This property is unique, not only for its size, but also because it will someday provide a link to other segments of the Fanno Creek Trail. Located in the heart of Tigard, about 10 acres of the 26-acre site consists of open field areas; the remainder of the site is wooded. The Fanno Creek floodplain overlaps the western and southern boundaries of the property.
A contractor for Metro has removed trees in the Fields Natural area (north of Milton Ct between Fanno Creek and the railroad) to improve the growing environment for native Oak trees by removing other trees that are crowding out the oaks. Oregon white oaks used to fill the Willamette Valley, including Tigard, forming savannahs and forests. The trees now cover only 5 percent of the area they did before Europeans arrived in the valley.
This portion of the Fields Natural Area, which is owned by Metro, greater Portland’s regional government, covers nearly 38 acres along Fanno Creek. The oak trees in the forest there have been overrun by faster-growing ash and fir trees that block sunlight from reaching the oaks. Metro will selectively cut down trees that are crowding the oak trees. This will then allow the oaks and plants that grow in oak forests to thrive.
Many of the trees will be left on the ground to benefit the forest even after they have been cut down. Deadwood on the ground nourishes the forest, and snags, basically tall stumps, become prime residences for birds and mammals. Some trees will be removed from the site and be used at other restoration sites. A small number of trees will be sold to defray project costs and help taxpayer dollars go farther.
If you have any questions, please call Metro natural resource scientist Kate Holleran at 503-813-7543.