Oregon’s Arbor Week takes place April 7-13 and 57 Oregon cities are slated to be recognized as Tree City USA (TCUSA) communities. Medford’s ceremony is today at the Bear Creek Park ampitheater. Helpers from the Oregon Dept. of Forestry’s Medford Unit and volunteers (photo above) handed out conifer seedlings to visitors. ODF’s Matthew Krunglevich presented a Tree City USA banner to the City of Medford during a ceremony at the park.
Tree City USA (TCUSA), sponsored by the Oregon Department of Forestry, is a program of the Arbor Day Foundation. TCUSA recognizes cities with programs that plant, plan for and care for trees.
Three new cities earn TCUSA status
Newest additions to Oregon’s growing list of tree-friendly communities are the cities of Newport in Lincoln County; Oregon City, southeast of Portland in Clackamas County, and Independence, located southwest of Salem in Polk County. All three cities receive their first-ever awards this month, and all TCUSA communities are holding an Arbor Day event.
“Trees are important to Oregon’s quality of life, where we have some of the most productive forestland in the world, and some of the most livable cities around,” says Paul Ries, manager of the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Urban and Community Forestry Program. Trees and forests enhance quality of life by providing wood products, fish and wildlife habitat, shade, economic benefits, clean, healthy streams, and by raising property values, adds Ries.
All Oregon TCUSA cities earn recertification In addition to the three new TCUSA cities, all Oregon “Tree Cities” earned recertification this year. They are:
Albany * Ashland* Baker City * Bandon * Banks * Beaverton * Bend * Brownsville * Coburg *Coos Bay * Corvallis * Cottage Grove *Dallas * Eagle Point * Echo * Eugene * Forest Grove * Gervais *Grants Pass *Gresham * Happy Valley *Hood River * Klamath Falls * La Grande *Lake Oswego* Lebanon *Lincoln City * Madras *McMinnville *Medford *Metolius *Monmouth * Philomath* Portland *Redmond*Rogue River *Salem * Sandy *Scio *Seaside*Sherwood *Sisters *Sunriver *Sweet Home *Talent * Tigard*Tillamook * Toledo *Troutdale * Tualatin * Veneta * West Linn * Wilsonville.
Some cities earn Growth Awards
“Growth City” awards are presented to recognize cities for certain tree-related achievements the previous year. Growth Award Cities are:
Western Oregon: Tigard, Salem, Gresham, Portland, Forest Grove, Sweet Home, Medford, Lebanon, Banks Eastern Oregon: Echo, Hood River and LaGrande
Rogue River is celebrating its 30th year as a Tree City USA. Other cities with benchmark anniversaries include Grants Pass (25 years), West Linn (20 years), Madras (20 years), along with Wilsonville (15 years), Seaside (15 years) and the City of Coburg (15 years).
Arbor week events
The many cities currently planning Arbor Week events with ceremonies or tree plantings include Wilsonville, Newport and Lincoln City. Check with local city government officials for details pertaining to your community.
Some cities will have members of Oregon Community Trees’ Board present awards this year.The mission of Oregon Community Trees (OCT) is to promote healthy urban and community forests through leadership, education, awareness and advocacy. OCT is an important advisory group to ODF’s urban and community forestry program.
Tips for tree planting at home
For gardeners and homeowners, now is an excellent time to take stock of trees and plan for the future. Consider how planting new trees might improve the look of your property and provide wildlife habitat, scenic beauty, a visual screen, and wind or heat protection. For long-term success, remember these tree planting tips.
Trees that are planted too deeply are often not given their best odds for long-term survival and growth. When planting a tree, never dig the hole deeper than necessary and plant the tree with the root collar at ground level or slightly (2”) higher to allow for settling. Also remove all containers, wire, plastic and string from the trunk and roots before planting.
Fertilizing at the time of planting is not necessary; however, deeply water your tree after planting.