St. Johns is a diverse neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, that feels like a small town in the middle of the city. Its main street business district serves as the center of a thriving community. The district is defined by the rich history of its buildings, bridge, industries and unique geographic location. 


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    Tree Well Project

    The Tree Well Project is a multi-phase project that will bring a simple, elegant and consistent look to the tree wells that line the St. Johns downtown area.








    Over the last 6 months, Main Street has been monitoring all the tree wells and brainstorming ways to plant sustainable and low-maintenance plants. We’ve learned that each tree well is incredibly unique and full of tree roots! Because we are committed to this project, we’ve slightly altered our plans to ensure that we do things right. Rather than trying to cram everything in and plant a bunch of plants this spring, we are taking our time and adding a few additional phases. The end product will be well worth the additional effort!

    PHASE 1: Tree Well Clean-Up

    Completed Saturday, October 4th, 2014

    This phase included:

    • Weeding the tree wells & picking up trash
    • Laying down a weed suppressant (burlap) & securing it
    • Installing temporary signage that explains the Tree Well Project & how community members can get involved

    PHASE 2: Tree Well Planting & Maintenance

    Completed Saturday, March 21, 2015 Clean Sweep event with University of Portland


    Upcoming: Sunday, May 17, 2015

    This phase will include:

    • Planting sedums (beautiful ground coverings), plus a mixture of grasses in the Tree Wells, along with large rocks. 
    • Clearing out any weeds that have snuck up over the winter

    PHASE 3: Hanging Planter Box Design & Tree Well Maintenance

    May 2015 – January 2016

    This phase will include:

    • Developing plans to install hanging planter boxes around the trees (this plan will ensure that no trees are harmed and business/property owners will get to approve the design). These planter boxes will help to create a really beautiful and unique look for the downtown corridor in St. Johns.
    • Maintaining the ground coverings that were planted

    PHASE 4: Hanging Planter Box Install

    Spring 2016

    This phase will include:

    • Building and installing all of the hanging planter boxes 
    • Weeding and maintaining the ground coverings that were planted


    Tree Wells located on Lombard Street between North Mohawk Ave and North St. Louis Ave. Eventually, we’d love to cover a bigger territory if we can secure additional funding and community volunteers!

    HOW THIS PROJECT IS FUNDED:This project is being supported through grant funding and sponsorships. There is no cost to local business owners to participate.


    St. Johns Main Street will maintain the tree wells through: 1) twice a year service events with University of Portland, 2) community volunteers who want to help out and 3) an intern who will be in charge of watering plants throughout the summer.



    We are going to need lots of hands to keep our downtown area looking beautiful! 

    • GENERAL VOLUNTEERS, SUN MAY 17th 1-4pm: Our second volunteer day of tree well planting.
    • ONGOING TREE WELL MAINTENANCE: Sign up to help water and weed the tree wells.

    Sign up via email to: sydney@stjohnsmainstreet.org


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