Archives for January 2014

Speaking From Experience

cycle_experiencepostAs residents, we love the trees that line our streets. And so do many of the visitors to our neighborhood. Recently, SOE received a $500 donation from a cyclist who happened upon Ladd’s Addition. Read about his experience regarding elm loss, and why he chose to be so generous…

I just made a donation to Save Our Elms. I was prompted to do that by the sight of a yellow Save Our Elms sign I saw in Ladd’s Addition on June 22. I was touring the neighborhood on a recumbent trike that I had just purchased at Coventry Cycle Works. The sign was at the northwest end of SE Birch Street. The sign taught me that elms were present, which I didn’t know, and that they were in danger, which did not surprise me.

Normally I do not get too excited about diseased trees, but Dutch elm disease made an impression on me during my childhood in the late 1950s and early 1960s. I was living in a neighborhood in Rochester, New York whose streets were lined with tall elms that provided a high, glorious canopy. Dutch elm disease appeared and took its toll. All the elms got sick. The neighborhood got more and more naked as the trees were removed. We moved away shortly thereafter.

When I visited my old neighborhood about 40 years later, I learned that time heals all wounds. The streets were unrecognizable—not because they were naked, but because of the density and types of trees [as a result of replanting]. There were no elms present as far as I know, but the neighborhood was something of a jungle compared to the atmosphere it had when elms abounded. It was heartwarming to see such rejuvenation.

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What Kind of Tree Do I Have?

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Curious about the age, type or health of the street tree in front of your home? It’s easy to learn more about your tree(s) by clicking here to access the latest Portland Street Trees map. Double click on your neighborhood to zoom in on your address then single click on the green circle in front of your home.

The map is the result of a Portland Parks & Recreation effort to compile data on all 5,444 street trees within the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood. The data was collected by Urban Forestry staff and volunteers to create the neighborhood’s first complete street tree inventory which will be used in the creation of a Neighborhood Stewardship Plan. The Plan will be essential to guide home owners and volunteers in caring for the community’s trees. It will also be used by organizations like SOE to prioritize tree plantings (fill empty spaces and replace aging trees), maintenance and to monitor for disease such as Dutch elm.