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Find Your Flare

Volunteer Event
Help the Fifth Annual Yard Tree Giveaway prepare trees to find their forever homes this fall! Knowing where the root flare is on your tree is one of the best ways to give a new tree its best chance to thrive.

This event will take place at the PP&R facilities at Mt. Tabor Park. Additional information on parking and getting there will be supplied after registration.

Register Online


What and Where is the Root Flare?

Each tree has a root flare. This is the area where the first main roots flare out from the trunk. Typically, these roots are the size of your thumb. The root flare is a good indicator of how deep or shallow a tree should be planted.

Planting trees too deep is a major cause of tree failure.

Sometimes, these roots can be covered by a thick layer of soil in the nursery pot. Before you plant a tree, it is important to remove the soil and expose the top of the root flare. Remove any roots that are circling the trunk above the root flare.

A hand shows where the first main order root is on a young tree.

Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry's mission is to manage and ensure Portland's urban forest infrastructure for current and future generations. Portland’s urban forest consists of 236,000 street trees, 1.2 million park trees, and innumerable private property trees.

Urban Forestry is involved in managing or regulating all of these trees to differing degrees. Urban Forestry staff issue permits for planting, pruning, and removal of all public and some private trees and are on call 24/7 to respond to tree emergencies.

For more information on Urban Forestry at portland.gov/trees.

A yard tree recipient shows off their new ponderosa pine tree