If you own a small piece of woodland or land in and around Forest Park, you’ve probably already seen ivy and clematis taking over parts of the park, threatening trees and native plants. Invasive vines prevent trees and bushes from getting sunlight, can spur disease and rot, and add considerable weight to trees, eventually weakening and killing them. Falling tree limbs can also be a serious hazard.
In cooperation with the Forest Park Conservancy and Portland Bureau of Parks and Recreation, we can treat invasive weeds FREE of charge if the infestations are in our targeted work areas.
The weeds we’re talking about are English ivy (Hedera helix), Atlantic/Irish ivy (Hedera hibernica) and Old Man’s Beard/Traveler’s Joy (Clematis vitalba). They are non-native, aggressive European vines that can completely blanket trees and other plants. On the ground, vines crowd out native wildflowers, ferns and tree seedlings. Mats of ivy often become home to pests like the Norway rat, which you don’t want around your house! Because ivy roots are shallow, heavy rain running underneath the plants can cause the entire mass of ivy and soil to dislodge and slide downhill. Ivy roots also get into your home’s wood and mortar, causing structural damage.
To learn more about this program and to sign up, contact Urban Conservationist, Mary Logalbo, at email@example.com. To participate in the program, we will require that you keep ivy off your newly cleared trees and allow us to come back and check them occasionally over the next five years to see if the program is successful. The number of projects we take on depends on available funds.
West Multnomah SWCD and partners at Forest Park Conservancy (forestparkconservancy.org) and the Backyard Habitat Certification program (backyardhabitats.org) can also offer additional technical assistance and holistic planning to help you address all of the conservation issues on your property including other invasive species removal, native plant establishment, stormwater management and wildlife enhancements.
Help us save your trees and slow the spread of these invasive vines!
Highlights from 2020-2021:
Along with partners, we celebrated the 9th year of the Canopy Weeds Program with 411 participating landowners and 34,186 trees cleared of invasive vines. Portland Fire & Rescue joined the partnership, adding wildfire risk reduction to the suite of benefits offered to program participants. The Canopy Weeds Program has historically provided free treatment of invasive ivy and clematis species in neighborhoods adjacent to Forest Park. The goal of this important program is to save trees, slow the spread of invasive weeds and protect the health of Forest Park as well as a segment of the wildlife corridor that connects Forest Park to the Oregon Coast Range. This year, we piloted a fee-for-service model with a sliding needs-based scale to help fund and increase the number of on-the ground weed removal projects. In addition, we helped outreach about wildfire risk reduction home assessments that are available through Portland Fire & Rescue. The Canopy Weed Program work is completed by Forest Park Conservancy’s Green Jobs Interns. The Green Jobs Training and Internship Program provides BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) youth and young adults with hands-on professional experience and support to pursue a career in the conservation and natural resources field.