The Northwest Treebune
Winter_Trail_SceneWinter 2010

As the year comes to a close, For The Love of Trees, LLC would like to take the opportunity to thank all of you for entrusting us with your trees this year.  We are a small, family-owned business and we value every one of our clients.  Happy Holidays to you and your family! 

 In this Issue:
Winter Tree Care Tips
Storm Season Preparedness
Fall and Winter are Planting Seasons, Part 2
Friends of Trees Plantings
Tree Anatomy: Bark
Species Spotlight: Giant Sequoia

Winter Tree Care Tips
Winter is a good time to have your trees pruned.  The lack of leaves on deciduous trees makes the structure of the tree more visible.  Winter's low temperatures suppress insect and disease activity.  Pruning now minimizes the chance of the tissue surrounding fresh cuts from becoming infected by insects and diseases.  Below are our recommendations for winter tree care.  Contact For The Love of Trees, LLC at (503) 515-9520 for a free estimate for any of these services.

  • Preventatively prune trees for winter hazards as described in the storm season article below.
  • Plant bare root deciduous trees as described in the tree planting article below.
  • Prune fruit trees to maximize the fall harvest.
  • Prune ornamentals to increase air circulation and minimize the chance of fungal disease triggered by wet weather.

Storm Season PreparednessStorm Damage

Portland-area residents know that winter is storm season.  The high winds, heavy rains, and ice of winter storms can damage your prized trees and your property.  Proactively removing hazards and responding to weather hazards can minimize damage to and from your trees. 

Preventative Pruning
A little bit of preventative maintenance can go a long way in the winter season.  Thinning a tree canopy by removing densely growing branches will reduce the wind resistance and potential breakage of the canopy.  Removing broken or cracked branches would reduce the hazard of falling debris caused by high winds or ice.  Structural weaknesses such as narrow branch crotches and rubbing branches should also be considered during preventative pruning to determine what is most likely to stand up to the rigors of our winter weather.  Trees with a significant lean may be a hazard as waterlogged soil may no longer support the roots of a precariously-leaning tree battered by high winds.  For The Love of Trees, LLC provides free estimates on all of these preventative pruning services. 

Emergency Response
In rare cases, trees may be damaged to the extent that emergency tree service is required.  For The Love of Trees, LLC is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to these emergencies.  As a precaution for power outages, keep our contact information written down in an easy-to-find location along with your other emergency service information. 

Fall and Winter are Planting Seasons, Part 2 
In the Fall 2010 issue of the Northwest Treebune Newsletter, we explained the benefits of fall and winter tree planting and proper planting technique for balled and burlapped and container trees.  In this issue, we will discuss the proper planting of bare root deciduous trees. 

Bare root deciduous trees become available from nurseries in late winter.  Although planting in winter weather may be daunting, planting bare root trees now will allow root establishment before the growing season.  Bare root trees are significantly less expensive and lighter weight than container and balled and burlapped trees.  The fact that you are planting them in the soil dug from the hole helps them to become established more quickly, too.

Planting Bare Root Trees
As with all plantings, locate your utilities before you dig and plant the tree in a location that will give ample clearance for the mature tree canopy.  After purchasing the tree, do not allow the roots to dry out before planting.  Dig a hole twice as wide as the root bundle.  Form a cone of soil in the planting hole and arrange the roots around the cone.  Soil may need to be added to the cone to ensure that the tree is propped up to a level that the root collar is not below the soil surface.  Holding the tree upright, add the soil dug from the hole around the roots and water deeply.

Friends of Trees Tree Plantings
Volunteers for Friends of Trees, a local non-profit, have planted hundreds of thousands of trees in the Portland-Vancouver area since 1989.  They host volunteer events all over our area throughout the winter season to plant trees in neighborhoods and green spaces.  Want to volunteer to help Friends of Trees, too?  Their winter planting schedule is on their website along with all of the information you need to get started planting trees with this active organization.

White Oak BarkTree Anatomy: Bark
In this new Tree Anatomy series, we will focus on one part of the tree at a time in order to appreciate the complex life form of the entire tree.  Now that the leaves have fallen from deciduous trees, this is a great time to admire an often-overlooked part of tree anatomy: the bark.

Bark Typesponderosa pine bark
There is an astounding variety of bark types from the square bark division of the Quercus garryana, Oregon white oak (photo at left) to the elongated asymetrical plates of the Pinus ponderosa, Ponderosa pine (photo at right).  The variety of bark is not only determined by the species of tree, but also by the age of the tree.  Trees exchange gases with the atmosphere through pores in the outer bark called lenticels.  In some species, these lenticels are visible from the outside of the bark and are used in tree identification. 

Bark serves several crucial functions for the tree.  Inner bark transports nutrients throughout the tree.  Unintentional girdling of a tree with staking materials causes severe damage to the tree by preventing this distribution of nutrients.

The outer bark forms a protective layer made of dead cells.  New cork layers form and die and the bark grows thicker.  A tree's bark will peel away in long strips or flake away in small scales depending on the orientation of this cork layer to the outside of the tree.  Waste products are deposited in this outer dying bark.  The tree is protected from the elements, the sun's rays, animals, and insects by the outer bark.

On your next winter stroll, note the unique features of the barks of the trees in your neighborhood.  You might be surprised at the diversity of patterns you have overlooked in the past.

Giant SequoiaSpecies Spotlight: Giant Sequoia

Sequoiadendron giganteum, Giant sequoia is a majestic evergreen tree native to western slopes of the Sierra Nevada.  It can grow to astounding heights (over 250 feet tall) and impressive age (over 3000 years old).  Some Giant sequoias alive today were already 1800 years old when Columbus reached America!  Although less than 100 years old, the Giant sequoia pictured above towers over the Beaverton post office. 

The spongy, soft, thick ridges of the Giant sequoia bark can grow to be over two feet thick.  The thickness of the bark, the high tannic acid level of the bark, and the height of the canopy make the mature Giant sequoia practically immune to forest fires.  In fact, the Giant sequoia relies on fire to release the seeds from their cones for reproduction.

The leaves of the Giant Sequoia are small and sharp and look like scales.  The beautiful foliage looks like rounded clusters on a pyramidal form.  Giant sequoias can be grown in our area and they prefer full sun and well-drained soil.

FTLOT logoFor The Love of Trees, LLC

For The Love of Trees, LLC is a small local tree care business owned and operated by ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) Certified Arborist Jeremy Fry.  We specialize in pruning and preserving trees for long-term health, safety and environmental sustainability.  We offer free estimates in the Portland metropolitan area.  Call or e-mail us today!


For the Love of Trees, LLC
(503) 515-9520