PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As recent windstorms have toppled countless trees across the region, one community in Sellwood is working together to salvage a century-old American chestnut tree that recently fell.

According to the City of Portland’s records, it was recognized as a Heritage Tree for its more than 100-foot size and significance.

There are nearly 400 Heritage Trees throughout Portland, with new trees added each year. Once designated, Heritage Trees are protected by City Code and cannot be removed without the consent of the Urban Forestry Commission and Portland City Council.

When a beautiful tree comes down in a neighborhood, it doesn’t go unnoticed.

Erich Perkins, from Rescued Oregon Timber, works with a couple of other woodworkers to rescue Oregon timber in urban neighborhoods because when big trees like this fall, Perkins said they usually go to the dump.

The community of Sellwood is coming together to raise funds to transform this fallen tree trunk into a treasure of useful furniture to display in their parks.

“That’s what the whole urban lumber thing is,” Perkins said. “It’s to keep this wood, especially these trees that are special in the neighborhood.”

With countless trees that have fallen throughout the region, how do you know if the ones in your yard are on their last limb?

Portland arborist Jacob Holmstead said there are many factors that lead to trees failing, starting with poor soil in cities.

“We’ve had long persistent heat and persistent drought for the last decade really,” said Holmstead.

Extreme weather puts stress on trees. Key warning signs to watch for are are dead canopies and shrinking roots.

Regardless, trees also don’t last forever. Arborists said that a tree’s death is part of the circle of life.

Holmstead’s mission as a small tree company in Portland, is to focus on preservation and keeping canopy retention, especially in urban settings. By teaching clients about the importance of maintaining big trees, he hopes to pass down generational stewardship.

“People think you have to go up and make these big pruning cuts and change the way the tree looks,” Holmstead said.

Holmstead said trees have been doing self-pruning for centuries and maintaining their health on their own. So surprisingly, less is more.

The only time it’s essential to prune trees is in urban settings where you have to manage the risk of limbs falling on houses or power lines.

If you’ve recently lost a tree in your neighborhood and want to see it live on, there is a solution.

“There are a lot of arborists who support this kind of program,” Perkins said. “Find someone who will keep the tree going.”

Most trees get turned into wood chips or firewood because saving a tree is expensive and labor-intensive.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help rescue what remains of the American Chestnut in Sellwood. If you make a $50 donation, you will get a charcuterie board made from its wood.