PSU celebrates the trees for Arbor Month

Whether Portland is experiencing rain, shine or everything in between, spring has officially arrived and Portland State will be welcoming it this year by celebrating Arbor Month with a day full of activities.

On April 19, PSU will be filling the day with tree-related events, which will be hosted by the Westside Portland Tree Guild’s downtown branch, the Downtown Tree Team.

“We really hope to be able to utilize this opportunity to start building our [Downtown Tree Team] volunteer base,” said Craig Loftin, a member of the WestSide Portland Tree Guild and the Downtown Tree Team. “We’re not only going to be planting at PSU, we’re going to be planting all over downtown.”

This activity day is sponsored by several local organizations, including the Westside Portland Tree Guild, Portland Parks and Recreation Urban Forestry and PSU’s Campus Sustainability Office.

“[PSU] sustainability actually designed the brochures and helped us arrange for the whole event to be housed at Hoffman Hall on the 19th of April,” Loftin said. “[At the event], we’re going to be doing everything we can to bring together PSU and the larger Portland community together on this.”
This connection between the Tree Guild and PSU was made by Megan Cohen-Doyle, a senior geography student at PSU.

“I took a class [at PSU] called ‘The Urban Forest’ through which I got the opportunity to volunteer at Urban Forestry,” Cohen-Doyle said. “And through Urban Forestry and their inventory I got in contact with Craig and everyone in the guild, and I joined in as well.”

PSU’s Arbor Month activity day will begin at 9:30 a.m. with registration and a book signing by Phyllis Reynolds, an arborist and author of Trees of Greater Portland, as well as tabling by the sponsoring organizations.
Shortly after at 10 a.m., Reynolds will lead a walking tour of the street trees around the PSU campus.

Following that will be a tree planting at 12:30 p.m. where attendees will help plant a tree outside of Lincoln Hall near Southwest Broadway and Market Street. The Portland Tree Guild will donate this tree, although the species has yet to be decided.

At 5 p.m. Brian French, arborist and founder of Portland’s non-profit organization Ascending the Giants, will speak about his work in the organization, which involves climbing and documenting “champion trees,” the pinnacle of all trees in size.

After the discussion, French will present a screening of Ascending the Giants’ documentary Treeverse, beginning at 6 p.m. and followed by a Q&A.

Arbor Month activity day is free and open to the public. For more information, visit