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Join the Arbutus ARME!
 
This semi-regular e-newsletter celebrates all-things Pacific madrone, highlighting our conservation and restoration efforts while connecting tree researchers and enthusiasts along the way
New to the ARME this month
Luke Armitstead
A graduate student in the sculpture department at the University of Washington, Luke's work is driven by plants, architecture, intuition and the natural environment. Luke runs the Instagram page
@tropical_seattle which highlights unique gardens and plants (both native and exotic) throughout Seattle and the PNW.
Matthew Hilliard
Matthew is a member of the Seattle Parks and Recreation Natural Area Crew. He has been doing ecological restoration work for 4 years, and currently works to restore the native ecology of Seattle’s natural areas. In his free time he loves taking photos of Madrones, seeing them mightily growing out of cracks in our concrete jungle.

The Collective

Propagation of Future Madrone Forests
This species in on the decline across its range, so we think it is important to cultivate and plant more of them in locations where they will fare well. One can look for the characteristic red fruits in the late fall and into winter. People soak the seeds in water for a couple days to a couple weeks. Some folks then spread these seeds directly onto bare ground, but we can also whiz the soaked berries in a blender to help separate the small seeds from the fleshy pulp of the berry. Research indicates that we cold stratify the seeds in the refrigerator between 20 and 80 days to mimic nature’s winter dormancy. After the stratification period, we can sow the seeds into flats with a light soil mixture to be transplanted into larger pots sizes later if needed. Many think this species is tricky to transplant and there is some truth to that urban madrone myth. We will address that issue in later editions.
Read more about collection and propagation in
Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team (2018). 
Propagation guidelines for Arbutus menziesii
Maleike, R. & Hummel, R.L. (1999). The propagation of Arbutus menziesii from seed. In: Adams, A. B.; Hamilton, C.W., eds. The Decline of Pacific Madrone (Arbutus Menziesii Pursh): Current Theory and Research Directions: Proceedings of the April 28, 1995 Symposium Held at the Center for Urban Horticulture, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington & Subsequent Research Papers (p. 140). Save Magnolia's Madrones.
Madrone: PNW Medicinal Plant
Another way to familiarize ourselves with Pacific madrone is to learn about how it has been used traditionally as medicine. The thick, leathery leaves of the tree are astringent, antibacterial and a diuretic, which people can use to heal urinary tract infections, decrease skin inflammation and stanch light bleeding. One can clip the leaves from the branch ends between mid-spring and through mid-fall to be dried and crushed. Adding alcohol to a jar of the crushed leaves can make the medicinal constituents more available when consumed as tincture or added to a standard infusion tea. Collecting and using wild plants can be risky, so please know the detail above is for information and entertainment only, and not intended for self-treatment of medical problems. 
Read more about it from an expert. We adapted this information from Kloos, Scott (2018). Pacific Northwest Medicinal Plants: Identify, Harvest and Use 120 Herbs for Health and Wellness. Timber Press. Oregon.
TreeSnap Update
WSU Ornamental Plant Pathology is collaborating with USDA Forest Service and City of Seattle Parks and Recreation to conserve and restore Pacific madrone. Help us to collect data on Pacific madrone so that we can get a better understanding of where the sick (and healthy!) trees are. Another important use of TreeSnap is to identify the geographic range of the species and help to answer questions about its movement under climate change. You can see the current observations here:
  https://treesnap.org 

Featured Disease – Phytophthora root disease 
Winter in the Pacific Northwest is a cold and wet time. Not great for trees and humans that like the sun, but ideal for Phytophthora. Phytophthora is a microscopic organism whose name means "Plant Destroyer" in Greek. It is very good at what it does, because it has spores that can swim and attack plant roots in wet or flooded soils. Read more about it here: 

http://ppo.puyallup.wsu.edu/pmr/diseases/phytophthora-root-disease

Upcoming Events!
Madrone Decline and Recovery Workshops
The February 16 workshop at Camp Long in Seattle was a success! More than 20 people came out in the snow and learned about pacific madrone, then tried out the TreeSnap app on trees in the park.
Join the Arbutus ARME on March 23 in Puyallup. The workshop will explore madrone basics, forest ecology, pathogens, conservation efforts and propagation tips. We will also introduce everyone to the TreeSnap app to survey and map madrone anywhere and everywhere.
The outdoor portion will include a visit to one of the madrone common garden sites where we are studying the genetics of this tree.
Pre-registration is required by following this link: 
WSU Puyallup ppo.puyallup.wsu.edu/pmr/workshops2019

These programs are brought to you by Washington State University Extension Plant Pathology Program and Seattle Parks and Recreation.
Send your ideas, projects, announcements, or other madrone-related items for the newsletter to arbutusarme@gmail.com
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2606 West Pioneer | Puyallup, WA | 98371-4998 USA

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