It’s finally April, thank god. Maybe things will start to improve, weather wise? I know that nobody wants to read an entire blog post that’s just rant on cold rainy weather so just keep in mind this isn’t actually about the weather. No! It’s about Friends of Trees, and mud. There are just a few statistics thrown in because I dig statistics, especially when they are about the weather. So…the Portland Airport (just 4.85 miles from my home) received 6.43 inches of rain in March, average is 3.71. That's the 5th wettest March on record (7.52 is the record). And to make matters worse, it’s not just been a few rainy days…no we had measurable rain every day in March except 3, that is 28 days of rain (23 of them consecutive)!
So what is this "friends of trees?" They are a local organization whose mission is to "bring people in the Portland-Vancouver metro area together to plant and care for city trees and green spaces. Through our Neighborhood Trees program, homeowners buy discounted trees to plant with their neighbors at weekend plantings." Nice huh?
Last weekend Friends of Trees (FOT) had a Concordia and Vernon Neighborhood Planting, that’s my neighborhood (Concordia) and I’ve noted the evidence of their handiwork. First I saw the muddy footprints on the sidewalk, they looked a little like the dance steps on Broadway in Seattle (can’t actually share an image of the dance steps because I guess the artist has gone all sue happy, click on the link to see many images). And next I would see the new trees, like this Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum). Actually there are 4 of them in a row, that's making quite the Paperbark Maple statement don't you think? FOT is behind the planting of Japanese Snowbells (Styrax japonica) in our parking strip, planted before we lived here. Since then 2 other neighbors and FOT have planted pairs in their strips. Makes for a nice floral display when they are all in bloom.
So I mentioned the rain. We’ve also been cold. We set a new record for latest date in the calendar year to reach 60 degrees. We finally saw 60 (63 to be exact) just yesterday, the last day of March. Pathetic. Today, April 1st is the average date when we usually hit 70 degrees. I wonder how long it's going to take to hit that mark?
Can you make out the light wood stakes on the lower right hand side of this picture? Here they are up close, and there is another set just a few feet away. They are supporting a pair of Tulip Trees (Liriodendron tuliperfera) These babies get big! Here is a huge old specimen just a block or two away. Of course that picture was taken last June, you can tell because the sky is blue…not grey like it was for almost the entire month of March.
I wonder if they plan to take out the huge conifers already there. Here’s that picture again. Here’s Lila checking out the mud. Since October, FOT volunteers have planted more than 27,000 trees and native plants. That’s a lot of muddy shoes.
(weather info pulled from the NWS Website, if you were wondering)