Our Inaugural Member Meeting was November 10, 2020. It was a virtual event to hear about the latest news and research while connecting with other Arbutus ARME "members" and madrone lovers. Presentations can be found on the Resources Page.
Presentation on madrone health issues at the WSU Forestry Extension Forest Owners Winter School February 2020
Presentation at Sound Waters University on February 2020
Presentation “Life and Death of Madrone in PNW Forests” through WSU Extension Forestry Webinars May 2019
In-person workshops at Camp Long in Seattle (February 2019) and Washington State University - Puyallup Station (March 2019) explored madrone basics, forest ecology, pathogens, conservation efforts and propagation
Arbutus ARME Newsletters
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. One can expect to read tree highlights, features about diseases, TreeSnap updates, madrones in the news, event anncouncements and more....
April 2022 (Spring Walks & Student Projects) | April 2021 (Flowers and Data Updates) | December 2020 (Giant Falls & Member Meeting Debrief) | September 2020 (Fire and Berries) | June 2020 (New Research) | Feb 2020 (Valentine's Day Edition) | Oct 2019 (Focus on Fruit) | Sept 2019 (Rooted in Puget Sound) | May 2019 (Living in Extremes) | April 2019 (Flowers & Pollinators!) | Feb 2019 (Propagation & Medicine) | Jan 2019 (Join the Arbutus ARME)
Madrones in the Media & Latest Literature
New madrone article: Bilir, T. E. (2022). Microclimates mediate water fluxes from vegetation (Doctoral dissertation, UC Berkeley).
Research article on survival and growth in the madrone common garden trial was published in October 2021. Link and highlights below.
Kamakura, R.P., DeWald, L.E., Sniezko, R.A., Elliott, M., Chastagner, G. 2021. Using differences in abiotic factors between seed origin and provenance trial sites to predict performance of Pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii Pursh). Forest Ecology and Management. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2021.119487
Transfer distance and frost-free period correlate to madrone growth and mortality.
Summer precipitation is only in best models of mortality at driest or wettest sites.
Small-scale differences in nearby common garden sites can greatly shift results.
Bud growth is earlier for lower latitude/elevation, drier, and colder seed sources.
Bud elongation date only correlates well to growth/mortality at a subset of sites.
From treehugger podcast, listen to the conversation "Madrones with Arbutus ARME" which is part audio presentation from the January 2021 Tacoma Tree Foundation Growing Skills Webinar plus expanded conversations and madrone Q & A with Marianne, Joey and Michael.
We discuss the cultural importance of the tree. Then we explore the complex interactions that happen belowground and in the canopy. We also highlight the adaptive capacity and resiliency of the species amidst climate disruption.
"...Madrones are easy enough to grow—once you match them to their preferred conditions. Though Pacific madrone is part of the original native matrix of the Arboretum, many of the specimens that spontaneously appear here don’t do well—primarily because they germinate and grow in unsuitable sites with compacted or overly wet soils or too much shade. Eventually, stressed by the suboptimal conditions, they succumb to fungal problems."
"The Madrone Tree - A lot of background behind a colorful tree" in Island Histories by Rachel Baker
"While it is possible to host one in your garden, the trees are notoriously difficult to plant and support. Madrones usually rely on fungal filaments in the soil that work with surrounding organisms to aid in their growth... While madrone trees dot the shoreline all around the San Juan Islands, an exceptional place to view them up close is at Obstruction Pass State Park on Orcas Island with over one mile of public saltwater shoreline."
"Ted's Tree, one of the largest in the state, dismantled" in Peninsula Daily News December 11, 2020.
The madrona in Ted’s Tree Park at 231 W. Eighth St. east of Cherry Street is at an estimated 400 years old considered to be one of the oldest of its kind in the state. It has a circumference of more than 21 feet and a crown spread of at least 95 feet shading more than half of West Eighth Street.
“The tree was dead,” said Arborist Travis Waddell of Pacific Northwest Tree Service on Friday.
Wood from the tree is a darker hue than the rich, reddish-orange of a healthy madrona.
“This one doesn’t really have that, as you can see,” Waddell said.
..."Long known, admired, and utilized by indigenous people, the madrona was identified for Europeans in the Salish Sea area by Archibald Menzies, on May 2, 1792, on the southwest shore of Discovery Bay. Sources differ as to the exact spot Menzies walked ashore. As Highway 101 turns north along the bay’s southwestern shore, watch for the exit on the right to Old Gardiner Road. In the less than two miles on Gardiner to the Worldmark Hotel (where you can turn back onto 101), you will see lots of lovely madronas, though no massive old ones. For madrona lovers though, you’ve touched an historic place...."
Exciting undergraduate research by Madeline Clarke at Vancouver Island University is focused on trials to provide information related to growing Arbutus in a nursery setting with traditional and newer technologies that are available on the market. The objective is to establish if using a bound media plug can reduce or eliminate transplant shock symptoms and find out which type of plug is most effective in achieving the main objective. Clarke's work will answer the question: is root disturbance the main cause for transplant shock related deaths of Arbutus seedlings? Originally the plants were going to be grown in a greenhouse setting, but Clarke had to adapt the trial due to COVID-19, and will be growing them from home in an outdoor setting. She is expecting to complete the trial end of October/November 2020. Contact Madeline Clarke for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chacon, Alexander I., Alexander Baer, James K. Wheeler, and Jarmila Pittermann. "Two coastal Pacific evergreens, Arbutus menziesii, Pursh. and Quercus agrifolia, Née show little water stress during California's exceptional drought." Plos one 15, no. 4 (2020): e0230868.
A new paper related to madrone has been published by researchers at UC Santa Cruz. The researchers tracked water potential in madrone and Coast live oak in Central California during California's deep drought. Both these species are resistant to drought but employ different water use strategies based on their anatomy. Madrones have deep tap roots and diffuse-porous wood anatomy. This allows water to move efficiently through small and dense vessels, which the researchers said provides a 'hydraulic safety margin.' Another great reason why it's a winner!
"You Say Madrona, I Say Madrone" by Chris Rurik from March 1, 2020 in Key Peninsula News
While the Key Peninsula’s hillsides collapse under rain that reveals how we’re all just sitting on a mass of mud, on certain shorelines and exposed slopes grow trees that stand out no matter how deep the mist and murk become — madronas.... Read More
by Kristin Smith from April 22, 2020 in Backpacker Magazine
"Just south of the Straits of Georgia and the sea border with Canada, a horseshoe-shaped island—and state park—rises in waves of sandstone and madrone from the Pacific."
by Nia Martin from March 18, 2020 in Seattle Times
"For larger spaces... the Northwest natives of...evergreen huckleberry and the Pacific madrone tree, all of which thrive in partial to full sun...."
by Kathleen Scavone from January 12, 2020 in Lake County News
"Plants that thrive up on Boggs include white fir, Douglas fir, California fescue, California bay laurel, coffeeberry, sugar pine, Pacific madrone...."