Tree Team & Tree Info
In Irvington we are fortunate to have a rich tree canopy that includes many old trees. As of 2017 we are home to 32 of Portland’s 329 Heritage Trees. Street trees shade us, lower our energy costs, filter our water, clean our air, calm traffic, increase our property values, and provide wildlife habitat. They enhance our health and neighborhood livability. But our canopy faces threats from storms, pests, and disease. Ensuring our trees’ survival requires stewardship by residents and the city. The Irvington Tree Team, part of the Irvington Community Association, was created to address the vulnerabilities revealed by the city’s 2015 street tree inventory. That year, under the direction of Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry staff, trained resident volunteers collected data on each of Irvington’s 5,601 street trees.
Our Tree Plan
Bring neighbors together to protect and expand our tree canopy for the health and livability of our community.
- Promote to residents the community-wide economic, aesthetic, and environmental benefits of a large, healthy tree canopy.
- Boost tree health and diversity to increase resilience to storms, pests, and disease.
- Increase tree canopy across the whole neighborhood.
- Organize community members to participate in tree-related events such as tree walks, talks, surveys, and workshops.
- Nominate trees for Portland Heritage Tree status.
- Replace dead or dying trees with new trees that increase species diversity and provide the most bang for the buck in terms of expanding neighborhood tree canopy.
- Better maintain young trees by holding pruning workshops: proper pruning--and watering-- increase trees’ chances of reaching their full lifespan.
- Fill our available but empty planting spaces, focusing first on placing large, long-lived trees in large sites.
- Plant wherever possible more long-lived trees including conifers and broad-leaf evergreens.
Irvington Street Tree Inventory Key Findings
- More than 54 percent of our trees fall into only two families. Both the Acer (maple) and Prunus (plum, cherry) genera are especially overrepresented, leaving over half of our trees susceptible to tree-killing pests and disease.
- Broadleaf deciduous trees, which drop leaves in winter, make up 95 percent of our canopy. Planting more conifer and broadleaf evergreens will give us year-round benefits and diversify our urban forest.
- More than 25 percent of our street trees are young and need proper watering and pruning if they are to reach their full lifespan.
- We have 1,400 empty spots that can accommodate trees. That’s 1,400 missed opportunities for shade, cleaner air and water, and lower energy costs.
- Large trees such as oak and Douglas fir make up only 21 percent of our street trees. Yet such trees live four times longer and provide many times the benefits of small ornamentals like cherry, dogwood, and snowbell.
- Almost 75 percent of our street trees are undersize for the site in which they’re planted. This makes us one of the city’s worst offenders of planting small trees in large sites capable of holding large (over 50’ high) trees.
- Our canopy lacks enough young trees to adequately replace aging trees.
- Our street trees produce $1.3 million annually in environmental and other benefits.
Read the full Irvington Street Tree Inventory Report.
Click here to download data including the address of every Irvington tree surveyed in 2015: click on the bottom-page tab "Master List" for the full tree list and note you can search by tree species or address. This is a great tool if you want to know the diameter and condition of your street trees or, say, you want to locate all the Metasequoia (or maple or birch) trees in Irvington.
For a nifty guide, map, and detailed descriptions of Irvington's broadleaf evergreen trees, including some unusual and interesting specimens, click here.
Irvington is home to about 10 percent of Portland’s more than 329 (and counting) Heritage Trees. The city has formally recognized these specimens for their unique size, age, historical, or horticultural significance. See a list of Irvington’s Heritage Trees.
If you missed our May 2017 Irvington Heritage Tree Talk and Walk, here it is!
Read more about our special Heritage Trees including how to protect them and nominate new trees for heritage status.
Caring for Your Trees
Urban trees often don't reach their full lifespan because they do not receive the attention they need. Without proper care, young trees will die. Maintaining them with proper watering, mulching, and pruning will help ensure their survival. Older trees, too, need pruning in order to weather storms.
The city has a handy guide to Tree Care and Pruning that also contains information on common tree diseases and on hiring an arborist.
For useful city guidelines about planting and establishing street trees, read here.
Interested in learning how to care for your trees and giving back to the community, other than by joining the Tree Team? Take the city-offered Neighborhood Tree Steward Program, a seven-week class.
A street tree emergency is any immediate tree hazard that is blocking or threatening the street or public right-of-way. Call Urban Forestry at 503-823-TREE (8733) to report a street tree emergency. Emergency dispatchers are available 24/7.
Dutch Elm Disease
Dutch elm disease (DED) is a highly lethal and communicable disease that affects many types of elm trees. Here in Portland, we have approximately 3,000 elms and lose around 40 of them every year.
Pruning any species or varieties of elm trees between April 15 and October 15 is prohibited within the City of Portland. Learn more about DED and how it's managed at Portland's Elm Protection Program.
Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry
Street trees are a partnership between homeowners and Portland Parks & Recreation's Urban Forestry office. This office guides and supports neighborhood tree teams in a variety of ways, and provides the public with lots of tree resources.
Friends of Trees
This nonprofit organization works with the city to provide homeowners with new, city-approved street trees at low cost. Its annual Irvington planting usually takes place in early March, with an ordering deadline in February. Residents who purchase through Friends of Trees also benefit by having trained volunteers plant trees for them.