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2017 Clarno Nursery Winter Willow Harvest Day trip #2

Difficulty Rating: 1 out of 5 Join ONDA for the final willow roundup in the beautiful John Day River country! This trip will be held at the Clarno Nursery where ONDA staff and volunteers will harvest and prep a variety of native plants that will be used in future ONDA restoration trips along the South Fork Crooked River. A great single day outing that is critical to the success of many other restoration trips! Click HERE for pictures from last year's willow harvest trip. Click HERE for more information and to register.
When Feb 18, 2017
from 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Where John Day
Contact Name
Contact Phone (541) 330-2638
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The Clarno Nursery, officially named the Clarno Hardwood Propagation Facility, is a collaborative project between the US Forest Service and the BLM. Up to 50,000 willows, cottonwoods and other native trees are harvested annually from this facility for restoration projects around the northwest. ONDA has been working with the Clarno Nursery for almost a decade and we're keeping the cooperative spirit alive with this trip. Located along the banks of the John Day River the Clarno Nursery is picturesque as well as important to ecological restoration efforts. It's not just the scenery that makes the area worth a trip. The nursery is just a few miles from the Clarno Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument which encompasses some of the most unique geological features in Oregon. The cliffs of the Palisades were formed 44 million years ago from a series of volcanic mudflows which captured a diverse array of plants and animals that lived in the near tropical environment.

Clarno Nusery Lunch Site (Frank Israel)
A much deserved lunch break along the banks of the John Day River. Photo by Frank Israel

The focus for this event will be cutting and collecting lengths of willow and cottonwood for a major spring planting effort along the South Fork Crooked River. The plants that we harvest will be cut into three foot long cuttings and used to replant riparian areas by sticking them directly in the ground. For this trip, there are three different tasks volunteers can perform: cutting the plants; collecting and transporting the plants; and preparing the plants for storage. With assembly line efficiency, we hope to prepare well over a thousand planting sticks all while having a great time and enjoying the beautiful outdoor setting!

Click HERE for a Google Map with directions to Clarno.

Clarno Nursery Willow Wading
Wading through the willows in search of cuttings. Photo by Frank Israel

  • Be part of the full circle restoration effort by harvesting the willows on this trip and then signing up for the South Fork Riparian Planting Trips later in the season.
  • Winter work can mean winter weather and difficult work conditions.
  • Lots of work with your hands using loppers and hand snips to prune and cut the trees to length.


  • February 18th (Saturday): The group will meet at the ONDA office in Bend at 8:00 am.  We will carpool out to Clarno Nursery, which is about a two hour drive. After a safety and work protocol briefing, we'll get to work. Lunch will be outside within the sights and sounds of the John Day River.  The work will last until approximately 3:15 pm. The plan is to be back in Bend close to 5:30 pm.

  • DIFFICULTY RATING: 1 out of 5:

    The physical demands of this trip are moderate. Volunteers can expect minimal walking, squatting or bending over, carrying light weight armfuls of sticks, cutting or sawing sticks, and gripping stick bundles to tie them up. The work area is flat and the greatest challenge is to avoid tripping on the small stumps once the trees have been harvested. Everyone will be able to work at their own pace and we will rotate jobs so that everyone gets a chance to learn each task. Cold and breezy weather is possible, but rain would postpone the event.

    Participants are responsible for their own food and water/beverages. Carpooling will be available with ONDA staff or other volunteers if available. ONDA staff will help facilitate carpools when possible. Sturdy hiking boots are recommended, close-toed shoes are required (no sandals). These plots have very dense trees and likely some muddy areas so eye protection (please bring your own if you have them) and appropriate footwear are essential. As the trees are harvested, there will be a lot of cut small stumps on the ground which makes for a veritable obstacle course of tripping hazards.

    ONDA will provide all the tools necessary for the work as well as extra gloves and extra eye protection if needed. Also provided will be coffee and hot water to keep the chill off.

    This trip is lead by ONDA's Stewardship Associate Michael O'Casey
    Group size is limited to 15 participants.
    This trip is offered free of charge.


    An ONDA registration application and medical form is required for this trip.
    Click HERE for the form.  You only need to fill this form out once per year: You can join additional trips this year by just e-mailing the trip leader directly.  You will receive a confirmation e-mail within 10 working days of submitting your form.  The confirmation e-mail will provide information regarding which trips you are on the "participant list" for, and which trips are full, and therefore you have been placed on the "wait list". 

    Six weeks before the start of the trip, the trip leader will send out an RSVP to make sure everyone is still able to participate. Based on RSVPs, open spaces will be backfilled with people from the wait list.  Three weeks before the trip begins, the trip leader will send out an e-mail with additional information, maps, driving instructions, car-pooling options etc. However, if you have any questions in the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact the trip leader.

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    Oregon Natural Desert Association
    50 SW Bond Street, Suite 4,
    Bend, OR 97702
    Tel: (541) 330-2638

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