Guest article: Help local non-profit plant trees by bike

Planting by bike. Looks like fun!
(Photo: Mary Kay Nitchie)

[The article below was sent in by Andy Meeks, volunteer and outreach manager with local non-profit group, Friends of Trees.]

A few years ago, Friends of Trees started organizing Plant By Bike events where one or more crews of trees planters was solely bike-powered. Our typical planting day is made up for anywhere between 10-25 crews of 8-10 people each and one pick-up truck that carries trees, tools and other materials for the planting crew. Each of these crews plants about 10 trees in a morning that lasts from 9:00 – 1:00pm.

These plantings are always a great time and all volunteers for our Neighborhood Tree plantings get free breakfast treats and coffee in the morning and then a potluck lunch hosted by our neighborhood volunteers at the completion of the event — around 1:00pm or so. We provide gloves, tools and guidance and all we ask is that people dress for the weather and bring their bikes and, if they have them, trailers, carts, etc. to help move the trees and tools around.

The whole Plant By Bike thing started very organically a few years ago with some volunteers of ours who took up the mantle of being Plant By Bike champions. One of our “Plant By Bike” champions Peter Nierengarten recently moved out of town and we’ve lost one of our better sources for volunteer recruitment. We’ve been emailing the folks who have planted with us in the past years to let them know of our upcoming planting dates, but we really need help getting the word out.

Here’s the list of upcoming events:

    1/19/13 – Laurelhurst, Kerns, Sunnyside, N. Tabor Neighborhood Planting
    1/21/13 – I-205 Multi-Use Path Green Space Planting (SE Portland)
    2/2/13 – Piedmont, Woodlawn Neighborhood Planting
    2/23/13 – Westside Vancouver Neighborhood Planting (Vancouver)
    3/2/13 – Montavilla, Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Planting

You can learn more and register for an upcoming event on the Friends of Trees blog.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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11 years ago

It is loads of fun. A great fit for bike trailers, cargo bikes, or anyone with a bike.
What’s more, this is catching on. The Portland Fruit Tree Project has also gotten in the act and is now picking fruit by bike & bike trailer. Luckily the seasons don’t overlap so you can do both! We haul everything to and fro: ladders, boxes, pickers, fruit, and all the rest. Once you try it I guarantee you’ll never go back to whatever we used to do. 🙂

11 years ago

thanks for the reminder, I’ve been wanting to do the planting by bike for a while now…

Chris Sanderson
11 years ago

I just signed up for two plantings (2/9 and 3/2). If anyone wants to borrow one of my trailers for the other plantings, I’d be happy to loan it out. Let me know.

Chris Sanderson
Builder By Bike

11 years ago

I should also note that you are welcome to ride your bikes to ANY FOT planting. They are very accommodating about bike parking, and are willing to help you be able to bike (or carpool) to your planting sites, even if your trees will be delivered by truck.

Bill Stites
11 years ago

And if history is any indication … trikes are welcome too. 😉