January 8, 2007

Sitka Spruce at Klootchy Creek in Oregon

POST #    2357

This tree is no normal Sitka Spruce. It's the biggest Sitka Spruce in the country! Not only that, it's also the tallest tree in the whole state of Oregon! Now that you've seen it here, you don't need to visit the actual tree. Though it is quite big in person.

P.S. - How about that creek name??

Posted by tien mao in Oregon, Photos, Travel at 7:53 AM



The tree was damaged a couple of weeks ago in a wind storm. People were suggesting it be chopped down but I think they decided to let it stand.

Posted by: Joe at January 8, 2007 8:49 AM

yeah, they are just gonna let it topple when it topples. they've ropped off a large area around the tree so people don't get hurt. The actual recent damage was back in early December when the NW had a very large wind storm.

Posted by: u don't know me at January 8, 2007 8:17 PM

good to know. it was obviously fine when we went to oregon in august.

Posted by: tien [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 8, 2007 11:14 PM

Actually, it wasn't fine. It was struck by lighning decades ago, and the storm blew out sections of the decayed wood in the wound, exposing the weak area for viewing. Most likely, the tree is now split more than it had been. Today I attended an arborist's conference, and Paul Ries, Oregon Forester, relayed the story, and showed pictures of the crack, which is huge, relative to the cross section of the tree. It's amazing that the tree still stands, as the entire canopy is above the radial split.

Posted by: Rbtree at February 6, 2007 2:35 AM

One correction, though, while the Klootchy spruce is the largest tree in Oregon, it is far from the tallest. There are many young trees in Oregon that are over 250 feet tall. In fact, Portland's own Forest Park, just a couple minutes from downtown, is home to several douglas fir over 200 feet tall and 6-7 feet in diameter.

Champion and large trees are measured via a point system, based on diameter at breast height, tree height, and crown spread.

Also, Robert Van Pelt, who has an awesome book entitled "FGorest Giants of the Pacific Coast" has devised his own method of measuring large trees, which is based on total wood volume. He uses a laser to take highly accurate measurements of the trunk and most major leaders, and calculates the total cubic feet of wood in a given tree. The most massive tree is California's General Sherman Tree, a giant sequoia that is 36 feet in diameter, and contains some 55,000 cubic feet of wood. Discounting the foliage, that extrapolates to over 2 million pounds of wood in that stupendous patriarch!!

While I'm bummed to see the Kloochy spruce in danger of imminent failure, as a Washingtonian, I'm proud to know that we'll soon be able to lay claim again to the title of having the largest Sitka spruce in the country, and also the world, instead of having to share it with you webbed footies.....

Posted by: rbtree at February 6, 2007 2:48 AM

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