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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry News and Activities 

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News Alert: 25,000 Trees in Flower Across Portland!

You've probably noticed them as you go about your daily trips around the city - clouds of pink and white have appeared along our streets, as they do around this time each year. These harbingers of spring are flowering plums and cherries, which have been planted in Portland for decades because of their beautiful spring flowers. While there are countless hybrids out there, the most common flowering plum you see is Prunus cerasifera and the most common flowering cherries are the Akebono (Prunus x yedoensis "Akebono') and Kwanzan (Prunus serrulata 'Kwanzan'). Those beauties on the waterfront? Akebono. 

Thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who mapped and measured every street tree in the city as part of the Tree Inventory Project, we can find them in each one of Portland's neighborhoods. Check out Urban Forestry's Flowering Tree Map and go on a tree walk in your neighborhood!

Use the Flowering Tree Map to find those plums, cherries, and all the other trees along Portland's streets

Announcing the 2018 Park Tree Inventory Locations!

Congratulations to all the Neighborhood Tree Teams whose parks were accepted for this year’s inventory. Urban Forestry will be working with these groups over the next 6 months to recruit volunteers and inventory every tree in each of these parks. Among this year’s list are some of Portland’s most iconic parks and some of our most glorious trees. Below is the list of this year’s parks—if you are interested in joining your neighborhood group in organizing these events, send an email to

2018 Inventory Parks

  • Argay Park
  • Columbia Park
  • Downtown Parks
  • Ed Benedict Park
  • Fernhill Park
  • Gabriel Park
  • Kenton Park
  • Lair Hill Park
  • Laurelhurst Park
  • Lincoln Park
  • Peninsula Park
  • Willamette Park

Click here to see a larger version of the 2018 Inventory map.

Now Hiring Urban Forestry Seasonal Staff

Multiple opportunities available!

Inventory photo

Urban Forestry Seasonal Positions - Apply Today!

Accepting Applications Until 3/19/2018

Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry is seeking seasonal staff to work with its outreach and science group conducting work with tree inventory, monitoring, and stewardship activities. Multiple positions are open for "Park Tree Inventory Coordinator" and "Urban Forest Inventory Data Collector."

For further information and to apply, please visit: You may apply to one or both positions simultaneously.


Park Tree Inventory Coordinators represent the Tree Inventory Project, working with volunteers and neighborhood groups to collect and manage data about Portland's trees. For more information, please contact:

Duties will include the following:

  • Conduct Park Tree Inventory workshops with volunteers in Portland neighborhoods. This includes public speaking, training volunteers, organizing logistics, and checking data for accuracy.
  • Collect tree data in Portland parks, including tree identification, measurement, and assessment using mobile ArcGIS.
  • Manage and analyze data in Excel and ArcGIS.

Desired qualifications include:  

  • Tree identification skills, especially non-native trees
  • Experience collecting and maintaining data, especially with mobile devices
  • Experience with ArcGIS and Excel
  • Experience working with volunteers
  • Ability to work independently
  • Organization skills and attention to detail
  • Writing and communication skills, including digital outreach and public speaking

Position details: 

  • Work schedule is 40 hours/week and often includes Saturdays and evenings.
  • Position start date May 3, 2018 and runs 5-6 months
  • Starting pay rate is $17/hour.
  • Work site is 10910 N. Denver Ave., Portland, OR 97217



Urban Forest Inventory Data Collectors will provide field support to crew leaders in data collection for the Urban Forest Inventory and Analysis (UFIA), in collaboration with the US Forest Service. For more information, please contact:

Duties will include:

  • Contacting and communicating with property owners; obtaining permissions to collect inventory data on their property.
  • Assisting crew leaders in field data collection, including: land use type, land use boundaries, mapping tree locations, identification and assessment of tree      species and size, understory vegetation, soil type and ground cover.
  • Accurately identifying urban ornamental trees, native trees, and invasive plant species.
  • Accurate data recording and management using paper and electronic devices in the field.

Desired Qualifications include:

  • Tree identification skills, native and non-native trees
  • Invasive plant identification skills
  • Signs and symptoms of common pests and pathogens occurring on native and urban ornamental trees in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Experience collecting and maintaining data on paper and mobile electronic devices
  • Organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to communicate with stakeholders, effectively and professionally via phone, email, and in-person
  • Experience with ArcGIS and Excel
  • University coursework in forestry, botany, GIS or related subject
  • Work constructively in a team environment

Position details:

  • Work schedule is 40 hours/week, may include evening and weekend work
  • Position start date May 3, 2018 and runs approximately 5 months
  • Starting pay rate is $17/hour.
  • Work site is 10910 N. Denver Ave., Portland, OR 97217

Required for All Positions: Valid driver's license and acceptable driving record, must pass a criminal background check, and must be at least 18 years of age.

To be considered for one or both positions, please go to:

If you are requesting Veteran’s Preference, attach a copy of your DD214/DD215 and/or Veteran’s Administration letter stating your disability to your profile. You must request Veteran’s Preference AND include a copy of your documentation for each recruitment you apply for. Veteran’s Preference documentation must be submitted with your application.

Portland Parks & Recreation values a diverse workforce and seeks ways to promote equity and inclusion within the organization.  PP&R encourages candidates with knowledge, ability and experience working with a broad range of individuals and diverse communities to apply. PP&R encourages candidates that can fluently speak more than one language.

Non-citizen applicants must be authorized to work in the United States at time of application.

It is the policy of the City of Portland that no person shall be discriminated against based on race, religion, color, sex, marital status, family status, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or source of income. The City values diversity and encourages everyone who is interested in employment with the City to apply. If you wish to identify yourself as an individual with a disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and will be requesting accommodation, the requests must be made to the contact named above no later than the closing date of this announcement.

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

Orchard Stewards Needed!

Volunteers needed 10-15 hours/month

Do you love fruit trees? Would you enjoy growing and pruning persimmons, Asian pears, figs, apples, quince, and medlars? Urban Forestry is seeking two volunteers to help maintain our demonstration orchard. Planted in 2010, the orchard is home to 55 diverse species of fruit and nut trees. This demonstration site is used to teach fruit tree pruning and care and is primarily maintained by volunteers. We are seeking two volunteers to visit regularly and assist with maintenance and education activities. If you are passionate about fruit trees, don't mind getting your hands dirty, and can work independently, this is a great opportunity for you! 

Volunteer time commitment: 10-15 hours per month, mostly during business hours (Monday through Friday between 7 am and 3:30 pm). Please be able to commit to six months.

Location: Urban Forestry, 10910 N Denver Ave. Learn more about the trees here.  

Activities include:

  • Conduct maintenance activities, including weeding, training, pruning, fruit thinning, fruit sox application, harvest, and mason bee care
  • Keep tree tags and records updated
  • Take photos and write social media posts on fruit tree maintenance
  • Visit other community orchards to gather ideas for education and management
  • Develop an annual maintenance and education schedule
  • Help host quarterly volunteer events

To apply, please send a short letter of interest, resume if you have one handy, and your availability to: We will review interest letters on March 19, 2018.


On Oregon's 159th birthday, celebrate our state tree the Douglas-fir!

One of Oregon’s most beloved native trees, and our state tree since 1939, Douglas-fir is seen in parks and yards across the city of Portland. These trees can grow to be 300 feet tall with a 10 foot diameter, and are long-lived. In fact, Portland's tallest tree is Heritage Tree #134, a 242-foot Douglas-fir growing alongside Balch Creek in Forest Park. In the urban environment, Douglas-fir provide important habitat for animals such as residential and migrating birds, along with countless insects and mammals. Douglas-firs are commonly identified by their cones, which feature 3-pointed bracts between the scales that some people think resemble the back legs and tail of a mouse. Most people are familiar with the shaggy appearance of the Douglas-fir caused by their unique branching form; coupled with height, a Douglas-fir embodies the iconic beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

A volunteer with the Tree Inventory Project works on measuring a Douglas-fir in Wilshire Park in 2017

For true tree nerds, Douglas-fir's various names over the years provide a lesson in just how complicated taxonomy can be! Douglas-fir is not a true fir (Abies genus), which is why a hyphen is always included in the common name. Instead it belongs to the genus Pseudotsuga, which means “false hemlock” (tsuga being the name for hemlock in Japanese). While it's common name honors the Scottish botanist David Douglas, who explored the Pacific Northwest in the 1820's (see a recent blog post on him here), its botanic name (Pseudotsuga menziesii) gives that honor to Archibald Menzies, another Scottish botanist who traveled here two decades prior, and who first described the tree to Europeans back home. This means the "Latin name" for our state tree actually includes 3 languages! Maybe we should just call them Oregon pines like they used to!

For more on how our state tree got its name, see this great post by our friends at the OSU Department of Horticulture, and raise a glass to it on our state's birthday this February 14th.

Posted 2/12/2018