By Mason Wordell, Urban Forestry Tree Plan Coordinator and AmeriCorps Member
Join Urban Forestry and Roseway Tree Team for an interesting and informative
tree walk along the NE 72nd Avenue park blocks!
9:30 am - 10 am: Register, sign in, have a cup of coffee
10 am - 11:30 am: Walk & Talk with Urban Forestry Staff Jim Gersbach and Neighborhood Tree Steward Catherine Clark
Throughout the walk, they will be highlighting the benefits and beauty of conifers and broadleaf evergreens, along with other new deciduous trees in the blocks. Jim and Catherine will share the history of the blocks, with a focus on new plantings. Our urban tree canopy provides important ecosystem services, such as:
- Mitigating storm-water runoff
- Improving air quality
- Producing oxygen
- Reducing heating and cooling costs
- Providing habitat and food for wildlife
Mature trees are also associated with improved health and social outcomes. Evergreen trees provide these benefits year-round, and are additionally important in providing winter shelter for urban wildlife.
Despite the advantages of evergreens, a recently completed street tree inventory carried out by Urban Forestry and 1,300 volunteers shows that in developed parts of the city, 90% to 98% or more of the street trees are deciduous, and the majority of these are small or medium size. Many of the new trees planted on the park blocks will attain very large size, thus contributing more benefits than smaller trees. Other trees recently planted on the Roseway park blocks are flowering trees with late spring or summer bloom times. This later blooming period extends the availability of nectar for pollinators. Other trees were planted to provide seeds and nuts relished by birds, squirrels, and other animals that share our urban environment.
Read on for some brief tree descriptions of the trees we will be discussing during our walk.
- Colossal Hybrid Chestnut – Castanea x ‘Colossal’
Colossal is the most common chestnut cultivar grown in the Pacific Northwest. It grew popular because it produces big crops of large, sweet-tasting nuts.
- Purple Catalpa – Catalpa x erubescens ‘Purpurea’
The Purple Catalpa is striking due to the purple color of the new leaves in spring. Bears flowers at a young age that are trumpet shaped, white with purple and yellow spotting in the throats
- Common Hackberry - Celtis occidentalis
Hackberry is an alternate-branching, deciduous tree growing 50–80' tall. It bears numerous sweet red then purple pea-sized berries that birds love.
- Chinese Fringe Tree - Chionanthus retusus
Showy white flowers in spring have fringe-like petals, giving the tree its common name. The tree is adaptable to a wide range of environmental conditions, including moderate drought, air pollution and clay soil. It has been cultivated in Western countries since 1845, and its Chinese name is liu su shu.
- American Yellowwood - Cladrastis kentukea
In late May-early June the tree blooms spectacularly with wisteria-like white flowers in clusters 12-14” long at the ends of twigs. This deciduous broadleaf tree is one of the rarer U.S. trees in the wild and is found most commonly along streams draining the western slopes of the Allegheny Mountains in Tennessee and Kentucky.
- Rivers’ Purple European Beech - Fagus sylvatica ‘Riversii’
They are the climax tree in European forests, where their nuts were an important source of food to fatten pigs in autumn. The English word for “book” comes from the old Anglo-Saxon name for the tree, whose smooth bark was used to write on before paper.\
- Princeton Sentry Ginkgo - Ginkgo biloba 'Princeton Sentry'
This male clone is upright 50' to 65' tall and 15' to 20' wide, with the classic fan-shaped leaves Like other ginkgos, this is resistant to many pests and pathogents and tolerates urban conditions.
- Natchez Crape Myrtle - Lagerstroemia x 'Natchez'
One of the most commonly planted hybrid crape myrtles because of its rich, cinnamon red-brown exfoliating bark, big panicles of showy white summer flowers; red-orange fall color; excellent resistance to powdery mildew; enhanced cold hardiness; and upright growth to 30' with a spread of 35'.
- Oregon White Oak - Quercus garryana
Oregon white oak was once one of the predominant trees in the Willamette Valley, but has declined to only 1% of its original range due to clearing of land for agriculture and cessation in the 19th century of underbrush burning by Native Americans. The tree’s nickname, Garry oak, is after Nicholas Garry (circa 1782-1856), the deputy governor of Hudson’s Bay Company who helped botanist David Douglas in his planting hunting in Oregon.
- Silverleaf Oak - Quercus hypoleucoides
The tree’s lance-shaped leaves are dark gray above and silver underneath. They grow at elevations from 5,000’ to 7,000’ in northern Mexico’s Sonora and Chihuahua states, and across the border in the mountains of New Mexico, Arizona and west Texas.
- Chinkapin Oak - Quercus muehlenbergii
They superficially resemble a chestnut leaf, hence the tree’s common name – chinkapin being a common name for an American chestnut. Chinkapin Oak has one of the widest natural distributions of any North American oak. It is unusual for most oaks as it tolerates alkaline, limestone soils.
- Monterrey Oak / Mexican White Oak - Quercus polymorpha
An evergreen broadleaf tree native to northern Mexico. Monterrey oak requires full sun but is very tolerant of heat and very drought tolerant, even when relatively young.
- Northern Red Oak - Quercus rubra
The acorns, which take two years to mature, are an important food source for wildlife, especially squirrels that like to bury and store acorns in the fall. It is the state tree of New Jersey and the provincial tree of Canada's Prince Edward Island.
- Island Oak - Quercus tomentella
It has leathery 2-4" oval leaves, that are dark green on top and gray-green with tan hairs below, although they become less wooly with age. It is considered a relict population that originally had a wider range on the West Coast. Along with canyon live oak (Q. chrysolepis) it is a member of Protobalanus, the oaks intermediate between the red and white oaks.
- Southern Live Oak - Quercus virginiana
Live oak has strong wood, a deep taproot, and an extensive root system, making it exceptionally stable in high winds. The small acorns (1/2 inch to 1 inch long) are shiny, ranging in color from tan-brown to nearly black.
- Giant Sequoia - Sequoiadendron giganteum
Giant sequoias are the world's largest tree by volume. Millions of years ago the trees were widespread around the planet, growing in the Arctic during warmer periods in Earth's history. The trees eventually died out everywhere but in the Sierra Nevada of California, however Giant sequoias grow vigorously in western Oregon and have few pests or diseases.
Still reading? Join us as we explore the exciting new large-canopy, pollinator-friendly and evergreen trees in Roseway. Register here!
For more information, or if you have something you want to talk about, contact:
Mason Wordell, Tree Plan Coordinator and AmeriCorps member