You read that right: Trees — free of charge — from the city and Friends of Trees if you sign up by Monday, February 6 at the Friends of Trees website. Sumner is one of the few neighborhoods selected this year to receive the free offer. The planting date for our neighborhood is Saturday, March 10.

Here are more details from Elsa Little, an Americorp volunteer with the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.

Hello Sumner Residents!

Always wanted a street tree, but not sure if there was room? Didn’t have the time to plant it or the extra money to buy one? I’m happy to inform you that the City of Portland and the non-profit Friends of Trees are partnering together to offer FREE street trees for your neighborhood.

Friends of Trees logoFriends of Trees not only focuses on greening neighborhoods, but also on building relationships and strengthening communities. Signing up doesn’t obligate you to plant a tree. It makes it possible for a city forester to inspect your planting strip for a location where a tree can be planted. City inspectors consider infrastructure an utilities when determining an ideal tree location. After the inspection, you’ll be sent a personalized list of trees, with descriptions, that have been approved for your space. After selecting your tree species, you will have the opportunity to plant trees with your neighbors on planting day. In addition to community building, tree planting includes hole digging, an eight- to 12-foot tall tree delivered to your home, planting assistance, mulch, stakes, and follow-up tree inspections: a $200 value! On planting day, volunteers enjoy meeting their neighbors, greening their community, and sharing a celebratory potluck lunch afterward!

Yard trees are also available through Friends of Trees for purchase at $35 per tree, including all of the assistance listed above.

Alternatively, you can sign-up for a free street tree with the City where an appropriate tree will be selected and planted for you by a professional contractor. Sign up online at by Feb. 6th or call Matt Krueger to learn more about planting with a contractor at (503) 823-2978. Get your free tree this spring!

Interested in learning how to get trees planted at a school, community center, or elsewhere? Feel free to contact me, Elsa Little, at or (503) 823-9732.

I want to add here: These are nice healthy good-sized trees they plant. They’re not small or spindly. And you have a wide selection to choose from. For examples, see photos from the neighborhood planting in March 2009.

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