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Will Oregon’s old Sitka die?

December 30, 2006

Oregon SitkaI don’t watch TV, so I miss the nightly news. Perhaps everyone else already heard about it, but finding out Oregon’s oldest tree is bound for death in the aftermath of the recent storms we’ve had was news to me.

If you haven’t seen this amazing tree, it might be too late:

The 750-year-old Oregon tree is most likely the state’s oldest and has been admired through time, said Paul Ries, forester with the Oregon Department of Forestry. “We know foresters passed up that tree when they were scouting for lumber during World War I,” he said.

Ries acknowledges that the prognosis looks bleak, but says it’s too early to fetch the chain saw.

County officials have yet to say what they will do with the tree. Meanwhile, the viewing deck around the Sitka is closed, and Klootchy Creek Park officials are asking people to stay away.If it does come down, Flanagan says it will be a sad end for a great tree. “It’s so massive, it’s impressive,” he said. “And that’s what people will miss – the uniqueness of this tree.”

Oregon’s Sitka spruce is the tallest tree in the U.S. I hope it doesn’t have to go down. The blustery storms of this winter aren’t a good enough reason for this amazing tree to go down. I’ll keep an eye out.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2007 10:30 am

    (Oregon’s Sitka is the tallest Sitka–not the tallest tree.) I was chagrined to hear this news–I’ve stopped to admire that old tree a number of times on the way to the coast. It sounds like they’re going to try to do something, so maybe it will still make it.

    If it does come down, I hope the state does something cool with the wood. It should at least live on as a building or new wing of the Capitol or something…

  2. Lord Pemberton Walcott permalink
    November 4, 2007 8:59 pm

    The Klootchy creek Sitka is the largest tree in Oregon. It is 700 years old, 17 feet thick through the trunk at breast height, and 205 feet tall. It isn’t the tallest tree in the state, that title goes to a 330-ft Douglas Fir in Coos Bay.

    When this tree falls, it will be a great loss to Oregon’s natural heritage.

  3. January 20, 2008 10:21 pm

    After hearing about this on the news, my heart thumped. This was one of the last of the truly gigantic spruces, which were once rather common to the Oregon and Northwest coast. There is one in BC that is 315 feet tall, but almost no other giants remain of this bulk and or height.

    The loss of this tree is tragic. But at least it died a natural death. Yet with such precious few remaining, the list grows smaller.

  4. January 27, 2010 6:43 pm

    i dident know any thing about this tree but i do know that the oldest tree in the world title goes to a spruce it is 9550 years old

  5. January 27, 2010 6:48 pm


  6. January 27, 2010 6:49 pm

    cool i got it of the screen


  1. Oregon’s old Sitka snaps in coastal storm « a girl in stumptown

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