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Experts urge caution, care when replanting, locating new trees after storm

The 2023 Friends of Trees Eugene-Springfield plant giveaway.
Courtesy of Friends of Trees Eugene-Springfield
The 2023 Friends of Trees Eugene-Springfield plant giveaway.

Western Oregon lost thousands of trees in the aftermath of last month's ice storm. Experts say the next two months could be the best time to replant.

Erik Burke, executive director of Eugene Springfield Friends of the Trees, said any tree planting should be done with care and planning to minimize problems down the road.

“Trees can unfortunately get planted under power lines, they get planted too close to foundations, they get planted next to hardscape where they don't have room for the roots,” he said, “It's really important to think about what that tree can become, and give it the room to do that.”

Burke says a small tree or native shrub might be a better choice if a homeowner isn’t sure whether they have the space for a large tree to reach maturity.

Friends of Trees recently partnered with International Paper in Springfield to give away around 1,200 trees and 600 native plants. Burke said Eugene Springfield Friends of Trees is working on applying for grants to hold additional giveaways.

He said those who aren’t able to make it to a giveaway can purchase discounted saplings or native plants available through Friends of Trees, and apply for scholarships if they aren’t able to afford the cost of a tree. He said the best time to plant is between November and April.

He said the group can also offer expertise on placement and practices that will contribute to the long-term health of a tree.

“One of our biggest goals isn't just to get trees in the ground, but to get trees to be taken care of, and have people develop a positive relationship with their trees,” Burke said.

You can find more information about local tree planting at tree care at friendsoftrees.org or the OSU extension website.

Rebecca Hansen-White joined the KLCC News Department in November, 2023. Her journalism career has included stops at Spokane Public Radio, The Spokesman-Review, and The Columbia Basin Herald.
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