Portland’s Rose Quarter Urban Tree Plan
Warming temperatures have led to vanishing snowpack, severe storms and prolonged drought in the Pacific Northwest, threatening many urban trees. When declining street trees were causing substantial damage to adjacent curbs and sidewalks in Portland, Oregon’s Rose Quarter district, the City of Portland collaborated with NNA Landscape Architecture to find a solution that would conserve resources and protect and preserve infrastructure.
We assembled a team of experts, including an arborist and a horticulturalist, to evaluate the health and vitality of existing trees, note past and current damage to infrastructure, and determine inventory opportunities to improve growing conditions. Our team worked with the city and Rose Quarter staff to create landscape concepts and a list of climate-adapted tree species. The final tree plan includes replacement tree species that are better suited for the Pacific Northwest’s changing climate. By increasing the diversity of tree species, the urban tree plan creates a new aesthetic with seasonal interest. The Rose Quarter district’s urban tree plan serves as a model for all of Portland.