What is Dutch elm disease?

Dutch elm disease is a fungus that invades the vascular system (analogous to the veins of animals) of the American elm and prohibits water movement in the tree. If the vascular system is not effectively carrying water and nutrients, leaves begin to wilt and eventually the elm dies. While inside the tree, the fungus produces microscopic spores that play a role in propagating the disease.

DED is spread in three ways: by bark beetles which carry the DED spores on their bodies, by the interaction of diseased tree roots with healthy tree roots, and by not disinfecting pruning and cutting tools previously used on a diseased tree.  You can learn more about DED here.

There is no cure for DED, but effective treatments to slow its progression have been on the market for many years and are actively used by SOE to protect the trees in Ladd’s Addition.

Will Save Our Elms plant a street tree in front of my home?

Yes, we’d be happy to.  Just contact us at info@saveourelms.org.  Please share your contact info and address and we’ll let you know what type of tree is identified for your home on the Ladd’s historic tree plan.  We’ll plant a tree for you in the spring during our annual planting.  In addition to providing the tree(s) free of charge (with generous support from Friends of Trees), we’ll stake it for you to give it a good start.  Please note, SOE only provides and plants street trees (in parking strip), not trees on your private property.

How do I determine the type of tree growing in front of my 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.

How much water does the new tree in front of my home need?

Each spring , SOE volunteers plant new trees throughout Ladd’s Addition. These beautiful young trees need your help to get started in their new location.  Portland receives so little rain in July through September that young trees can be severely stressed and die without watering assistance.  If you have a new tree in front of your home, please give it the water it needs – 10 gallons a week.  Here’s a good one page care summary from the folks at Friends of Trees.  Watch the brief videos for tips on how to make watering easy to remember.

Do I need a permit to plant a street tree?

Yes.  If SOE plants the street tree for you, we will obtain the permit on your behalf.  If SOE is not planting the tree for you, you will need to obtain a permit from Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry.  You can find more information here.