fit into the program
  • Assist with updating tree measurements
  • Maintain and write meeting minutes, policies, and bylaws
  • Respond to some public inquiries on the program
  • Participate in educational events on Heritage Trees alongside Urban Forestry staff

Download the interest form here

Flowering Tree Tour

When: Saturday April 25 1-3 pm
Where: Belmont Library, 1038 Cesar E Chavez Blvd

Join the Sunnyside Street Tree Team for a walking tour to explore and learn about spring flowering trees in the neighborhood. Meet at 1 pm for refreshments and introductions and the tour begins at 1:30 pm. 

Treevia! With Woodstock Tree Team

Treevia! With Woodstock Tree Team

When: Wednesday, April 15  5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Where: Woodstock Wine and Deli, 4030 SE Woodstock Blvd

Register here

End tax day with a rousing round of Treevia with the Woodstock Tree Team. This tree-centric trivia night offers prizes, comraderie, and a chance to show off your tree knowledge. Minors welcome.

Can you name this tree?

May 6th Portland Tree Care Providers Workshop

 Tree Marked for Inspection for Removal

April 2, 2015

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:

Mark Ross, Public Information Officer

503.823.5300; cell 503.823.6634

Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry offers commercial tree care provider training for Portland area arborists, landscapers and other green-industry professionals who want to be recognized on Portland Parks & Recreation website.  

What:                  Portland Tree Care Providers Workshop 

When:                 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.  Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Where:                Mt Scott Community Center, 5530 SE 72 Ave Portland, OR 97206

Cost:                   Free to all commercial arborist and landscape companies space is limited and registration is required

To register:

(Portland, OR) – Portland is a city of trees. There are over 238,000 street trees alone, and another 1.2 million trees in our parks and natural areas. The rest of the urban tree canopy, which covers over 29% of the city, are trees on private property, including neighborhood yards and gardens.

Most homeowners and businesses depend on professional arborists to help them maintain the trees in front of and on their property.

To increase understanding and compliance with city rules and regulations regarding tree care removal and planting, the City is providing training for companies that care for trees in Portland.  Training will cover:

               •             Title 11 rules and regulations for public and privately-owned trees

               •             How to fill out a tree permit

               •             Tips for ensuring your permit is approved

               •             Tree mitigation plans and tree selection 

               •             Working with customers to explain the tree code

Upon completing the workshop and providing City and State license numbers, participating businesses will be added to the  “Portland Tree Care Providers List” on the Portland Parks & Recreation website.  In addition, certified Arborists will be eligible to receive two International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) continuing education units for attending this workshop.  Please bring your ISA certification number with you to receive credits.

The City of Portland is committed to preserving, protecting and enhancing our urban forest. The work done by green-industry professionals is crucial to achieving these goals. Local arborists, landscapers and others, are encouraged to take advantage of this free workshop and learn more about the City’s rules and regulations. Please call Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry at 503.823.TREE or email for more information.