Summer in the Urban Forest Edition  | August 2018
Community Tree Connections
The Newsletter of Oregon's Urban & Community Forestry 
Assistance Program
Downtown Victoria BC. June 2018            photo K Ramstad

Two upcoming Urban Forest Connections Webinars produced by the USDA Forest Service's National Urban Forest Technology & Science Delivery Team
To register for the two webinars below, subscribe for reminders, and find out more go HERE 

(1) A New Road to Funding Urban Forestry Projects through Carbon Credit Generation
Mark McPherson, City Forest Credits
Anna Mackey & Collin McMichael, TreeFolks
August 8, 2018  1:00-2:15pm EDT
     Mark McPherson of City Forest Credits will present an overview of carbon credits, the urban forest protocols, and the Early Adopter projects and buyers. Anna Mackey and Collin McMichael will then describe the multi-stakeholder work in Austin to implement a pilot Carbon+ project and to plan for a longer-term program. They will discuss the steps to implementation, revenues and costs, and opportunities and challenges for that longer-term program.
(2) Construction Damage, Severe Storms, and Tree Failure Analysis
Eric North, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Larry Costello, University of California Emeritus & Oracle Oak LLC
September 12, 2018  1:00pm-2:15pm EDT
(No info on this webinar available yet from website)

TCUSA portal up and functional to accept 2018 applications
September 4, 2018
Tree Risk Management Webinar
Mark Duntemann
Sept 4, 11,18
For more info HERE
The cost for the series is $115, and the 3-module series will 'air' September 4, 11, and 18 (all Tuesdays); plenty of ISA CEUs are available. Each module runs 1.5 hours and will be available in 4 different timeslots on those Tuesdays.

 Stop by the ODF booth at the League of OR Cities!
September 27-28
Say Hi, "talk trees" with us, arrange for an onsite visit, and pick up urban forestry information.
 International Urban Forestry Congress (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
Sept 30-Oct 3, 2018.
"The Urban Forest - Diverse in Nature"
For more info HERE
This is a unique partnership, combining the PNW chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture's Annual Training conference, Tree Canada's Canadian Urban Forest Conference, and the Urban Tree Diversity Conference. Note that listed conference costs are in Canadian dollars.

Society of American Foresters National Convention
(Portland Oregon)
Oct 3-7, 2018
For more info HERE
FYI: the SAF convention has urban forestry tracks and CEUs.

Partners in Urban and Community Forestry Conference
  (Irvine, California)
Nov 7-8, 2018
For more info HERE
View the conference video

2019 Municipal Forestry Institute
(Oregon Garden Resort, Silverton, OR)
Feb 24-Mar 5, 2019
For more info HERE 
Please see article at right.
Ongoing: PNW-ISA classes on tree care
For upcoming classes go HERE

Helpful links and information
Watering & Drought

Oregon State University Master Gardener Watering Tips

ODF's Forest Health Fact Sheet on  drought stress in conifers

To view the Western USA, and the entire country, take a sobering look at the  drought maps of Oregon

OSU extension has a brochure on how to  water wisely in your backyard

Another excellent resource the Morton Arboretum's tree  watering information
The lower part of this website has a comparison of using soil probes, buckets, and watering bags for watering trees.

Other Links of Interest

Oregon's  Emerald Ash Borer State Preparedness Plan outlines what you should do if you notice dead ash trees, and other EAB indicators in your city!

Retired ODF public affairs-urban forestry liaison and arborist, Cynthia Orlando wrote this interesting article: Plants that are good for your garden are good for you 
Quick Links
Oregon Heritage Trees
Contact Us
Kristin Ramstad 
Urban & Community Forestry Program Manager
Katie Lompa
Community Assistance Forester
541- 480-3790

Community Tree Connections (CTC) is a periodic publication by the Oregon Department of Forestry, Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program. Our mission is to help Oregonians improve their quality of life by promoting community investment in our urban forests. Subscriptions to this newsletter are free and available by contacting ODF. CTC is published in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service. The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Connect with Us

Hello and Happy Summer,


      In June, my family and I vacationed on Vancouver Island, B.C., and spent a couple of days in Victoria. This is a city for urban foresters, with interesting trees and U&CF management decisions everywhere. The photo above is of "rounded" hornbeams, which I had never seen. (I am guessing it could be Carpinus betulus 'Emerald Avenue?') 

Empress hotel and trees. Victoria BC. June 2018    photo K Ramstad

Love 'em or hate 'em, this tree has always amazed me with its resilience and versatility. Another street tree standout were healthy and graceful columnar beeches, F.s. fastigiata, which seemed to be right at home downtown amid the city's taller buildings.


In this newsletter, we are focusing on keeping your trees well-watered and thriving during the summer. While it is great to "go brown" with your lawn or in your city parks, your trees will often suffer during the dry summer, and annual seasonal droughts can have cumulative negative effects on your trees. Since trees give us so much, it makes sense to keep them healthy with summer watering.


We have also included an informative Tree City USA info-graphic, news about Oregon Community Trees, and information on the Municipal Forestry Institute (MFI), which will be returning to the Oregon Garden in February 2019. In the left panel, look for upcoming events and links to interesting websites. As always, we have the "Click of Trees" at the end.


Stay cool, and please water your trees!


Please Water your Trees!
Both Western Oregon, characterized by a Mediterranean "wet winter, dry summer" climate, and Central and Eastern Oregon, with low annual precipitation throughout the year, have been drier than ever these last few summers. Many trees in cities, even mature ones, have succumbed to drought. In all cities, we need trees most when the heat climbs. Given the expenses of tree maintenance, cities need to take the long-view when it comes to keeping their urban forest investments alive.
Early fall color caused by drought stress                    photo K Ramstad
How should we think about trees and dry season watering?
Before planting
The health and longevity of a tree is directly correlated to the quality and quantity of soil, and the availability of water/moisture when it is needed. Do not plant trees in shallow soil. Make sure there is plenty of good soil for the tree roots to grow into; trees will not reach their full potential in subsoil or in areas where soil is limited. Figure out how you will get water to the tree for at LEAST the first 3 years after transplanting.
Young trees (1-4 years since transplanting)
When newly planted and through a tree's first season, apply water only to the top of the root ball. If watering is forgotten or neglected on a young tree, the root ball will dry out and actually repel water. As trees become more established and roots expand into surrounding soil, include the surrounding soil in your watering routine. Keep grass and other moisture-using plants away from the dripline of the tree. For great instructions on watering a newly planted tree try this!
Maturing trees (5 years plus)
If planted in areas with poor soil, shallow soil, or limited soil volume, even long-established trees can die during the dry season. If a tree's leaves start to lose their luster, turn color early, or look droopy, the tree needs water - pronto! It will usually cost much less
Established trees struggling
despite wide planter strip
  photo K Ramstad
to provide water for a stressed tree, over the course of 2-3 weeks, than the expense of removing it when dead, grinding the stump, preparing the site for another tree, and purchasing and planting a new tree. Drip hoses spiraling around the dripline and slightly beyond, allowed to run for several hours are best for rewetting the soil. Remember, if the soil is completely dry, it will initially repel water before allowing it to seep into the deeper reaches of soil. You can view an excellent 3.5 minute video on watering large trees right here.
How much? How often?
Moisture needs will differ according to the soil type and quantity, species of tree, age of tree, ambient temperature, proximity if competing plants, wind, etc. Generally speaking, when the tree is young and newly planted, plan to apply 2 gallons per inch of trunk caliper* 2-3 times a week, mid April through September in most areas of Oregon. Older trees may need only 2-3 good soaks every month or so. The soil should be moistened several inches below the soil surface, which can be tested using a long screw driver (as seen in video links, above). Generously-mulched trees need less water. Avoid fertilizing the tree and the grass around the tree, since more fertilizer results in more leaf growth, which increases moisture needs.
*Caliper is the measure of the diameter of a tree stem close to the ground, and should not be confused with Diameter at Breast Height measurement. Caliper measurements on young trees are taken 6 inches above the soil. Once a tree's caliper exceeds 4 inches, the tree is measured at a height of 12 inches.
Statewide Drought Stress Info from
ODF's Forest Health Program
(With appreciation to Christine Buhl, ODF entomologist )
If you are seeing dead trees in the landsc
Conifers showing drought stress in WV photo ODF
ape and in the woods, they are probably reflecting the stresses of several seasons of drought, not just this one. Recall that many areas of Oregon were in drought conditions from 2012-2015, from the end of the summer 2017 until now.
Drought can cause collapse of vascular tissues and death of fine roots, which is hard if not impossible for even mature trees to recover from. If watering is a possibility, water trees slowly. [Please see videos and links provided in this newsletter.]
Realize that we will continue to have drought in coming years, so reduce competing vegetation; do not "over-plant" trees in landscapes; do not fertilize trees to "green them up," since fertilizing increases water needs; plant trees that when mature will become drought tolerant (all trees need generous watering after transplanting to establish well); bark beetles and other insects take advantage of drought-stressed conifers that cannot produce enough pitch to keep them out.
For blog posts on droughty conditions in the Willamette Valley by Extension forester Brad Withrow-Robinson, go
here for Part 1 (posted in 2013)  and here for Part 2 (posted in 2014) -- both are still relevant..

Tree City USA in Oregon Reaches Record High in 2017!

Our thanks to all Oregon's Tree City USAs, Tree Line USA, and Tree Campus USA participants. Your commitment to growing a healthy green canopy over Oregon's cities and campuses makes us all proud!

If you would like your city to become a Tree City USA, your campus to become a Tree Campus USA, or your utility to become a Tree Line USA, please contact us!.

Infographic from the Arbor Day Foundation

Oregon Community Trees (OCT) 
welcomes New Directors
Seems like a long time ago now (and it is!) - OCT welcomed Jen Gorski (OSU)*, Don Gunther (City of Salem), Mike Oxendine (Southern Oregon University) and Tyler Roth (Cambium Consulting in Hood River) to its Board of Directors in January 2018. It also bid a sad farewell with heartfelt appreciation to outgoing members Patricia Farrell, Mike Wilson, Amy Grotta, and Ciara McCarthy.
In the s

OCT Directors Visiting

Valley Pine Orchard

     photo J Gersbach

pring of 2018, OCT Directors toured a unique collection of Valley Ponderosa pine, held a pruning training in March, and assisted with providing Tree City USA presentations to cities celebrating benchmark years.
On June 7th, OCT co-hosted The Oregon Annual Urban and Community Forestry conference at the World Forestry Center, along with the USDA Forest Service and Oregon Dept. of Forestry. The theme o

Attendees at the 2018

U&CF Conference

 photo E DeBord

f this year's conference was "The Dollars and Sense of Urban Trees - Are you getting the biggest bang for your buck?" It featured a keynote address by University of British Columbia Urban Forestry Professor, Cecil Konijnendijk,on how good urban forestry planning enhances your city's return on investment. Kudos to the OCT conference committee for a job well done! (Chair Jennifer Killian, Samantha Wolf, Teresa Gustafson, Ruth Williams, Rob Emanuel, Jim Gersbach, and Kristin Ramstad.) Save the date for the 2019 Annual Urban and Community Forestry conference - June 6 at the World Forestry Center.
If you would like to learn more about the work of Oregon Community Trees, please head to the OCT website.
* Jen Gorski has recently decided to pursue another professional path, and will be relinquishing the OSU liaison position on the OCT Board  to another OSU leader.
Municipal Forestry Institute (MFI) is Returning to Oregon  Feb 25- Mar 1, 2019
MFI participants        photo: P Ries

Sponsored by the Society of Municipal  Arborists (SMA), MFI is a six day, high-level training retreat for urban forestry  professionals in the leadership and managerial aspects of urban forestry. This intensive program delivers challenging, interactive, professional preparation for growing a more successful community tree program. Participants will learn and master leadership and management tools of program administration, coalition building, strategic thinking, program planning, and public relations.
Who should attend? People who plan, manage, and administer urban forestry programs and who want to become more effective leaders and managers, such as city foresters, city arborists, planners, tree wardens, state urban forestry staffs and municipal tree advocates will all benefit from MFI. MFI will help you take your urban forestry program to the next level.
Details: The 2019 MFI will be held at the Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton. Cost: $2299 (less for SMA members), which includes five nights lodging, meals, and all course materials for the duration of MFI.
CEUS Available: ISA CA, BCMA, Municipal Specialist;
SAF Certified Forester; APA/AICP Certified Planner. For more information about MFI, please go the MFI webpage
Scholarships Available: Cost-share scholarships for Oregon city forest management staff to attend MFI will be available through the ODF-UCF program . If interested, contact Kristin.  
Your "Click of Trees" *
      Your "reward" for reading all the way down... a link to an interesting tree feature(s) on the web.
Containing beautiful photos, this interactive, in-depth article on how climate change is threatening ancient cedars of Lebanon can be found here

*Credit to OPB's online newsletter and "Click of Zen" feature.