Arbutus ARME

Madrone flowers are fragrant and show up as large drooping clusters referred to as panicles of small, white, urn-shaped flowers. "Urn"= resembles an upside down rounded vase. The species has both male and female organs; the plant is self-fertile.

Flowering period: starts in April and ends by June across the species range

Bees are the principle pollinator though flies and ants are attracted to the nectar. If you are lucky you might see a hummingbird visiting the flowers.

more about madrone flowers

ARME Spring Member Meeting - June 3rd

Our next member meeting will happen on June 3rd from noon to 1:30 PST. We will focus on Tree Snap results and discuss the possibility of expanding data collection on other apps such as iNaturalist. At that time, we may also talk about tips to collecting data, identifying pathogens we are interested in knowing more about, gathering information from the edge of the species’ range, and more. Register by clicking the button below; due to permissions with our Zoom account, you must signup for a Zoom account to register if you haven’t already.

Register Here

Tree Snap Update

Sharing observations on TreeSnap helps collect useful information about the health of madrone trees. Find out more about using this tool on our webage:

640 Total TreeSnap Observations

It is neat to see new areas explored, documented, and shared each year using TreeSnap.

95 Observations so far in 2021

Ninety-five observations have been shared so far in 2021! Special thanks to Regina Johnson for crushing it out there!

Observations of Trees with Blight

We hear a lot of concerns about madrone blight during the spring, but most observations of trees with blight have been shared (so far) during March, October and November.

Disease of the Month: Leaf Blight

In the spring madrones start to change from healthy, green foliage to brown, blighted foliage. In some areas and years almost the entire canopy looks as if it was doused with gasoline. This is very common in the northern range of madrone where the climate is wetter and colder. When the new foliage emerges in late spring/early summer the trees look healthy again. But the blighted leaves remain attached and transfer fungal spores to new foliage during rainy periods. This year looks like a bad year for leaf blight. Read more about blight in the PNW Handbook below.

PNW Handbook

We are studying these fungi and learning which ones are naturally present in the foliage and may protect it from infection and which fungi cause the severe blight symptoms we see every spring. Read more about madrone leaf blight and what you can (or can't) do about it on the Arbutus ARME website. We have a whole page dedicated to it!

Arbutus ARME listserve

Join the discussion by subscribing to our listserve. This will help spur conversation and interaction between Arubutus ARME members. You can share photos, post news stories, and questions about propagation, pathogen symptoms, etc. This is another small way to encourage shared understanding about the issues facing the tree.

ARME listserve

Thanks for joining us in January for the Tacoma Tree Foundation’s growing skills webinar. If you missed it (or want watch again) its up on the TTF YouTube Channel.

Madrones: Sacred, Emergent, and Adaptive

Listen to expaned webinar content and Q & A on treehugger podcast

Find a madrone near you!

We combined the TreeSnap and iNaturalist data to provide an updated distribution map for Pacific Madrone. Check it out to find a madrone tree near you. Also note the areas where more exploration is needed!

Map of Pacific Madrone Distribution

Madrone in the News

"Island’s stately arbutus trees wither in seasons of change" in the Times Colonist by Darron Kloster

“…When you see an arbutus going grey or black, that’s an advanced onset of [disease] and it’s a challenge for an arbutus to come back from that,” said Andrew Connell, an arborist with the District of Saanich.

Connell is hopeful many of the trees will bounce back.

He said if people have arbutus trees on their properties, they should water them during dry periods, reduce pruning and do what they can to reduce climate change….”

Seattle Arboretum

Niall Dunne, editor of the “Bulletin” and the communications manager for the Seattle Arboretum Foundation highlighted madrones and the ARME in their latest issue.

"Pacific madrone is part of the original native matrix of the Arboretum...." It's worth a visit to this place as we ease into Spring soon - to connect with the tree and each other.

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