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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

Madrona Park Nurse Log Dedication

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