The work party was a continuation of the plan to gradually replace dying, unsightly plum trees with varieties of trees that are more drought- and disease-resistant – many of them evergreens.
After energizing themselves with donuts, muffins and hot beverages, the workers listened to Urban Forestry leader Jim Gersbach and botanic specialist Gina Dake explain how to set the tree in to holes already dug. “The number-one cause of new tree death,” Gersbach pointed out, “is either planting the tree too deep or planting it too shallow.” He and Dake then demonstrated how to use support posts to gauge the correct depth of the new tree before soil is returned to the hole.
The group then fanned out into teams that took from half-an-hour to 45 minutes to level each hole, plant the tree and place an adequate amount of mulch (about one and a half wheelbarrows) atop each hole. The entire project took the better part of the morning and included neighbors of all ages. Portland Parks & Recreation provided smaller tools for the younger planters.
Of concern to the neighbors was a Portland Bureau of Transportation long-range plan to connect a north-south walking and bike path with existing paths north of Northeast Prescott Street and south of Northeast Sandy Boulevard. The concept was first presented at the Roseway Neighborhood Association’s September meeting. As originally stated, an eight-foot-wide concrete walking and bike path was proposed for the middle of the Roseway Parkway.
Neighbors attending that meeting voiced sufficient objection to paving over the greenway that children and pets were accustomed to using for recreation, that the plan was reconsidered and eventually placed in the long-range category. Should the plan surface again, it will most likely be several years, and public hearings will be held before any work is done.