A compilation of Historic and anecdotal reports of Eastern White Pine over 200 feet high, or containing large diameters and extraordinary lumber volumes, circa 18th to 20th century.
Old Growth White Pine Forests, c. 19th century.
Update: 1/15/2020, I will be adding more accounts in following weeks and months. All heights below are “as is”, as this is a project of ongoing investigation, early reports of fallen trees measured on the ground by tape line, chains, rods, and rule sticks by first person observers such as Foresters, mill men, and credible scientists & surveyors of the day, or which have been vetted by 2 or more credible witnesses, I find to be of potential high credibility. My preliminary findings suggest that some stands of Eastern White Pine were averaging over 200 feet in height in the Eastern & N. Eastern U.S. and Ontario, Canada before the year 1900, reaching impressive diameters often over 5 to 7 feet, and contained individual specimen which may have rivaled the highest recorded Western White Pines and its cousin, the Sugar Pine. Heights of 220 to 270 ft potentially having been reached in the very tallest ones. In aggregating about 70 historic height reports, and 52 listed diameters from the reports below, the mean average of this Historical superlative series is approximately 218 ft tall over a 6.27 ft diameter at stump. Diameters ranged from 2 to 12 ft, and heights from 150 to 270 ft.
- John Maude in the year 1800, visited Niagara, NY and Bath, Mud Creek, and Bartle’s mill. Trees were over 200 feet in length. Mr Bartle measured one, when a log, that was 202 ft long, white pine.
- Dr Timothy Dwight, a former president of Yale College, recalls a Pine 247 feet long measured by Mr. Law of Meredith, Ny. c. 1804, and estimates standing timber 200 feet, near Unadilla, Ny.
- Granby, Oswego Co. Ny, pine in 1829 on land of Charles Chapman, cut by Addison & James Saterlee and George Green, who aver to the dimensions: 4 ft above ground 7.5 ft diam, at 22 ft, 6 ft diam, 90 ft to first limb, and 220 feet to top branch. Another tree near this, wind fallen, not as great in diameter as the last tree, was measured by George Kellogg of Granby, who carefully measured the prostrate tree at 14 rods in length, or 231 feet.
- Camillus, Onandaga Co, NY, 1860. On land owned by Wheeler Truesdell, A Pinus Strobus measured 230 feet long as it lay, another nearby gave 154 feet of saw logs.
- A very detailed measurement by a scientific observer: Between Albany NY, and Killington, Shrewsbury mountains, Vermont in 1853. A prostrate Pine tree 235 feet long to a decayed top- which traced out even further than that. 17 ft 3 circumference at the base, 2 feet diameter 165 ft from base, it was measured by early Meteorologist and instrument maker, Joel W. Andrews.
- Carroll, Chatauqua Co. Ny, 1840 on farm of George W Fenton, a Pine cut 13-sixteen ft logs + one 12 ft, it’s height was estimated at over 250 feet.
- Another Pine at Carroll, Ny in 1857 that was 180 feet, cut 9 logs 16 ft, and one 12 ft.
- A Pine, in Kiantone, Ny measured 22 ft circumference, and yet another Pine in French Creek, was 27 ft circumference, and nearly 200 ft tall. It was not Uncommon for single pines to scale 5,000 feet. Single acres of Pines would sometimes yield 100,000 feet.
- At Kiantone Ny, 1854 Charles Spencer cut a pine which had 8 logs sixteen ft, and six logs 12 ft, besides top and stump. In 1860, another Pine was cut upon the same lot that was 7 ft diameter at stump, and 6 ft diameter 60 ft from trunk, it was sawed at Warner’s saw mill at Jamestown and produced 13,300 ft.
- Chautauqua Co., Cassadega creek Ny, c. 1865. A Pine on the property of J.E. Almy was cut down and measured upwards of 200 feet in length upon the ground, it was described as 5.5 feet diameter, and the stump was nearly six feet in diameter, and Other stumps nearby were 4.5 feet diam. According to Dr Frederick Larkin, and Mr Bugbee, 800 annual rings could readily be counted on the stump, not including a large number obliterated by decay.
- Randolph, Cattaraugus Co, Ny c. 1830, some Pines on the flats measured 225 feet. Others were said to reach 300 ft.
- Other reports around Randolph, and Conewango, Cattaraugus co. of trees 230 feet tall.
- Cold Spring, Cattaraugus Co. Ny, 1830s-1840s the area was originally covered with fine growth of timber, some pines more than 200 feet in length.
- Crystal Spring, Yates Co. NY 1881, a nearly 200 ft White Pine, 13 ft circumference, scaled 4,000 feet. 315 rings on the trunk.
- AN 18-LOG PINE [New Russia, NY]
A monster pine, a regular monarch of the forest, was recently cut by J. M. Barnet & Co., on their job in New Russia. From this stately tree, measuring fifty-four inches on the stump, no less than eighteen logs were cut. It is probably one of the largest, if not the largest, pine ever cut in the Adirondacks.
Ticonderoga Sentinel, September 20, 1917
- Poland, Chautauqua Co., Ny . c. early 1800s. It is said that a surveyor, Mr. Cheney, stretched his chain on a fallen pine 268 feet in length, each time he travled between Kiantone to Kennedy, Ny. Many of the Pines measured 5 to 6 feet diameter, “Poland Quality” in Lumber, was the standard.
- Cuba, Allegany Co, Ny, 1837. A Pine produced 18 mill logs ; 9 of 12 feet, and 9 of 16 ft.
- in 1902, Occasional white Pine in NY state are said to have been 255 ft, and 80″ in diam, and many NY lumbermen still living, recall giant White Pines that measured 7 ft across the stumps and over 220 in height. Another report that the 255′ tree was 125 to first branch, and felled in the Conewango swamp lands, according to records from Albany.
- Fairhaven, Rutland Co, Ny. about 1800, some of the trees were 200 feet tall, and were over 400 rings old.
- A large Pine tree 175 feet in length, 18 feet in circumference, and 65 feet to first limb, cut down in Greene Co. NY, in May 1902.
“A Noble Pine.– A large pine tree on the Pratt Stock Farm, Greene County, NY that many have heard about and numbers have traveled far to see, was recently cut says the Oak Hill Record. It was struck by lightning two years ago and last fall the top died. The lightning did not damage or shatter the main trunk. The entire length was about 175 feet; at the stump It was 18 feet around; three ordi nary persons could nicely reach around it. Sixty-five feet from the stump where the first limb was, the trunk was over three feet in diameter and nearly 10 feet in circumference. Counting the rings on the stump we found the tree to be about 285 years old. This country was but thinly settled when the tree made a start in the world, and now the monarch of the forest lies low. This tree will be cut into eight foot logs and quartered, then sawed into 16-Inch blocks and made into shaved shingles. This was undoubtedly the largest tree in this sec-tion of the country.”
- Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire 1770-1780
Rev. Wheelock, Mcclure, Lord and others who founded Dartmouth college record 270 and 230 ft long pines. White Pines grew especially along the river and valley of Mink Brook. These were often of great size and height, a hundred feet or more to the first limb, and it was not unusual that four trees could be felled in such a way to fence an acre, one on each side of a tract.
- First hand account by David Mcclure, friend of Rev. Wheelock from Dartmouth, who measured one of those pines which was 270 ft long from butt to top. The site was an unbroken forest of enormous pines one of which Rev David McClure DD says that he himself measured and found it 270 feet from the butt to the top. On the first cleared area of 6 acres it is said that the felled trees covered the ground 5 feet high and the standing trees shut off the sun till it was far up above the horizon.
- Whitefield, New Hampshire, 1872 William Quimby had a pine tree 21 ft circumference, and 100 ft to first limb, which contained estimated 7,000 feet of sound lumber.
- Dr Timothy Dwight mentions a report from Lancaster, New Hampshire from a man who had seen a pine 264 feet in length.
- In the vicinity of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, according to John Elwyn, Esq. a Pine tree was cut down some years ago which measured two hundred feet in height.
- Jay, Vermont 1860, M.E Doubleday cut 250 ft of logs from a pine:
- Coventry, Vermont 1891. 18 logs from a Pine tree, 17 were 12 feet, last was 9 ft long.
- East Jamaica, Vermomt 1901,cut by E.M. Butler, 17 logs, all but 2 were 12 feet long.
4 ft diameter 3,409 ft.
- Big Pine, St Johnsbury, Vermont. 7 ft diameter, 4 ft diameter 58 ft from stump 1886.
- Battleboro, Vermont. 5-1/2 ft diamter, 172 ft tall pine. 6031 ft of lumber. 1888.
- Barton, Vermont 1914, N.B. Dunham cut a pine 3 ft diam, and fifteen 12 ft logs.
- Peru, Vermont 1891, The workmen of J.J. Hapgood & Co. cut nineteen 12 ft logs, plus one 8 ft from the body of a single pine.
- West Townsend, Vermont, a Pine cut sixteen logs in 1907.
- Ashley Mountain, Connecticut, 1877. 21 logs, making 216 feet of Pine tree. Tree girthed 14 ft 9 circ.
- A Pine tree in Pennsylvania made 17 logs, 12 to 16 feet, and 8,033 board feet. top end of the Butt log was 58 inches diameter. 1892:
- Pine tree cut 15 logs, which were 12 to 20 ft. 8,999 board feet. Pennsylvania 1897:
- Pine tree at Equinunk, Pennsylania 1865. fifty logs?!! 13,900 board feet!
- Monster pine in pennsylania, 1867, 5 logs 16 ft. 5,000 feet. 41 to 33″ dbh for logs:
- Camp Fox, Pennsylvania, 1880. Pine tree cut 19 logs, 16 feet long. tree had five forks, and was 6 feet diameter at the butt: [Note: multiple forks, could yield many more logs!]
- Cambria Co, Pennsylvania 1883. 166 feet of logs, from 1 pine:
- A Pine in Somerset Co, Penn. 1895 cut thirty logs, 8 to 16 ft long – had nine prongs (reiterations). Stump 6 feet diameter:
- McKean County Penn. 1880, 175 foot tall pines were cut on land of Judge Witmore, and often these trees yielded nine 16 ft logs.
- Centre County, Penn. 1898, a Pine 176.5 feet tall, 5 ft 5 in. diameter, and 90 ft from butt to the forking of the branches was cut by Adam Zerbe, at Sober.
- A Big tree in Sullivan Co. Penn, 1888. It scaled 14 logs, and 13,179 ft. 84 feet to first branch, and 7 feet 8 inches diameter:
- A Pine tree felled on John Dubois lands Clearfield, Co. Penn 1871 had seventeen 16 ft logs! 7,200 board feet.
- On Sandy-lick neck, Pennsylvania, circa 1843 was a pine 12 feet in diameter, and at 12 feet from the ground it divided into branches.
- Cedar Run, Lycoming Co, Penn. Mammoth White Pine – c. 1889, 12 ft diameter, 200 ft tall. A white pine located on Robert Wolf’s job near the mouth of Cedar Run, Lycoming County, the finest white pine tree standing in Pennsylvania. Its diameter breast-high was 12 feet, and it was 200 feet in height, perfectly straight and sound, estimated to contain 6,500 feet below the branches. A log 105 feet long was cut from it, and sent to Philadelphia for a parade. Mr. Martz confirmed the stump was still present as of 1926.
- Col. Shoemaker states that in 1908 he saw a White Pine of similar diameter standing close to Gotshall’s Run, Clinton County. However, storm had broken off its top 70 feet from the ground.
- Thomas G. Simcox, an old timber cruiser, said it was second only to one other white pine in Clinton County, which was called the Grandfather Pine, and was 360 feet* high, and once stood at the mouth of Schwenk’s Gap, Sugar Valley, Clinton County.
*”The Grandfather Pine”, of Sugar Valley, according to local historian and folklorist Col. Henry W Shoemaker, was a well known pine to the settlers of Clinton County, Pennsylvania. This legendary mammoth tree, famous to the Indians and pioneers alike, was said to stand nearly twice as tall as the surrounding forest. It was cut around 1875 by Mike Courtney who was woodsman of Ario Pardee’s lumber interests. The tree was reportedly felled by Mike Courtney, Henry Mark, Jake Karstetter, and Henry Wren who cut the tree 9 feet off the ground with a large crosscut saw and axes. Shoemaker credits a more authentic height of 260 feet (269 ft with butt height added), from the butt to the top, as measured by Henry Wren, one of the cutters. The giant tree reportedly measured 12 feet in diameter, 9 feet up from the ground. Altoona Tribune Altoona, Pennsylvania 13 Jul 1931, Mon • Page 6
- Another Giant Pine at Little Sugar Valley, not far from Sugar Valley, Clinton Co, Penn. was cut in 1887 by J.H. Maize and John Breon which scaled 5,945 feet, and three men could not reach around the trunk of the tree.
- On Property of Mr Bell, at the waters of Mahoning, Brady Township, Penn. 1870. Pine tree, which was 21 ft 6 girth, and 11,000 board ft. 18 logs 16 ft, and three 12 ft logs. Totaling 324 log feet!
- Cameron Co, Pennsylvania 1908, pine tree scaled 10,800 ft, 5 ft diam, and cut 31 logs from 8 to 16 ft long, the total saw logs amount to 394 feet; but the tree was not this tall, for it had 2 forks and 3 branches of immense size. Actual height of tree is not recorded.
- History of Sheffield Township, Warren Co. Penn. 1830s, report from a sawmill of a Pine that was 23 ft circ. 8 ft from the ground, and another one which made seventeen sawlogs, each 16 ft long.
- Cook tract, Clarion river, Penn. 1917, some White Pines said to still be 250 ft tall, and 150 to first limb.
- Pinegrove Township, Pennsylvania. Clapp Estate Sale, 1903. 2000 acres covered in the last tract of White Pines in Pennsylvania not touched by the woodsman’s axe. “There are White Pine trees in this particular tract that will measure seven feet across the stump and which tower 250 feet into the air.”
- Hooverhurst, Indiana Co. Penn, 1901. A Pine nearly 200 ft tall, 58 in. butt diameter, left standing as a curiosity.
- Au-Sable River, N. Michigan, in 1890 C.H. Carpenter and A.H. Gifford cut a pine at Vaughan’s camp, 5.5 ft diam at butt, which cut 12, 16 foot logs, the tree being over 200 feet in height and perfectly sound.
- 1895, Monster pine cut by Spaulding Lumber company Mich. 23 logs x 16 ft, plus 2. 10,000 board feet. 4 ft 8 diam.
- Clyde, Michigan. 1854, a pine yielded 32 pine logs, and over 13,000 board ft.
- A Pine giving 19 logs, totaling 254 feet, at Farwell, Michigan 1879:
- Hobart, Mich, 1892 Monster pine 7 ft diam. section sent to Exhibition.
- Alpena, Mich. Giant Pine 9 feet diam. 1883
- Williams, Bay Co. Michigan, 1868. A pine tree with 24 x 16 ft logs, 10,098 ft.
- C.W. June cut down a Pine near Evarts, Mich. in 1886, yielding 19 logs, equalling 236 feet of tree.
- Baraga, Mich. 1903, John Moran cut a pine which made 22 logs ranging 12-16 ft, tree was over 5 ft diam, and scaled over 3,000 ft.
- Clam Lake, Mich. 1876, 200 ft long Pines furnished spars 175 ft long, with 2 ft diameter butts.
“HIGH TREES. The exact height of our tallest trees in most cases is not known. They are to be found in some congenial spots where the ground is favorable for a thick growth in a slight sag in the ground. At Clam Lake an old lumberman informed me that he could furnish spars of pine 175 feet long and not over two feet through at the butt. He had cut them 200 feet long.”
- Newaygo, Mich. 1877, a pine tree 14.5 feet girth, and 100 feet to first limb was reported.
- The David Ward Estate, in Otsego, Crawford, Kalkaska, and Antrim counties, Michigan had Pine trees 170-185 ft tall, and 5 ft diameter, before c. 1909.
“Before lumbering operations 20,000 acres were covered with a magnificent stand of white pine, and many of the trees were five feet in diameter and 170 to 185 feet in height.”
- “The tree rarely reaches a height of more than 160 feet and diameters of more than 40 inches more usually 30 inches. Occasionally these dimensions are exceeded ; trees of 200 feet in height and of 60 inches in diameter have been reported. The largest actually measured by the Division of Forestry was 48 inches in diameter breast high and 170 feet in height, with an age of about four hundred and sixty years, containing 738 cubic feet of wood, standing in a group of similarly old and large pines in Michigan. Another tree of this group, with 47 inches diameter and 162 feet in height, contained 855 cubic feet, being less tapered.”
- Antigo, Wisconsin, 1896, a pine 20 ft girth, and 150 ft in length to a 2 ft diam broken top. Full height before the break, was probably 200 ft.
- Green Bay, Wisconsin, 1876, a pine cut 20 logs 12-18 ft long. scaled 4,205 ft.
- Large White Pine tree, Chippewa, Yellow river Wisconsin, 1891, yielded 29 logs, measured 5 ft 3 diameter 12 feet up.
- Another Giant Pine from Chippewa Valley, Wisc. 1898, yielded 14 logs. and 11,620 ft.
- Ontario, Canada. Many Weymouth Pine trees 210 feet long, 5 to 7 ft diameter, and 350 to 425 years old were measured as they lay, in Ontario by James Brown and George Brown, foresters in Ontario c. 1870s-1882. James Brown LL.D., was Forester from Arniston, Scotland, and later Inspector of Woods and Forests, Port Elgin, Canada. His son was George E. Brown, Forester, Cumloden, Newton- Stewart, N.B.
Pinus Strobus, or Weymouth Pine. “In its native habitats this pine grows to very large dimensions. We have measured many of them as they lay felled on the ground and taking a number of them we found the stems average 150 feet long by 2 feet 9 inches diameter at 5 feet up from the bottom. This may be taken as an average of the size of the trees as they stand in their native parts ; but we have found many of them that measured 210 feet long with stems from 5 to 7 feet in diameter at 4 feet up from the bottom and on counting the annular layers on the stumps from which they were cut we found them to range between 350 and 425 which may be taken as representing the years of their age.”
- Ontario White pines, 200 ft were not uncommon, and some 220 ft tall, 120 to first branch and 7 ft diameter recorded 1860s. Near the shores of Lake Erie the larger pines were reported to often reach 60 metres in height and over 150 cm (5 feet) in diameter (Hurlbert, 1862).
- Ontario, Canada c. 1820. Pine tree 180 ft long to burned top 47 inches in circumference at the break, may have been 100 feet higher originally.
“The largest timber, particularly pine, that I have ever seen is from Norwich to Burford. A Pine tree that lay alongside the path I mea-sured–its length 180 feet. Its head or top was burned, the circumference of it was 47 inches, and had the tree been perfect it wd. in all probability be 100 feet more & measure 300 ft. of solid timber.”
- Some White Pines near Ottawa, Ontario c. 1860s were 16 ft circumference and 180 feet tall.
“…Gatineau lie within the pine growing zone and embrace by far the best pine growing forests in the province in extent and in the size and quality of the timber. In the township of Thorne 20, years ago I measured a pine tree 18 feet 4 inches in circumference at 5 feet from the ground, and within sight of the Parliament Hill, Ottawa, I measured some about 16 feet in circumference and 180 feet in height but trees of such girth are scarce.”
- Ontario White Pines, 160 to 190 feet reported.
“Those pine trees in Ontario were of the white variety rather than of the yellow. Their trunks three to six feet in diameter, rose straight and bare for 100 feet or more, the branched top being about one third of the tree’s height. Many of them stood 160 feet, and the tallest reached 180 and 190. They were all solid wood. The soil on which they flourished so was a sandy loam.”
- William Durkee Williamson, in 1839, lists White Pine at up to 240 feet in Maine, and up to 6 feet at the butt diameter.
- Maine, 1882 forest census said white pine often exceeded 200 ft, and individuals 250 ft. not uncommonly 90 ft to lowest limbs.
- Androscoggin and Royal’s River, Maine. Col Moses Little in 1768 measured a White Pine log that was 181 feet long, and 12 inches diameter at the small end.
- Liberty, Maine a pine tree 7 ft diam, made 10,610 board ft. circa 1837.
- Maine, 1904, record White pine 225 ft tall, 90″ diam. …”white pines attained extraordinary size. (The record tree in Maine, cut in 1904, was 90 inches in diameter and 225 feet tall.) When reports of these giants reached England in the early 1600s, their fate was sealed, and by 1670 thousands were feeding”…
- Bangor, Maine, Pine tree 1888, 254 feet length of logs: 16 x 12 ft, 2 x14 ft, 2×8, and 1x 18 ft log:
- Dunstable, Mass. 1736, 7 feet 8 inches diameter, Pine.
- George Emerson reports that around the year 1800, at Blandford, Mass. Some pines were measured after they were felled, more than 13 rods and a half long, or 223 feet in length.
- Dayville, Mass. 1870. 18 sawlogs, none less than 8 feet.
In the Dayville area the passing of a large pine tree was all the news in late January. “A remarkably large pine tree was cut last week west of this village on land of S. & H. Sayles (owners of Dayville’s woolen mill). It was about 12 feet in circumference, and from it were cut by Mr. Alexander Blanchard, eighteen logs, none less than eight feet long, and all of which will saw into 2000 feet of boards.” (WCTr 2/3/1870).
- Mr. D.E. Hawks of Charlemont, Mass. in 1849, reportedly cut a 300 ft tall Pine tree, containing 22 logs, average log being 12 ft.
“A Large Tree. – Mr. D. E. Hawks, of Charle-mont, cut a Pine tree a short time since, of the following dimensions. It was 7 feet through 10 feet from the stump, and was 5 feet through 50 feet from the stump. Twenty two logs were taken from the tree, the average length of which were 12 feet. Fourteen feet of the tree were spoiled in falling. The extreme length of the tree from the stump to the top twigs, was 300 feet! – Greenfield Gazette.”
Weekly Transcript, North Adams, Mass., Thursday, July 12, 1849
Charlemont, Massachusetts: Frontier Village and Hill Town – Page 126
Allan Healey · 1965
247′ Meredith, NY History of the Lumber Industry in the State of New York
250′ Timothy Dwights’ Travels in New England and New York
240′ Dartmouth, NH A Natural History of Trees
260′ Lincoln, NH Forest Giants of the World Past and Present
262′ Forest Giants…
264′ NH. Forest Giants.
GREAT EASTERN TREES, PAST AND PRESENT by Colby B. Rucker, from the Bulletin of The Eastern native Tree Society, Volume 3, Issue 4 7 Fall 2008
New Hampshire: Eastern White Pine. A pine cut long ago on the site of Dartmouth College was said to have been 240′ tall. Although many doubt the species is capable of attaining such a height, the legend has persisted. Reference: Lane, Ferdinand C., 1953. The Story of Trees, pp. 67-68.
New York: Eastern White Pine, It is said that a fallen specimen at Meridith, New York measured 247 feet in length. Reference: American Forests, Spring 2000, p. 38. Comments: No other details are available. No authenticated records indicate that such heights were actually attained.
Pennsylvania: Eastern White Pine. Girth 37 feet, height 200 feet. “Felled near Cedar Run.” Reference: Lane, Ferdinand C., 1953. The Story of Trees, p.67. Comments: Lane gives no other details. The girth seems excessive, even at grade.
Wisconsin: Eastern white pine. A white pine felled near the Flambeau River, in northwest Wisconsin yielded 14 logs that scaled 22,620 board feet. Reference: Stevens Point Journal, 2/26/1898. (courtesy of Paul Jost, 2/16/2004).
Eastern white pine. A white pine near the Plover River, in the Hatley area of Marathon County, was reported to have a circumference of 19′ 6″, and a height of nearly 200 feet. Reference: S. A. Sherman, pioneer lumberman, 1884. (courtesy of Paul Yost, 2/16/2004).
Eastern white pine. A white pine to be cut on the land of Mr. Wadleigh, near Hatley, Marathon County, was said to be the largest in Wisconsin. It was 27 feet in circumference. Reference: Stevens Point Journal, 12/1/1883. (courtesy of Paul Yost, 2/16/2004).
Turn on Google Earth’s 3D Buildings Icon. Create a polygon filter and adjust at desired altitude to filter height and find tallest tree. Google 3D renderings are photo realistic, and tend to be better than 95% accurate on flat land.
Accurately measuring trees on slopes and steep terrain is much more difficult. In this instance, subtracting crown height from base Google DEM terrain (non 3D mode) elevation will give a good proxy of height, yet DEM data itself can be inaccurate by as much as 50 – 100 feet. 3D Mode has finer and more exact elevation data. It is also worthy to consult other elevation databases to ensure accurate elevation at the base of the tree.
To Measure trees in Google Street view first select the desired location of the tree’s trunk, or directly under where the tree’s highest point is. Add a placemark at this location, then turn on the Google Street View mode. While in Street view mode, adjust the height of the placemark until it aligns with the top of the tree’s crown. This method is even more accurate than the 3D mode, as the 3D polygons some times do not render the top 5 or 10 feet or more in slender trees, steeples, etc:
My post at Google’s forum: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/gec-open-forum/rsf8Ul4NPGo
Some Douglas fir trees reported up to nearly 300 feet tall, and 6 to 8-1/2 feet diameter once grew on the south slope of Mt Scott, Portland in 1912. Oregonian archives: The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current, May 26, 1912, Image 13
The Antone Sechtem ranch was located in Happy Valley, sheltered between Mt Scott and Talbert Mountain, segmented by Sunnyside road, and was within a couple hundred yards of Mt. Scott Creek. A great sheltered valley for big trees. Very Large Cedar trees also once grew in this valley.
300 feet is about as tall as Portland’s newly built South Waterfront Apartments , and about twice the size of the tallest fir trees growing around most of inner Portland nowadays. Powell Butte & Forest Park do have some Doug firs over 200 feet (the tallest is 252 feet high in Macleay Park), and there are amazingly still some huge fir trees up to nearly 300 feet tall (280-290 ft) and 6 to 8.3 feet diameter at Oxbow Park, Gresham- 15 miles east of Portland- the tallest trees in the Metro. Lewis and Clark recorded in their journals a 318 feet tall fir tree, only 3.5 to 4 feet in diameter (pencil thin!) at the upper reaches of “Quicksand river” in 1806, around the present day Sandy River Delta Park, in Gresham.
The 1852 survey map of the Portland basin shows evidence of a once great forest of Douglas fir, Hemlock, and Maple trees. A series of fires between 1825 and 1845 burnt much of this vast forest so that Portland had great open meadows with burnt and fallen timber along most of the central basin and east side, with swamps and marshland extending from Powell blvd. southward down through Crystal springs, and Johnson creek.
However, large groves of old growth trees remained east of 82nd ave, near Rocky Butte, down to Mt Scott and Happy Valley.
The Honorable Andrew J. Dufur, (whose son later formed the town of Dufur, east of Mt. Hood) is quoted in an 1876 agriculture report that he had cut down a Douglas fir 321 feet in length and 6 feet 4 inches diameter, 30 feet from the ground. It can be assumed that this tree was removed by Mr. Dufur on his residence of East Portland, near the Columbia river, north-east of Rocky Butte, where he cleared his land of the tall timber, built his own cabin, and started farming along the Columbia slough between 1859 and 1872, in the present Parkrose neighborhood.
Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture for the Year 1876 – pg 181.
Other big trees approaching 300 feet were eluded to by Portland pioneer Harvey Whitefield Scott, who wrote about the town’s remaining big trees, and how it looked in the early settlement period of the 1850’s and 60’s – in his book, “History of Portland” 1890 pg 93, Settlement and Early Times:
“How it looked at Portland then was about how it looks now at any one of the score of river villages in the woods to be seen on the lower Columbia. The forest was a little notched. Grand trees lay almost three hundred feet long on the ground, and so big and burly that the settler felt grimly after his day’s labor in chopping one down, that he had only made matters worse by getting it in the way…”
In April 23rd, 1858, Mr. A.A. Earle of the Orleans Independent Standard, from Irasburgh, Vermont, wrote a lengthy column on Oregon, and his travels there. He mentions in passing, the giant fir trees growing there, and how many of them have reached 300 feet tall. He recalls having personally measured a fallen fir tree 280 feet in length, within the city limits of early Portland.
Dr. James Robert Cardwell, President of the Oregon Horticultural Society, and Portland’s first dentist, arrived in Oregon in 1852, living six years in Corvallis. In 1858 he moved to Portland, eventually acquiring some properties in the Portland area, and clearing the land for his gardens. Of the Douglas fir trees, he wrote:
“The trees of our forests, owing to the favorable influences referred to, are of rich, dark green foliage, rapid growth to enormous proportions, commonly from 3 to 6 feet in diameter, 350 feet high, sometimes more, and 185 feet to the first limb. This I state from actual measurements from trees prone on the ground.”
– Our Conifers Economically Considered. By Dr J.R. Cardwell – 5th Biennial Report of the Oregon Board of Horticulture, 1899 pg. 544-549.
Dr. Cardwell continues, with a description of what the trees of Portland, Oregon looked like on his property:
Another great Douglas fir 330 feet tall was removed by W. F. Tracy, on his property north of Portland, in Camas, Washington along the Lacamas headwaters.A 300 foot tall Douglas fir was also felled on the Ezra fisher land claim, east of present day Oregon City.
Other Fir trees between 250 to 300 feet high were measured at present day Oregon City by early pioneers. Col. James Clyman, then residing at Willamette Falls, Oregon wrote a letter to Mr. Hiram Ross on Oct. 27, 1844 telling of the trees,
“One tree that I measured a few days since, is six feet four inches in diameter and 268 feet long. The tree was felled with an axe last summer.”
Then there is this amusing report of a boy free climbing a 260 foot Douglas fir out in Beaverton, Oregon in 1894!
Accounts of fir and Cedar trees 350 to 400 feet tall, and 18 to 20 feet in diameter were even reported in some early newspapers – trees along Kalama, Washington, and a grove of enormous fir and cedars estimated at over 350 feet high and 20 feet diameter near Latourell, Oregon and the Hood river, north of Mt. Hood.
A report by L. Ferdinand Floss (A resident of Multnomah County, Oregon) of gigantic trees over 20 feet in diameter, and 350 to 400 feet high near Latourell, Oregon was printed in the Morning Oregonian, of Portland on June 14, 1900 page 10. A follow up article was printed in the Oregonian, the next day saying the find will no doubt be checked by an agent of the National Forestry Department. On November 29, 1912 the Oregonian printed a report from George T. Prather who confirmed that the big trees were still to be found standing, and that he had seen them.
Portland too, may well have had some of these exceptional trees even higher than 300 – 350 feet, as occasional giants were encountered by pioneers settling the land around Seattle and Vancouver British Columbia over a century ago, sometimes 350 – 400 ft tall. (See my post on Tallest Douglas Fir, and claims of a 465-footer along the Nooksack river, Whatcom Wash. in 1896, and 415-footer north of Vancouver in 1902).
I have just recently tallied up all the heights, diameters, and estimated market board feet for 22 giant Douglas fir trees listed on page 11 of Dr. Al Carder’s excellent book, Forest Giants of the World, Past and Present. Of the 37 Doug-fir listed on pg 11, twenty two of them have a listed overall height, diameter at breast height, and volume of marketable board timber in cubic feet. These numbers I will illustrate below in bold text. With this data in hand, I decided to obtain my own rough estimate of the overall volume in cubic feet per tree listed, and compare this overall volume to Dr. Carder’s listed “Volume Marketable Timber” to find approximately what percentage of the tree’s overall cubic volume was marketable board feet . The formula I used was Volume of a cone, or V = 1/3 x Pi x Radius Squared X Height at cut, or 5 feet subtracted from each total tree height. Furthermore, I subtracted 6 inches of bark from each radius at breast height diameter for trees less than 9 feet in total breast height diameter, and 12 inches from trees 11 feet or greater in breast height diameter. Dr. Carder’s values are in bold text, my own values are to the right, and include my estimate of total cubic feet volume of each tree, and the percentage yield in market feet based on Carder’s numbers.
- Mineral Tree 393′, 15.4′ dbh, 8,800 market cu ft. 18,237 total cu ft= 48% yield
- Pe Ell Tree 340′, 13.4′ dbh. 5875 market cu ft. 11,399 total = 51% yield
- Hoquiam Tree 318′ 13.5′ dbh. 5492 market cu ft. 10815 total = 50% yield
- Darrington Tree 325′, 8.5′ dbh. 2617 market cu ft. 4690 total = 55% yield
- Sauk River Tree 325′, 8.6′ dbh 2659 market cu ft. 4838 total = 54% yield
- Littlerock Tree 330′, 5.9′ dbh 1479 market cu ft. 2042 total = 72% yield
- Ryderwood Tree 324′ 11.8′ dbh 4484 market cu ft. 8016 total = 56% yield
- Queets fir 221′ [350′ my est. of orig. ht] 14.5′ dbh 7578 market cu ft. 14088 total = 54% yield
- Daisy fir 298′ 11.9′ dbh 6600 market cu ft. 7516 total = 87% yield
- Clatsop fir 200′ [300′ my est of orig. ht] 15.5′ dbh 6958 market cu ft. 14072 total = 49% yield
- Finnegan fir 302′ 13.2′ dbh 4724 market cu ft. 9752 total = 48% yield
- Brummet Creek tree 329′ 4.4 ‘ dbh 889 market cu ft. 1225 total = 73% yield
- Brummet fir 329′ 11.7′ dbh 4362 market cu ft, 7980 total = 55% yield
- Clover Valley tree 358′ 11.5′ dbh 5487 market cu ft. 8338 total = 66% yield
- Lynn Valley tree 415′ 14.2′ dbh 8211 market cu ft. 15974 total = 51% yield
- Lynn Valley tree No. 2 352′ 9.7′ dbh 3583 market cu ft. 6658 total = 54% yield
- Cathedral Grove Tree 275′ 9.5′ dbh 2577 market cu ft. 4523 total = 57% yield
- Koksilah tree 320′ 12.7′ dbh 5,000 market cu ft. 9432 total = 53% yield
- Red Creek tree 242′ [My est ht of orig. ht 320′] 13.1′ dbh 5264 market cu ft. 10158 total = 52% yield
- Alex Russel Tree 310′ 11.7′ dbh 3579 market cu ft. 7511 total = 48% yield
- Stanley Park tree 325′ 9.8′ dbh 3313 market cu ft. 5769 total = 57% yield
- Woss Lake Tree 305′ 7′ dbh 1767 market cu ft. 2827 total = 63% yield
The statistical mean of the above data (the sum of the values divided by the number of values) from these 22 extremely gigantic record Douglas-fir shows that the average example of an historic giant, was 329 ft tall, 11 ft 3 inches diameter with 57% of its cubic volume considered merchantable timber. Using my formula to extrapolate estimated total volume, I find that this 329 ft tall, 11 ft 3 inch diameter tree contains 7256 total cubic feet of wood, and there are 12 board feet in 1 cubic foot of wood. Therefore, 7256 x 12, = 87,072 total board feet, and if we apply a mean yield of 57%, we arrive at 49,631 market board feet, which matches very well with historically reported board feet for trees felled within the 300 – 350 foot height range in the pacific NW. (See 350 ft tall Mossyrock tree in my “Tallest Douglas fir in America” page). Using the above 22 data points (and my additional estimates of total volume) as a reference, I propose the “Nooksack Giant”, the alleged 465 ft tall, 10.8 ft diameter (33 ft 11 in circ.) Douglas fir felled in 1896 near Maple Falls, Washington on the Alfred B. Loop ranch, very likely greatly exceeded 300 feet, and quite possibly 400 feet or more in height if the reported market board feet of “96,345” is a genuine yield of this enormous tree. I reason, if 96,345 board feet represents approx. 57 % of the entire tree’s volume, the total volume may have been as high as 169,027 board feet, which is equivalent to 14,085 cubic feet.
Taking 10.8 feet diameter at the cut, if we subtract about 1 foot of bark from each radius of the breast height diameter, and subtract 5 feet of stump where the tree was hypothetically cut, how tall would the Douglas fir need to be to contain 14,085 total cubic feet of wood, and still 57% yield? A shocking 700 feet! Formula of a cone:
Volume = 1/3 x Pi x Radius squared x height at cut. (Note: Radius is = 10.8 feet / 2, or 5.4 feet. Then subtract 1 foot for bark = 4.4 ft, and Radius squared is 4.4 x 4.4 = 19.36 ft.) V = 1/3 x 3.1415 x 19.36 ft x 695 ft (Ht at cut) = 14,089 cubic ft
Obviously the tree was not 700 feet tall. However, for the sake of argument, suppose the tree yielded 100% of its entire volume (although very unlikely), and the 96,345 board feet (8,028 cu ft) represented the whole trunk. What is the absolute possible minimum height the Nooksack giant could have been if we still subtract a foot of bark from each breast height radius, using the volume of a of a cone? 400 feet!
V = 1/3 x 3.1415 x 19.36 ft x 395 ft (Ht at cut) = 8,007 cubic ft
If the tree were indeed 465 feet tall, and 460 feet at the cut we arrive at: Volume = 1/3 x 3.1415 x 19.36ft x 460 ft = 9324 cubic feet, or 111,888 total board feet of the tree.
This, however, would suggest the Nooksack Giant’s yield was 86% of the total tree’s volume, which is considerably higher than the statistical mean market yield of 57% for giant class Douglas fir of the same diameter. However, if the 33 feet 11 inches circumference of this tree was in fact the naked butt measurement, excluding bark, the 57% yield makes a lot more sense, and we need not subtract 1 foot of bark from the equation.
Radius is 10.8 / 2, or 5.4 feet. Radius squared is 5.4 x 5.4 = 29.16 ft. Volume = 1/3 x 3.1415 x 29.16 ft x 460 ft = 14044 cubic feet, or 168,528 total board feet.
And if we apply 57% yield, the market board feet becomes 96,060 which is remarkably close to the original 96,345 board feet recorded for the Nooksack Giant. However, perhaps the market board feet of the Nooksack tree was a much higher yield than generally cut from giant Douglas fir. Suppose it was indeed 86% yield (87% is the highest market yield I estimated out of Dr Carder’s list of 22 giants). This would then bring the total board feet of the tree down to over 111,000 feet, which would require a tree of at least 310 feet tall. V = 1/3 x 3.1415 x 29.16 ft x 305 ft (at cut) = 9312 cubic feet, or 111,744 total board feet, and at 86% yield, 96,099 market board feet. (very near the 96,345 feet).
My Conclusions: Based on the highest yield probable of 86% (only representing 5% of the 22 marketable trees I extrapolated from Dr. Carder’s book) , and the most likely yield of 57%, I contend that the Nooksack Giant was almost definitely somewhere between 310 feet and 465 feet tall, assuming the purported board feet of the tree, “96,345 feet” is a genuine number, and also assuming the reported circumference of 33 ft 11 was measured exclusive of bark from the butt diameter. An average figure between these two estimates might be somewhere in the 350 -400 ft range if we assume the tree’s 33 ft 11 inch girth was measured excluding bark, and accept a market yield in the higher end, 66% to 75% range, which represented 14% of the 22 trees. However, if the yield of this tree was in the more typical median range of 50 -60%, or if the measured circumference of 33 ft 11 inches actually included one foot of bark per each butt radius and we still apply a high yield, even an absolute yield, the tree, by sheer conical inference would have reached and exceeded 400 ft. In conclusion, I am 80% confident the tree was nearly 400 feet high, to over 400 feet high. Of the 22 sampled trees, & additional market yield figures I extrapolated from Dr Carder’s book, 78% of these giant trees had market yields which ranged from 48% to 57%. The precise and detailed measurements of the tree listed on the placard nailed to a cross section of the tree while it was on display in New Whatcom read verbatim:
“From Loop’s Ranch, Forks, Whatcom Co WASHINGTON. The Tree was 465 ft. high, 220 ft. to first limb 33 ft. 11 in. in circumference at the base. If sawed into lumber would make 96,345 ft. would build 8 cottages, 2 stories high, 7 rooms each. The Tree is about 480 years old according to the rings. If sawed into inch square strips, would fill 10 ordinary cars. The strips would reach from WHATCOM to CHINA.”
The purported volume, and details of the tree is consistent with a tree in the range of about 400 feet or more in height. A tree of only 480 years reaching or exceeding 400 feet may be hard to fathom, but there are records of trees such as the 347 foot Douglas fir felled near Astoria, Ore in 1915 which was only 300 years or so in age, and the Pe Ell Tree, 340 feet high, also of about the same age, or the 315 feet tall Douglas fir measured very precisely and listed in “The Washington Forest Reserve by Horace Beemer Ayres, Geological Survey (U.S.) 1899. pg 295” with 253 annual rings at 7 feet from the ground. The Nooksack tree was situated within yards of the North Fork of the Nooksack river, at about 585 feet above Sea Level, and approx. 48°55’34.04″N and 122° 2’52.25″W, in the middle of the Nooksack River Valley, surrounded by sloping hills on both North and South ends, which rise to 1,000 to 4,000 feet above Sea Level. Mt Baker looms to a prominence, some thirteen miles distant, as the crow flies. In some respects, this may have afforded better growing conditions than even Lynn valley, B.C. Certainly there was abundant water, and the valley in which it grew may have shared an equal low wind speed range as Lynn Valley. 67 kilometers per hour (41 mph) is the highest recorded wind speed for Maple Falls, WA. and 0 – 28 Miles per hour is the historic range, compared to 1 to 25 Miles per hour as the historic range for North Vancouver (Lynn Valley). If such a tree 465 feet tall, really existed, certainly it would have stood out like a sore thumb. Yet, we have to remember the only recorded heights we have for the Lynn Valley giant trees are two: the 415 footer felled in 1902 at Argyle Rd, and Mt. Highway, and the 352 footer felled in 1907 in the same Valley. 415 feet would have stuck out of the forest canopy, even next to a 352 feet tall tree. The difference in height is about 18%. Timber cruiser and News paper reports along the Deming Trail in Whatcom Co. gives heights of up to 360 feet for some old Douglas fir, and if some stands had trees reaching into the 380 – 390 foot range, a 465 foot tall tree would stand 18% higher — About the Difference in height between the two Lynn Valley trees I mentioned above. Unlikely, yes. Impossible? I think not.
***Update 7/16/15: New Estimates of Market board foot yields tend to corroborate height claim of 400+ feet for this tree.
Using the standard log scales of the day, the Doyle, Scribner, and Spaulding rules, which were standard to the lumbermen in Oregon, Washington, and British Colymbia, I have now found evidence that the yield of 96,345 feet compromised the section of prime logs cut from below the first branches, or 220 feet of the tree, the “merchantable lumber, all of the finest quality”: The New York Times, TOPICS OF THE TIMES – Mar. 7, 1897
Prime lumber, or number 1. Grade Douglas fir wood was the standard grade for flooring, and building, and was cut from the clean, branch-less trunk of the tree, being free of knots, it was generally the purest and strongest wood the tree contained. Most Douglas fir and conifer trees harvested for their wood were cut to the branch level, everything below this was as a rule the finest and highest quality lumber in the tree. The Nooksack tree was reported to have been 220 feet to the first limb, so this helps give us a clue as to how the board feet calculation may have been arrived at. The Scribner Log scale was the standard for lumbermen in the Puget sound area around 1900: The Practical Lumberman: Short Methods of Figuring Lumber, Octagon Spars …
Using the Scribner rule, we find that the tree contained 96,345 feet of lumber in the first 215 feet of the tree’s trunk: The tree being cut 5 feet above ground level, + 215 feet of logs = 220 ft to first branch; this would yield 6 logs each of 32 feet long, and 1 log of 23 feet. This also comes out the same with 12 logs of 16 feet each, and one 20 – 24 foot log were furnished from the 215 feet below the branches. Similarly, 5 logs of 40 feet each plus 1 log of 20 foot gives similar results, approx. 96,000 – 97,000 feet Scribner, assuming the measurements of 33 ft 11 inches are exclusive of bark. This 215 feet of logs would be 5 ft 9 inches diameter at the top, and 10 feet 10 inches at the bottom — indicating a rise over run, which would necessitate a tree in the 350 – 450 ft tall range, assuming a full and intact crown. If we use the Doyle rule, 215 feet cut into similar log lengths would equal 115,952 board feet.
Conclusion: I now believe the Scribner log scale, (the standard scale of lumbermen in Puget sound and WA. State) was used to calculate the 96,345 market board feet of this tree, and the butt measurement of 33 ft 11 inches was excluding the bark. Log scalers always subtracted the bark from the tree to arrive at the yield estimate.
To calculate board feet of logs using Doyle and Scribner methods: Log Volume Calculator at WOODWEB
Argentavis, the 25 foot terror bird.
Teratorns (from the Greek Τερατορνις Teratornis, ‘monster bird’) were very large birds of prey that lived in North and South America from Miocene to Pleistocene. They include some of the largest known flying birds. So far, at least four species have been identified:
- Teratornis merriami (Miller, 1909). This is by far the best-known species. Over a hundred specimens have been found, mostly from La Brea Tar Pits. It stood about 75 cm (29.5 in) tall with estimated wingspan of perhaps 3.5 to 3.8 metres (11.5 to 12.5 ft), and weighed about 15 kg (33 lb); making it about a third bigger than extant condors. It became extinct at the end of Pleistocene, some 10 000 years ago.
- Teratornis woodburnensis (Campbell & Stenger, 2002). The first species to be found north of the La Brea Tar Pits, this partial specimen was discovered at Legion Park, Woodburn, Oregon. It is known from a humerus, parts of the cranium, beak, sternum, and vertebrae which indicate an estimated wingspan of over 4 meters (14 ft). The find dates to the late Pleistocene, between 11,000 and 12,000 years ago in a strata which is filled with the bones of Mastodon, Sloth, Condors, and evidence of human habitation.
- Aiolornis incredibilis (Howard, 1952), previously known as Teratornis incredibilis. This species is fairly poorly known; finds from Nevada and California include several wing bones and part of the beak. They show remarkable similarity with merriami but are uniformly about 40% larger: this would translate to a mass of up to 23 kg (50 lb) and a wingspan of about 5.5 metres (18.04 ft) for incredibilis. The finds are dated from the Pliocene to the late Pleistocene, which is considerable chronological spread, and thus it is uncertain whether they actually represent the same species.
- Cathartornis gracilis (Miller, 1910). This species is known only from a couple of leg bones found from La Brea Ranch. Compared to T. merriami, remains are slightly shorter and clearly more slender, indicating more gracile build.
- Argentavis magnificens (Campbell & Tonni, 1980). A partial skeleton of this enormous teratorn was found from La Pampa, Argentina. It is the largest flying bird known to have existed. It is the oldest known teratorn, dating to late Miocene, about 6 to 8 million years ago, and one of the very few teratorn finds in South America. Initial discovery included portions of the skull, incomplete humerus and several other wing bones. Even conservative estimates put its wingspan at 6 meters and up (some 20 ft), and it may have been as much as 8 metres (26 ft). The weight of the bird was estimated to have been around 80 kg (176 lb). The estimated weight and wing area rival those of the largest pterosaurs.
Another form, “Teratornis” olsoni, was described from the Pleistocene of Cuba, but its affinities are not completely resolved; it might not be a teratorn at all. There are also undescribed fossils from southwestern Ecuador, but apart from these forms, teratorns were restricted to North America (Campbell & Tonni, 1983).
Some cryptozoologists such as Ken Gerhard, and Mark A. Hall have expressed interest in Teratorns as a possible explanation of anecdotal sightings of very large birds in Texas and Illinois and popularly known as Thunderbirds.
Giant Condors from California to Peru with 10 to 12, even 14 to 16 feet wingspans were reported in old news paper reports from the 1930’s to mid 1800’s, stories of condors attacking men, boys, and cattle, and able to lift a fawn or small deer and carry it in its talons were even reported. Some of these are likely quite fanciful tales, but I think they did get as big as the fossil condors indicate, the Teratorns Merriami, Woodburnensis and Incredibilis had 12 t0 18 feet wingspans in N. America and in the Pleistocene mega fauna era… Not millions of years ago, but just a few thousand years ago. Condors once flew all over America just 150 years ago, From Alaska to Patagonia. Lewis and Clark recorded 9 and 10 foot condors they shot on the clumbia river up in Oregon and Washington territory in 1806 –Today there are no Condors in Oregon, and just a handful in California –like the Grizzly bear, and the Buffalo, Condors are basically extinct. Giant 14 – 16 ft winged fossil Teratorns have been found in Oregon, at Woodburn in 10,000 year old stratum contemporary with human occupation. The average condor today in California is about 9 to 10 feet wingspan in males, and those in South American Andean Condors 10 to 11 feet wings spread, but there are records of both species exceeding 11 and 12 feet, which would make them the size of the Teratorns Merriami from La Brea Tar pits. That there were larger examples of modern condors with 13, 14, 15 and 16 feet wings spread is not beyond the limit of physics, and is supported by eye witness testimony and old historical documents, and I believe these birds, perhaps relict forms of Teratorn Condor, are responsible for the ancient and recent Thunderbird legends and sightings.
Condors in Peru, 1844 with 15 ft wingspans.
14 ft condor attacks hot air balloon.
Giant condors attack children and cows: http://books.google.com/books?id=w8dPAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA439&lpg=PA439&dq=condor+%22sixteen+feet%22&source=bl&ots=Wj3uyTwcDq&sig=sxicsJBZDFxrnlz7dxILwu8b6sA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=P_YIUdmzFKquiQLB5IGABA&ved=0CDwQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=condor%20%22sixteen%20feet%22&f=false
Ocean vulture near Chile 14 ft wings. http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=TT18910411.2.22
11 ft 7 wingspan condor attacks Southern Californian man 1906.
14 -16 ft condors in Cuyama valley, Cal. 1934 carried off deer! http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=4atQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=LCIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2918,6466966&dq=condor+14-feet&hl=en
10 ft wingspan condor attacks man
condors attack man
condors shot with 15 feet wingspans, and tales of 18 ft winged birds weighing 40 lbs.
Update July 7, 2014!:
Extinct bird species had biggest wingspan ever
Pelagornis sandersi is a species of extinct flying bird with a wingspan estimated to be between 6.1 and 7.4 m (20 and 24 ft). If the larger estimated wingspan holds true, this makes it the largest flying bird yet discovered, and twice as large as the largest living flying bird, the wandering albatross.
In this regard, it supplants the former largest known flying bird, Argentavis magnificens (which is also extinct). Its wingspan, without feathers, was about 4.0 m (13.1 ft), while that of P. sandersi was about 1.2 m (3.9 ft) longer. Its fossil remains date from 25 million years ago, during the Chattian epoch of the Oligocene. It had short, stumpy legs, and was probably only able to fly by hopping off cliff edges. It has been estimated that it was able to fly at up to 60 km/h (37 mph).
Some scientists expressed surprise at the idea that this species could fly at all, given that, at between 22 and 40 kg (48 and 88 lb), it would be considered too heavy by the predominant theory of the mechanism by which birds fly. Dan Ksepka of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, North Carolina, who discovered the new species, thinks it was able to fly in part because of its relatively small body and long wings.
The only known fossil of P. sandersi was first uncovered in 1983 at Charleston International Airport, South Carolina, when construction workers were building a new terminal there. The bird is named after Albert Sanders, the former curator of Charleston Museum, who led the excavation. It currently sits at the Charleston Museum, where it was identified as a new species by Dan Ksepka in 2014. “Though no feathers survived, Ksepka extrapolated the mass, wingspan and wing shape from the fossilised bones and fed them into a computer to estimate how the bird might fly. A conservative estimate put the wingspan of P. sandersi at around 6.4 metres.”
Comparison to pterosaurs
While P. sandersi’s wingspan of somewhere between 6.1–7.4 m (20–24 ft) is believed to be the largest known among birds, it is still far from the largest known flying animal. Flying pterosaurs such as Hatzegopteryx and Quetzalcoatlus are believed to have reached wingspans of up to 10–11 m (33–36 ft).
Historically Reported Douglas-Fir Exceeding 300 and 400 Feet
The following is an incomplete list I started in 2006 or 2007, and I add new reports or references at a leisurely basis. All primary credit is owed to the late big tree expert Dr. Al Carder of Victoria, British Columbia.
Dr. Carder’s excellent books, “Forest Giants of the World: Past and Present”, 1995, and “Giant Trees of Western America and the World” 2005 were an inspiration to me and a foundation to my amateur research project looking into old newspaper and book archives for record giant Douglas-fir. I recommend all visitors to this blog read his books, as they are the most authoritative on the subject of the tallest, largest, and “biggest” trees ever recorded! All heights listed below are “as is.” Stories of trees in excess of 400 feet require further verification in my view, but historic trees which were measured on the ground by credible persons after they were felled, or those measured as standing trees with laser range finder and clinometer, or climbed by professionals are of the highest credibility. Historical trees which have been studied, measured, and researched by Dr. Al Carder and are referenced in his books are also of a very high credibility.
*Update. April 19, 2014: In the last few months I have been in communication with the well known Seattle Arborist and author Arthur Lee Jacobson. He recently had the opportunity to visit Dr. Al Carder in late January. (Carder turns 104 years old tomorrow). Arthur was so kind to show Dr. Carder this blog post, and Carder was impressed, and even hand signed a copy of his delightful 2011 book “Reflections of a Big Tree Enthusiast” for me. This little book clarifies some of the best documented 300 -400 foot class Douglas fir he has researched, but also shares his personal experience with the timber industry and his fond memory of the big trees he grew up with. Thank you both Al Carder and Arthur Jacobson for your great work and kind support!
The Ancient Forest Alliance has a great recent article featuring Dr. Al Carder: http://www.ancientforestalliance.org/news-item.php?ID=744
300 ft “Most conspicuous among the productions of Oregon are the timber trees These are truly giants Near Astoria in the primeval forest there are fir trees over forty feet in circumference three hundred feet long and rising to the height of one hundred and fifty feet without giving off a single branch.” – Recent exploring expeditions to the Pacific and the South Seas… John Stilwell Jenkins – 1853 pg 430.
300 ft Oregon City, OR, in 1850 a fir tree 300 feet tall was felled on the Ezra Fisher Donation Land Claim on the eastern side of Oregon city. – Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society – pg. 207, 1916.
300 ft South slope of Mt. Scott, near Portland, OR on the Antone Sechtem ranch. 8.5 feet diameter, 100 feet to first limb, estimated height nearly 300 feet. – The Sunday Oregonian. Portland, Ore. May 26, 1912, pg 13.
~300 ft Oxbow Regional Park, Gresham, Oregon Nov. 2015. Large Douglas fir trees 5 to 8-1/2 feet diameter and from 250 to 300 feet in height, 500-600 years old with bark 8 to 10 inches deep. On wed. Nov 11, 2015 Darvel Lloyd and I measured some large ancient Douglas fir. I measured one that was at least 270 ft tall using inclinometer, and others in the vicinity I’d estimate at close to 300 feet. Another one 280 ft in height was 8.3 feet diameter. Later correspondence with the head Park Ranger indicates trees perhaps as high as 290-300 feet in this park! Also, 2014 LiDAR indicate some 280-290 ft trees. We will be sure to go back and verify the tallest ones, and I’ll update this post! These trees are likely the tallest & oldest remaining in the Portland Metro, within 15-20 miles of the city, and reflect on the sort of forest that once grew in this area 150 years ago. Lewis and Clark record a fallen fir tree 318 ft in length near the Sandy River in 1806, near this very park. They also report Condors with 9-1/2 foot wingspans which once glid about the Columbia river valley, so this ancient forest in Oxbow park brings back a timeless essence of what the ancient landscape of Portland was like 2 centuries ago. Portland used to have 300 foot tall Douglas fir!
300 ft Mr. A.L. Davidson, early explorer to Oregon cut down a 300 foot fir tree in Yamhill County, Oregon circa 1846. – Juliet signal., November 17, 1846 Pg 1.
300 ft Douglas-fir that was felled in 1930 near Longview, Washington. This 600 year old tree was 300 feet tall and produced 30,000 board feet of lumber:http://community.woodmagazine.com/t5/Paul-Meisel/Tree-Cookies/ba-p/227383
300 ft A giant fir tree in Snohomish County, Wa was reportedly 66 feet in circumference at the butt, and estimated at 300 feet high in 1913. – The Democratic banner. (Mt. Vernon, Ohio) August 12, 1913, Page 2.
300+ft Saddle Mountain region, Clatsop Co. forest, Oregon 1922. 9 ft diameter, and over 300 feet in height. – American Lumberman, Part 2, 1922 pg 50.
300-330 ft+ Onion Peak, Oregon. Saddle Mountain, in Clatsop county Oregon, and the coast mountains were renown for especially big Douglas-fir. In online communication with loggers, one gentleman [Name withheld] told me his father had cut out a tree “that had 4 64’s and a 32” near Onion Peak, also in the coast mountains of Clatsop county. This gentleman is in his 80’s, so his father was probably logging the area in the early to mid 20th century. 288 log feet of market lumber, plus the assumed discarded top, and height of stump, likely represented a tree easily in the 300 to 330 foot tall range, by my calculations.
300 ft On A.J. Megler’s farm, Clatsop County, Oregon in 1873, a Fir tree 300 feet in length and only 5 feet through at the butt, was measured. Other trees on the tract measured 15 feet through at the butt end. – Tri-Weekly Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) July 22, 1873, Image 1.
300 ft “Methuselah” a giant fir 300 feet tall on the McKenzie river, Oregon, 6 feet diameter. Blown down in November windstorm of 1977 and bucked up by Elwood McClure. – McKenzie River Reflections, Vol. 1, Issue 6 Nov 10-25, 1978
300+ ft “In the neighborhood of Bellingham Bay, the timber is very thick, and some distance inland Some very large trees have been discovered. Several are from twelve to fifteen feet in diameter, and one which had fallen down measured fifteen feet through, two hundred and thirty feet to the first limb, and over three hundred feet in extreme length. The age of this old monarch of the forest must be imagined — probably from six to eight hundred years.” – Daily Alta California, Volume 10, Number 174, 26 June 1858 pg 1.
300 ft Snoqualmie river, Washington 1876. “LARGE TREE. – Elwell & Son, at their logging camp on the Snoqualmie, have just cut and put in the water some very large logs. The tree was 300 feet in height. The first log above the stump, twenty-two feet in length, measured seventy-six inches in diameter, and scaled seven thousand feet…” – The Northern Star, Volume 1, November 22, 10 June 1876.
300 ft “Douglas fir trees were cut on the site of the city of Vancouver 300 feet in height and 11 feet in diameter.” The Encyclopedia Americana By Scientific American, inc 1903.
300 ft? A giant Douglas fir tree cut down in 1928 near Lake Cavanaugh, Washington. Tree was 15 ft in diameter at the stump, and 150 feet high to a broken top, still 6ft in diameter. Ring count showed the tree to be 1,200 years old. Section of tree housed at the Stanwood Area Historical Society. (Such a tree, before it lost its top to the wind might have approached or exceeded 300 feet in height by my estimates).
300 ft? A giant Douglas fir tree cut near Arlington, Washington c. 1901. 15 feet 5 inches diameter at the stump, and 150 feet to the first limb, scaling 75,000 feet of lumber. The tree was sent to the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, NY. – The Plymouth Republican. August 01, 1901, Pg 2. (The height is not eluded to in the newspaper, but similar 15 ft diameter giants regularly exceeded 300 ft, before they lost their ancient crowns to the wind when the forests were opened up by logging). Tree was later credited as having been felled on the Marion Gooding farm west of Arlington near the Stillaguamish River: The Arlington Times June 22, 1983 pg 27.
300 ft Puget Sound Big Fir, Caption: “Height 300 Ft, Diameter 10 Ft.” Florence, Washington 1910. Up the Stillaguamish river from Stanwood. Photograph hangs on wall at Stanwood QFC grocery store.
300 ft A cross section of 635 year old Douglas fir, approx. 9 feet diameter excluding bark. Placard next to it says tree was 300 feet tall. On Display at World Forestry Center, in Portland Oregon as of Sept. 2013. http://www.almostallthetruth.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Douglas-Fir-Cookies.jpg
300 ft When Sewell Moody (1834-1875) arrived on Burrard Inlet, trees were still so plentiful that they could be felled directly into the water and floated to the mills. The waterway of Burrard Inlet, too, was an almost perfect natural harbour for sailing ships. Sometimes up to six or seven vessels loaded at once at the Moodyville docks. According to historian Derek Pethick, the captain of the British ship Jeddo wrote the following description to his company’s agent in about 1866: “This is, without exception, one of the finest harbours I ever saw. It is locked in all round with high lands, covered with trees 300 feet [91 m] high, so that no wind or sea can hurt ships, and very easy of access for the largest ships afloat, and good anchorage. It is, likewise, a good place for loading. The ships can moor head and stern about half a cable’s length (92 m) from the mills in six fathoms (11 m) of water.”
300 ft Fir tree forests towering 300 feet high, and 6 to 12 feet in diameter at the stump covered the townsite of Burnaby, British Columbia in the 1860s. Quoting the Reverend John Sheepshanks, early pioneer, the trees often reached 250 to 300 feet, and the rate of travel through this dense forest was about half a mile per hour. – History of Burnaby and vicinity, by George Green, 1947 pages 24, 50, 85, 129, & 134.
300+ft Sitka Spruce recorded by Lewis and Clark, March 10, 1806 near Fort Clatsop. About 40 feet girth, at about 8 ft above ground, estimated 200 feet to first limbs. Height was safely estimated at 300 ft. This tree was also identified and measured by Frederick V Holman in 1872, who had estimated it at nearly 400 ft tall and measured it at 43 ft girth, 5 ft above ground, according to his address to the Oregon Historical Society in 1926.
Other big 300 ft Spruce trees grew in the coastal region, such as across the Columbia river at Grays river, Washington and in Nehalem, Oregon where resided the Gods Valley spruce, a purported 24 ft diameter monster which had been estimated at 300 feet before it lost it’s top.
300 ft In 1894 F. I. Mead measured a fallen 300 foot fir in Chehalis County, WA and it was 175 ft to first limb. – Omaha daily bee, July 02, 1894, Page 5.
300 ft A fir tree 150 years old and 300 feet tall was cut for a 165 ft spar, felled near Onalaska, Washington in 1916 on the Carlyle-Pennell holdings. – The Sunday Oregonian, April 30, 1916, pg 4.
300 ft Shelton, Wa. cut in 1895, 300 ft tall, and 11 ft 4 in. diameter scaled 30,000 board feet. – The Mason County journal. (Shelton, W.T.) 1886-1927, January 11, 1895, Image 2
300?+ft Big Sicker Mountain, B.C. “Longtime Westholme resident Alan Gadsden remembers another giant, this one on a slope of Big Sicker Mountain and so tall that it could be used as a landmark by ships using the Inside Passage. Sometime about 1940 he accompanied pioneer Albert Holman up the mountain to see it first-hand. When he saw it again, years after, it was lying on the ground, abandoned by loggers who found that, even after bucking it into lengths, it was too large for their railway cars.” – Cowichan Chronicles, Volume 1 By Thomas William Paterson, 2001 pg 145.
302 ft. Finnegan’s Fir, Coos Bay, Oregon. Blown down 1975. Officially listed at 302 ft tall, 13.2 ft diameter. Tree was estimated to contain seventeen 16 foot logs, or 272 ft of marketable logs in 50,870 board feet. See 1975 article: Our public lands : Vol. 25, No. 3, Summer 1975 – Finnegan’s Fir
302 ft + “It is scarcely advisable to tell the truth concerning the size to which some of the giant firs and cedars grow in this country, lest I be accused of exaggeration; but, for proof of what I say, it will only be necessary to inquire of any resident of the Sound country. There are hundreds of fir and cedar trees in these woods twenty to twenty five feet in diameter, above the spur roots, and over three hundred feet high. A cube was cut from a fir tree, near Vancouver, and shipped to the Colonial Exhibition in London in 1886, that measured nine feet and eight inches in thickness each way. The bark of this tree was fourteen inches thick. Another tree was cut, trimmed to a length of three hundred and two feet, and sent to the same destination, but this one, I am told, was only six feet through at the butt. From one tree cut near Seattle six saw logs were taken, five of which were thirty feet long, each, and the other was twenty four feet in length. This tree was only five feet in diameter at the base, and the first limb grew at a height of two feet above where the last log was cut off, or over one hundred and seventy feet from the ground.” – Cruisings in the Cascades: A Narrative of Travel, Exploration, Amateur… By George O. Shields. Rand, McNally, 1889. pg 39.
300+ft “species grow to an immense size and one immediately behind the fort [Fort George, Astoria, Oregon] at the height of ten feet from the surface of the earth measured forty six feet in circumference! The trunk of this tree had about one hundred and fifty feet free from branches. Its top had been some time before blasted by lightning; and to judge by comparison its height when perfect must have exceeded three hundred feet! This was however an extraordinary tree in that country and was denominated by the Canadians Le Roi de Pins.* The general size however of the different species of fir far exceeds any thing on the east side of the Rocky Mountains and prime sound pine from two hundred to two hundred and eighty feet in height and from twenty to forty feet in circumference are by no means uncommon… A pine tree has been subsequently discovered in the Umpqua country to the southward of the Columbia the circumference of which is 57 feet its height 216 feet without branches !” – Adventures on the Columbia River: including the narrative of a residence of … Vol. 1, London, 1831 By Ross Cox pg. 113.
300+ft “The Cascade and Coast Mountains are vastly higher and more numerous than all the States east of the Mississippi can boast of and the peaks are always covered with snow and ice that makes a journey to their summit even in mid-summer, a hardship and dangerous. The forests of evergreen trees are the most stupendous in the world. Trees measuring far more than 300 feet in length and 6 to 15 feet in diameter and perfectly straight, and 200 feet from the ground to the first limb, are very common.” – Human Nature, Vol. VI, No. 1, 1896 pg 5.
300+ft “At the Pan-American Exposition there was on exhibition from Snohomish County a section of a fir tree which had been considerably over a hundred yards long and two hundred feet to the first limb. It was 920 years old and scaled 75,000 feet of lumber.” – Pearson’s magazine, 1905 pg. 113.
300 ft + Trees logged by Hewitt-Lea-Funck Co. from Puget Sound: “The old-growth yellow fir trees from which Hewitt-Lea-Funck Co. lumber and millwork are made grow to be 300 feet high or even taller, and as much as 12 feet in diameter…” – The Ranch. (Seattle, Wash.) April 01, 1914, Page 11.
300+ ft Elma, Washington, 1909.”The remarkable feat of erecting a fourteen room house from the lumber of a single yellow fir was recently accomplished at Elma. There was nearly 38,000 feet of lumber in the logs of the tree. Six logs twenty-eight feet in length, the largest seven feet in diameter at the smallest end were made from the fir. The measurement of the stump inside the bark was exactly nine feet The trunk was straight and for 100 feet not a limb appeared. The total length of the tree was more than 300 feet. The lumber was worth nearly $1,000. The corporation owning the land growing this tree has hundreds of such firs, many of them too big to be handled by the equipment now possessed by Washington saw mills. Not far from Snoqualmie Falls a giant tree was blown across a precipitous canyon a year ago. The trunk forms a footbridge ten feet wide. The log has been levelled and teams are often driven across it by venturesome drivers.” – The Conductor and Brakeman, Volume 26, 1909, pg 555 – 556.
300+ ft Near Elma, Washington, 1902. Pacific Monthly, Volumes 7-9, 1902 pg.137, (See below).
300+ft Elma, Wa. In 1918 a Douglas fir, 5 feet 2 inches in diameter was felled by Bert Critchfield, and Clifford Castle near McCleary, and was cut into seven logs each 40 feet long by bucker George Anderson. The tree was 221 years old according to ring count. (My estimate of height extrapolating from 280 feet of logs, and assuming at least 40-60 feet of broken top, 4 to 8 feet of stump, suggest a tree between 320 to 350 feet tall. ) – Monthly bulletin By Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen. 1918, pg. 21.
300 ft Satsop Valley, Washington 1936. 10 ft 10 in diameter, 300 feet tall. – Spokane Daily Chronicle – May 21, 1936 pg 2. Logged by Schafer Bros. Logging Company, Montesano, Washington and felled May 13, 1936 at Camp #1 by Pat Miller and Gus Quick, and bucked by Frank Halferty. Tree was 425 Years old, 300 feet high, 127 feet to first limb, Diameter 10 ft 10 in, and scaled 48,688 board feet.
Another Big fir, size not written down, was also felled around Grays Harbor, Washington. But looks a good 125 or 130 feet to first limb, if we compare the fallers on the ground to the height of the limbless trunk:
300 ft A Washington fir tree, near Montesano (Wynooche Timber Co.) yielded 264 feet of market logs, in 1922. This tree was probably around 300 feet tall, allowing for the top section and stump height: “Bert Critchfield and Bob White, fallers at Camp 1 of the Wynooche Timber Co., recently felled what is believed to have been one of the biggest firs ever found in Western Washington. From the tree Gust Stenberg, bucker, got five 40 foot logs one 36-foot log and one 28-foot log making the tree at least 264 feet high. It was eight feet in diameter at the butt.” – The Timberman, Volume 23, September 1922 pg 142.
300 ft + Kent, Washington, 1936. Fir tree 10 feet diameter, and 271 feet tall to an 18 inch diameter broken top. Woodsmen estimated the tree was originally more than 300 ft in Height. Section sent to Texas Centennial Exposition. – Kent News Journal 1936-05-15. See image below:
300 +ft What E.S. had seen on his first trip to Ostrander [Washington State] would, within a few short years, make him a “square timber” expert, and the long logs became his ticket to freedom. “Prevailing timber is fir, in size up to 8 feet diameter and over 300 feet high in some specimens. Some would make saw logs over 225 feet long.” –E.S. Collins. In fact, these unparalleled Douglas firs became Ostrander’s signature logs. They were destined for keels and masts, Mississippi barges, the Panama Canal, and the Welland Canal in Canada. http://www.collinsco.com/history/In-Depth.php
300 ft HIGH CLIMBER FALLS 300 FEET TO DEATH CATHLAMET, Wash., Sept. 14. (m Jesse James, 31, a high climber, was instantly killed todav In the crown Willamette logging operations east of here when he went up a 300-foot fir despite warning of the skidder crew when wmcn no was working. A tall tail tree on the skidder crashed with James clinging to It, after he had removed a retaining cable at the top. – September 14, 1933
Medford Mail Tribune from Medford, Oregon · Page 3
300 ft A similar tragic plummet as above is reported from Marshfield, Oregon in 1923:
303 ft Near Ryderwood, Washington, 1936. “Near Ryderwood, reports the Guide field writer, the big-tree data shows there is a fir measuring 303 feet.” – Works Progress Administration, Seattle, Washington – Aug 18, 1936, PR 118
304 ft Jedediah Smith Redwoods State park. 13.5 diameter.
305 ft “The trees grow to an immense size. But king of all trees is the Douglas fir. A section of one may be seen at Ottawa on the Parliament grounds 8 feet 4 inches in diameter. It is a section taken 20 feet from the ground out of a tree 305 feet high.” – Hand-book for the Dominion of Canada: Prepared for the Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, at Montreal, 1884. pg 334.
305 ft The “Davie River tree” near Woss Lake, Northern Vancouver Island, B.C. was 305 feet tall, and over 7 feet in diameter. It was the tallest in a 7 acre grove of very tall fir trees averaging 278 feet high and 5 ft 2 inches diameter carefully measured after they were felled by loggers. Survey conducted in 1947 by Tom Wright and Henry Hansen in the Nimpkish valley. – Tom Wright: Recollections of a Pioneer Forester and Tree Farmer, By John Parminter, 2000 pg. 37, & Cowichan Chronicles, Volume 1 By Thomas William Paterson, 2001 pg 146.
305 ft NW CA. 2007 (More details needed) Link to Humboldt University, 300 ft Douglas fir in California’s Redwood forests: http://www.humboldt.edu/redwoods/photos
300 ft. Estimated original height of Clatsop fir, Clatsop, Oregon. Tree was blown down October-Nov., 1962 after the Columbus Day storm. This tree was discovered by Oregon forester Les Lloyd in 1938, and thanks to him, was saved from the logger’s axe. The tree was 210 ft to a broken top, 108 ft to first limb, 15.5 feet in breast height diameter, estimated to be 1200 years old, and had an estimated volume of 105,650 board feet! It’s original height has been estimated at 300 feet before the top broke out. The Spokesman Review, April 16, 1941: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1314&dat=19410416&id=5EwVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=JOQDAAAAIBAJ&pg=3589,174777 The Seaside Museum, Seaside Oregon, gives slightly different measurements after the tree fell in 1962: “Estimated 702 years of life”…”It was 15.8 feet in diameter at breast height and measured 200 feet, 6 inches to it’s four-foot broken top.” http://www.seasidemuseum.org/biggest_fir.cfm Special thanks to Darryl Lloyd for the following image:
305 ft Park Creek, Coos County, Oregon. Felled in 1973, the tree was 423 years old, 114 inches diameter, 39,659 board feet, and 305 feet total height. On display at the Menasha Corporation Land & Timber Division in Coos Bay. Coast of trees and sea lions – Claudia M. Kuenkel Photography
306 ft West of Roseburg, OR. Esquire-The Wrestless man. 2004
306 ft+ “The largest tree that I have had cut was one measuring 9 feet at the but including the bark and 306 feet from the but to the top.” – American agriculturist – Volume 22 – 1863, pg 272.
307 ft – A fir tree 307 feet tall, 12 feet diameter cut near Seattle in 1891. – Watertown Times, Monday, March 23, 1891 Pg 2.
315 ft + Giant fir tree cut near Bothell, Wa in 1890. Over 300 feet in length, and 36 feet in circumference. Further report has the tree 315 feet long, and 12-1/2 feet in diameter. – The Seattle post-intelligencer. (Seattle, Wash. Terr. [Wash.]) 1888-1914, July 20, 1890, Page 4., & The Seattle post-intelligencer. (Seattle, Wash. Terr. [Wash.]) 1888-1914, September 05, 1890, Page 11.
308 ft “The low divide between the Columbia and Elokomon Rivers was covered at this time by a dense forest of the spruce and Douglas fir and so thick was the growth that the fir trees would go up for 100 feet without a limb and not a ray of the sun could reach the ground The trees grew very tall and one a short way outside the forest on the edge of a little prairie being measured with instruments was found to be about 308 feet in height.” – Cathlamet on the Columbia: recollections of the Indian people and short … By Thomas Nelson Strong, 1906, pg 107
309 ft Cut at New Westminster, British Columbia, ten sections of a “fir” which was 309 feet tall, and 185 feet to the first branch, were displayed at the International Exhibition of 1862. – The North-west Territories and British Columbia … By Aeneas McDonell Dawson –1881, pg 66., Gardeners Chronicle & New Horticulturist, Jan. 7, 1882 pg 12, & Harper’s Weekly, Volume 9, Aug. 12, 1865 pg. 498.
309 ft A fallen fir tree 309 feet in length, and 8-1/2 feet in diameter was measured by the son of Lord Pym, of England around Gales, and Dairy Creeks, and Nehalem river valley, Oregon coast mountains in 1879. – The Daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1876-1883, March 05, 1879, Image 2.
310 ft Siuslaw Timber Land, near Greenleaf, Oregon cruised in 1900 by Timber interests: “The trees are thickly set, and many are eight feet in diameter, 300 feet tall and 100 feet to the first limb. Some have been measured that were 10 feet through and 310 feet high.” – Morning Oregonian, Portland Ore. Feb. 26, 1900, page 3.
310 ft “We get our last coupon of rough road just beyond Claquato a few miles of which brings us to the second crossing of the Chehalis at its junction with the Skookum Chuck strong water another pretty spot where we dine. Not more than three miles from here is a fallen tree three feet in diameter at the butt and 290 in length. Another tree in an adjoining county measures eleven feet in diameter and 310 in length and we hear of two more being fourteen feet in thickness which is pretty well for firs and cedars” – All over Oregon and Washington: observations on the country, its scenery …By Frances Fuller Victor – 1872 – pg 233.
310 ft Little Rock, Wa. – Miscellaneous publication, Issue 295- By United States. Dept. of Agriculture, United States. Science and Education Administration – 1938- pg. 97.
310 ft A tree cut at Orting, Wa. 1889. – Washington Standard, Volume XXVIII, Number 30, 21 June 1889.
310 ft A yellow fir tree cut by J.W. Wilhoit, head faller for Grays Bay Logging Co., at Oneida, Washington in November, 1903, was the largest he had cut that season; 310 feet in length, tip to tip, and nine feet in diameter, inside the bark, which cut nine logs 30 feet long. Tree scaled 30,000 feet of first grade lumber. – Oregon City Courier, November 27, 1903, Page 8.
310 ft “FIR TREE 700 YEARS OLD YIELDS 58,000 BOARD FEET. PORT ANGELES Wash-The Monarch of North Pacific fir was cut this week at Twin Camp. The giant’s age was -700 years and it scaled 58,000 board feet. Few firs have lived so long and still fewer have grown to the remarkable perfection of this tree. The stump Is slightly oval 12 feet the narrow way and 13 feet the widest distance. It stood 310 feet high without flaw. A-three foot section near the stump has been cut out for permanent exhibit in the museum of the State University at Seattle. – Daily Boston Globe – Nov 18, 1928 Page B 16.
310 ft A “Cedar” tree felled near Port Moody, British Columbia had a reputed length of 310 feet. – Annual Report, By Ontario. Department of Agriculture 1892, pg 54.
310 ft Felled on Feb 12, 1886, by Aleck, or Alex Russell a timber feller contracted by the CPR on Georgia St. Vancouver, BC – [Site of Present Vancouver Art Gallery.] This fir tree measured as much as 14 ft 4 inches in diameter at breast height at its widest, and 4 feet in diameter 200 feet from butt. Notes jotted down in his survey book by Lauchlan Hamilton who worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1886, record that he measured the tree and found an average diameter of 11 ft 8 in. at the butt, 8 ft 2 in. diameter 30 feet from the base, and 3 ft 10 in. diameter 210 feet from the base. Also known as the Alex Russell Tree, it was said to have been 310 feet in total height to a broken top. Lauchlan Hamilton -The History of Metropolitan Vancouver (See Forest Giants, Carder 1995 pg 1 -10, & Vancouver Historical Journal, 3rd edition, 1960 pg 17, and ‘Sunshine Coast News’ Oct. 7, 1985 pg. 3)
310 ft Coquitlam River watershed at Meech Creek, BC. Now 309 feet (94.3 m) to a dead top, and 8.5 ft diameter. – Cowichan Chronicles, Volume 1 By Thomas William Paterson, 2001 pg 146, and Douglas Fir, The Canadian Encyclopedia: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/douglas-fir
308.4 Ft Near Sayward, B.C. The Tallest Douglas Fir Tree at WFP -April 30, 2019. LiDAR height measured. “What gets measured, gets managed. Standing at 94 meters and still growing, this Douglas fir tree is in a variable retention patch near Sayward, British Columbia on Vancouver Island.” Western Forest Products – Identifying and protecting big trees
315 ft Fir trees, up to 6 to 8 feet diameter, 350 to 600 years old and 260 to 315 or 317 feet high (80 to 96 meters), on Nimpkish Island, Nimpkish River Ecological Reserve, Vancouver Island, B.C. measured in June 1974. Tallest tree was later destroyed by a Nimpkish river flood. – NIMPKISH RIVER ECOLOGICAL RESERVE PURPOSE STATEMENT February 2003 , Wilderness Committee, 1985 , Nimpkish River Ecological Reserve Tall Trees Report 1983.
315 ft Skagit River, Washington, alluvial bottom. Diameter 70 inches inside bark, 7 feet from the ground. Bark 4 inches thick. 253 annual rings. The total height of this tree was 315 feet. Two 52-foot logs were utilized from this tree, scaling 14,000 feet B. M., and 5,745 feet B. M. of log timber marketable at eastern mills were left in the top, making a total of 19,745 feet B. M. of log timber in the tree. The Washington Forest Reserve by Horace Beemer Ayres, Geological Survey (U.S.) 1899. pg 295.
312 ft+ A tree in Skagit county cut in 1884 reportedly measured 16 ft diameter, and 312 feet to the lowest limbs! – The daily morning Astorian, May 27, 1884, Pg 3.
315 ft Cathlamet, Washington. One fir tree reportedly was reaching 315 feet tall. – Works Progress Administration, Seattle, Washington – Aug 18, 1936, PR 118
315 ft A fir tree 39 inches diameter and 315 feet tall, cut in Oregon, and sections of others even larger exhibited in 1875. – Oregon City enterprise. (Oregon City, Or.) January 22, 1875, Image 1.
316 ft A fir tree felled measured 316 feet to the top most branch. The Year-book of facts in science and art By John Timbs, 1860- Pg. 35
318 ft A fallen fir tree recorded by Lewis and Clark, Saturday, April 5th, 1806 not far from Fort Vancouver [near Gresham]. Only 3.5 feet diameter. “The Hunters & Serjt Pryor informed us that they had Measured a tree on the upper Side of quick Sand River 312 feet long and about 4 feet through at the Stump.” The Journal William Clark April 5, 1806. And, “we measured a fallen tree of fir No.1 which was 318 feet including the stump which was about 6 feet high, this tree was only about 3 1/2 feet in diameter.” The Journal of Meriwether Lewis, April 5, 1806.
318 ft Largest fir tree cut for the mills at Burrard Inlet, British Columbia was 9 feet in diameter inside the bark, 318 feet tall. – Forest and Stream, Volume 17, Dec 29, 1881 Pg 424.
318 ft “Other Douglas firs in Washington notable for great height include one near Hoquiam 318 feet high” – Miscellaneous publication, Issue 295- By United States. Dept. of Agriculture, United States. Science and Education Administration – 1938- pg. 97.
320 ft A giant fir standing 320 feet in height and 11 feet diameter was measured by William Shuman near Enumclaw, Washington in 1891. The Seattle post-intelligencer – Sunday, August 2nd, 1891 – Page 16:
320 ft Estimated original height of Red Creek Fir, Vancouver Island, BC. 239 ft to a broken top, diameter of broken top 2.95 ft . Diameter at breast ht 13.9 ft. Total current height 242 feet. The 320 foot original height before top blown off, was estimated by the late Randy Stoltmann, and Dr. Al Carder in the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, 1986 article “ Last of the Giants.”
320 – 326 ft Koksilah Giant, British Columbia–blown down 1979 after clearcut. Standing portion, and blown top both measured by Dr. Al Carder in 1978, and confirmed to stand 320 feet tall and 12.7 feet in diameter. (Forest Giants, Carder pg 1-10). See also, “Forest History Society, Image ID: FHS4352 Date: 10/14/1977 Title: Koksilah Fir Caption: Koksilah Fir, Upper Koksilah River, Vancouver Island, B.C. Top blown off circa 1960, tree blown down February 1979. Height before losing top-326 feet, height after losing top-236 feet, diameter b.h.-12.7 feet, height to first branch- 110 feet, board feet-61,588, age (est.)- 750 years. “
320 ft about 3 miles from Granville [Vancouver, B.C.], on Hastings road were fir trees 320 feet tall and 8 ft diameter felled by the hundreds in 1881:
‘A NEW LUMBER DISTRICT- A correspondent of the Toronto, Ont., Globe, who is writing for that paper from British’ Columbia, includes in a recent letter some interesting information in regard to the lumber…”As the trees in the woods through which we passed, on the Hastings road, were such monsters, I was curious to know how they could be cut down and hauled about. Miles upon miles of timber exists on the inlet of the Douglas fir species, as well as cedar. Un-less one saw these trees he would scarcely credit the fact that such did exist anywhere. In numerous instances they rise a perfectly limb-less trunk for 200 feet, and then over another 100 feet above that, with small limbs. About three miles from Granville I saw trees felled that were 320 feet in length, and eight feet in diameter. There were hundreds like these all round,…” ‘ – The Canada Lumberman Vol.1 No. 21, September 1, 1881 pg. 2
320 ft “Our principal timber is the Douglas pine. Many of the trees are 320 feet high, 6 feet diameter at the butt, and perhaps 210 feet from the ground before branches begin. The logs used for spars are 100 to 120 feet clear, and cannot be beaten in the world. These spars have been tested in the French shipyards by the most severe experiments, and found superior to the best Riga spars in flexibility, resistance, and density. A sample, in the shape of a flag pole 90 feet long, can be seen at Kew Gardens; also pieces cut out of a tree 5 1/2 feet diameter, and 210 feet before branches began—the tree, I think, was 320 feet high.” – British Columbia Gold Mines : A Paper Read Before the Liverpool Geological Association by Henry Holbrook, 1884 pg 26.
320 ft A tree cut in B.C. in 1900, yielded eight 32 foot logs, and a 24 foot log, or 280 feet of market log feet. Adding stump height, and top section, this tree was probably around 320 feet tall by my estimates.
“Charlie Todd returned last night from British Columbia, where he has been to look after his property. He has twenty acres of land there covered with the finest kind of timber. He says that on a place near his the owner cut down a tree which made eight 32 foot logs and one 24 feet long.” – Arkansas City Daily Traveler from Arkansas City, Kansas · Page 5. March 8, 1900.
320 ft James Irvine Fir — Prairie Creek State Park/ James Irvine Trail, Cal.
320 ft Quoting the Honorable Selucius Garfielde, Congressional Delegate from Washington Territory, speaking of the timber, “Trees often measure 320 feet in length, as I have several times demonstrated…” – The Northern Pacific Railroad – Its Route, Resources, Progress and Business …1871, pg. 41. (See Image below):
320 ft “I have measured one felled on the neighbouring mainland [Near San Juan Island] which measured 320 feet in height with a diameter of more than 5 feet.” Gardeners chronicle & new horticulturist, Volume 32 – Nov. 2, 1872 – pg 1,452.
320 ft ‘PUGET SOUND TIMBER. A correspondent of the Chicago Times writes
as follows concerning the fir tree growths of Puget Sound, W. T. : — He says the trees average 200 feet in height, and asserts that some specimens have been cut down in his presence that were 320 feet in length by 12 feet in diameter at the base, having a straight and well proportioned log length of 90 feet to the first limb, and being 2 feet in diameter within 20 feet of the top. The cedar trees are in like proportion,…’ – The Canada Lumberman, Vol. 1 No. 10, March 15, 1881 pg 9
320 ft “The size of the fir trees and the number growing upon given acres in good timber districts is almost incredible to residents upon the Atlantic slope of the continent. Trees often measure 320 feet in length, more than two-thirds of which are free from limbs.” -Annual Report to the Commissioner of Agriculture for the year 1878 pg. 539 – by United States Dept. of Agriculture – 1879
321 ft A [fir] tree cut by Mr A.J. Dufur was 6 feet 4 inches in diameter 30 feet from the base and 321 feet long. – Report of the Secretary of Agriculture By United States. Dept. of Agriculture – 1875 – pg. 181. Note: This tree was likely cut at present day NE Portland, where the Honorable A. J. Dufur resided from 1859 – 1872, clearing his land of timber, and farming: Portland used to have 300 foot tall Douglas fir!
321 ft Humboldt Fir — Prairie Creek State Park, Cal.
321 ft Cathcart, Wa. — Photo from, The Washington Forest Reserve by Horace Beemer Ayres, Geological Survey (U.S.) 1899. pg. 300. See below:
321 ft “Thus, of yellow-fir (Abies grandis) two sections were shown taken from the same tree, the first six feet ten and a half inches in diameter exclusive of bark, taken “one hundred and thirty feet from the ground;” the other five feet ten inches, taken “two hundred feet from the ground,” with the statement that the tree was three hundred twenty-one feet high, fifteen and three-quarters feet in diameter at the butt,…” International Exhibition, 1876 By United States Centennial Commission pg. 6, 1880.
322 ft + Oregon fir, 322 feet tall cut in 1916 for Panama-Pacific Exposition. 6 feet diameter at the butt, 22 inches diameter at the top. – Granite – Published … in the Interests of the Producer …, Volume 26, 1916, pg 52
322 ft ** Near Eugene Oregon, NE of Lowell. A 500 yr old grove of Douglas Fir averaging about 300 feet in height. The tallest measured at 322.—Moon Oregon, pg 202, by Elizabeth Morris, Mark Morris. 2007 –Agenda: see Dr. Robert Zybach‘s report. Tree was re-estimated at 290 feet tall by him. However, previously a US Forest Service Ranger district planner, John Cissel, had measured the tallest at up to 322 feet with clinometer in 1989. Note: Arborist M.D. Vaden recently investigated this site, and found that the area had trees in the 250 -280 ft range, and anything if it were over 300 ft was probably on the ground. Lots of fallen logs, and what was left of the Tall trees grove was in utter disrepair: http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=114&t=2906
The US Forest Service currently does recognize some Douglas fir over 300 feet on the Trail. “Willamette National Forest – Tall Trees Trail #4269 – Hiking this short 0.2 mile trail gives you the chance to see some of the Northwest’s tallest trees. The grove contains mature Douglas-firs measuring over 300 feet. There is also an abundance of tall snags in the stand. The center of the grove consists of approximately 50 acres of the tallest trees ranging from 270 to 310 feet tall.”
321.5 ft tall Douglas fir, 10 miles west of Mt. St. Helens, 1/4 mile north of the South Fork of the Toutle river. 9 feet in Diameter. Tree is dying. Found in May, 2017 by Michael Taylor using a LiDAR database, and visited and professionally measured by Dr. Steve Sillett and Ken Fisher in May or June, 2017. Washington’s Tallest Tree Confirmed
322.8 ft west of Roseburg, OR. 8.6 ft diam. June, 2011. Tallest known live top Douglas fir.
“Between the four of us, and a couple of other men who Michael explored the area with in 2011, here are some new tallest Douglas Fir discoveries”:
- 322.8 ft. / 8.0′ Coos County / BLM
- 317.6 ft. / 7.1′ Coos County / BLM Alder Creek
- 317.5 ft. / 10.1′ Coos County / BLM Tioga Creek
- 317.2 ft. / 6.7′ Coos County / BLM North Fork Cherry Creek
- 314.0 ft. / 9.9′ Coos County / BLM Tioga Creek
- 310.0 ft. / 8.1′ Coos County / BLM Susan Creek
- 309.3 ft. / 9.0′ Coos County / BLM Park Creek
- 307.0 ft. / 7.0′ Coos County / BLM Tioga Creek
- 306.0 ft. / 7.2′ Coos Counnty / BLM Park Creek
- 303.0 ft. / N/A Coos County / BLM Tioga Creek
- 302.0 ft. / N/A Coos County / BLM Park Creek
See link by professional Arborist and tree hunter M.D. Vaden: http://www.mdvaden.com/douglas_fir.shtml A More complete list of tallest living Douglas fir by big tree hunter Michael Taylor:
327.3 99.76 13.2 3.35 Brummett Fir...AKA Williams Fir. Once over 100m. Original high ground level burried by a retaining wall. Coos County, Oregon 322.8 98.34 8.6 2.62 Noname, SW Oregon. Careful tripod mounted Impulse 200LR measurement by Chris Atkins and Mike Hanuschik. 321.9 98.12 7.0 2.13 Black Thorn, SW Oregon. Vigorous Live Top. 319.5 97.39 8.5 2.59 Hunewell Honey. Discovered By Taylor. Atkins October 2011 measurement. Live Top. 319.1 97.25 8.1 2.57 Memnon 332, SW Oregon. Live Top. 317.6 96.79 7.0 2.13 Edge Fir, Coos County, SW Oregon. Site Altitude 900'. Tripod mounted Impulse 200LR measurement. 317.5 96.77 6.5 1.98 Noname. SW Oregon. Site Alititude 2300'. Preliminary. 317.2 96.68 10.1 3.07 Noname. SW Oregon. Two tops, the other 95.5m. 314.0 95.70 9.9 3.01 Noname. SW Oregon. Dbh measured on high side of ground level. 310.7 94.70 7.5 2.23 Noname. Redwood National Park. Measured with Impuluse 200LR by Chris Atkins & Steve Sillett 310.0 94.48 8.0 2.54 Noname. SW Oregon. Dbh measured on high side of ground level. 309.3 94.27 8.5 2.59 Coyote Gulch Tree, Park Creek Watershed, Coos County, Oregon. Preliminary handheld. 308.0 94.27 5.5 1.67 Noname. Prairie Creek State Park. Discovered by Atkins-Vaden. 308.0 93.80 8.0 2.54 Noname, SW Oregon. Dbh only an eye estimate. 307.0 93.60 5.5 1.67 Noname. Prairie Creek. Browns Creek junction with Prairie Creek. Discovered by Chris Atkins in 2010. 306.0 93.57 7.0 2.13 Broken Lip Fir. Trailhead 1 Mile South of Wagner Trailhead. Near junction with Prairie Creek Trail. Discovered by Hildebrant 306.0 93.57 3.5 1.07 Flagpole, Prairie Creek SP. 305.0 92.96 N/A N/A Noname. Brown's Creek Trailhead. Preliminary. 305.0 92.96 N/A N/A Noname. SW Oregon. Preliminary. 303.0 92.35 8.4 2.56 Noname, SW Oregon. Preliminary. 303.0 92.35 N/A N/A Noname, Prairie Creek Tributary. Termite infested, rotten trunk. Grows near Ravens Tower, tallest sitka spruce. 302.0 92.04 13.0 3.96 Rex Nemorensis. Quinalt Lake, Olympic National Park. Volume is 10,200 cubic feet, 4th largest known. 301.0 91.74 13.2 4.02 Ol' Jed, only recorded douglas fir over 10,000 ft³ in California. Now just a dead snag.
See Michael Taylor’s full page on record Douglas fir height:http://www.landmarktrees.net/douglas.html
See Also, “Ascending the Giants” Oregon Field Guide episode, on Oregon Public Broadcasting, Oct. 12, 2017. Brian French and Will Koomjian have investigated LiDAR data, climbed and measured a number of 300-322 foot Douglas fir in Coos County, Oregon. Finding Oregon’s Tallest Trees Gets Help From Technology
324.1 and 326.4 ft Douglas fir trees, 7.8 and 10.4 ft diameter discovered in Oregon in the summer of 2021 by Michael Taylor and Steve Sillett. Also of note, 315.3, and 313.6 ft tall Douglas fir discovered in the Olympic peninsula of Washington in 2021, and in the same summer the surprising discovery of Sitka Spruce up to 328.6 ft tall in California. Michael Taylor & Steve Sillett Discover World’s 10 Tallest Douglas-firs
325.8 ft Another new discovery of a 325.8 ft Douglas fir, 5.5 ft diameter in the Redwoods as of March, 2022 made by Michael Taylor and Steve Sillett. The expedition included the discovery of several new specimen of Douglas fir and Sitka Spruce 313 ft high. JUST DISCOVERED: New #2 Tallest Douglas-fir in the World!
317 – 328 ft Douglas fir trees apparently cut by U.S. Timber Cutters, of North Bend, Washington, presumably in April, 2018. Location of trees unknown, more details needed.
324 ft Chehalis, Lewis Co. Wa. Oak Tribune 1934
324 ft 4 inches, Ryderwood, Washington. “The tree, a Douglas fir (yellow fir) is 324 feet, 4 inches in height. It measures 37 feet and 1 inch in circumference, or approximately 12 feet through. The Long- Bell company plans to preserve the tree. Another tree, nearby, stands 311 feet high.” – American Lumberman, Part 1, 1937. pg 47.
324 ft – A postcard, “Oregon pine 324 feet High” – 1906. D.M. Averill Publ. Undivided Back, to Osakis, Minn… 1906 – Oregon Pine, 324 Feet High, D.M. Averill Publ.
325 ft Stanley Park, BC 1916, 10 ft diameter. Felled for safety reasons. (See Forest Giants, Carder pgs 1 – 10).
325 ft Douglas Fir in Stanley Park, BC, Toppled in 1926, 800 years old, 10 ft diameter. “…Recently, in sea-girt Stanley Park at Vancouver, the writer [Dan McCowan] took opportunity to examine a Douglas Fir which had lived to a great age. For well over eight centuries this giant of the British Columbian woods swung gently to and fro in the salty winds which furrow the western ocean. Six hundred thousand tides had surged fiercely through the narrow gut of Burrard Inlet whilst this great tree was in growth. Felled by a recent gale, it now lay prone upon the earth and presently would be removed for conversion into lumber. The length of this fallen monarch was three hundred and twenty five feet, the girth close to the base, thirty one feet, and the diameter almost ten feet. Foresters who were busily engaged sawing the great trunk into cross sections, estimated its lumber content at twenty-five thousand feet, board measure. The Douglas Fir, although in all probability the longest lived tree in Canada, is yet a juvenile amongst the world’s oldest trees. The great Sequoias in California, the Locust trees of Brazil and some European yews are veritable Methu-salehs…” – ‘Giants and Dwarfs of Canada’s Forests’, By Dan McCowan – The Illustrated Canadian Forest and Outdoors, Volume 22, 1926 pg 639. (See Also: Hiking guide to the big trees of southwestern British Columbia, by Randy Stoltmann, Western Canada Wilderness Committee – 1987 pg 47, Stanley Park Nature and History Walk, Guide. 1990 pg 3, and Forest Giants, Carder pgs 1- 10.)
325 ft “Fir trees two hundred and two hundred and fifty feet high, and six and seven feet in diameter, are seldom out of view in these forests; eight and ten feet in diameter and three hundred feet high are not at all uncommon. Trees of fourteen and fifteen feet in diameter are not difficult to find, and a fallen tree near Olympia measures three hundred and twenty-five feet in length, and another, at a distance of ninety feet from the root, measures seven feet in diameter.” – Annual Report of the Commissioner of the General Land Office to the Secretary of the Interior – Page 73 by United States General Land Office – Public lands – 1867
325+ ft 1.5 miles east of Edmonds, WA. in 1890 stood a fir tree in Snohomish County, 44 feet circumference, and over 325 feet high. – Pullman herald. (Pullman, W.T. [Wash.]) June 07, 1890, pg 7. See Image below:
325 ft Skagit Co. Washington. Illabot Creek, 5 miles east of Rockport. 10 ft diameter. Measured as a fallen tree on the property of Henry Martin in 1897 at 325 feet in length. http://www.skagitriverjournal.com/Upriver/Sauk-Ill/Martin/Martin2-FamilyDocs.html
325 ft Near Darrington, Washington at the Sauk River. A Douglas fir 325 feet tall. – Miscellaneous publication, Issue 295- By United States. Dept. of Agriculture, United States. Science and Education Administration – 1938- pg. 97, & Works Progress Administration, Seattle, Washington – Aug 18, 1936, PR 118
325 ft News reports of stands of fir trees estimated in 1883 by government surveyor, Mr. Iverson to average 325 feet high and 7 feet in diameter, in 4 townships in the North Eastern shore of the Puget sound; Townships, 36, 37, 38, 39 East in Whatcom county, (Present day areas of Bow, Chuckanut, Lake Samish, Bellingham Bay, up to Ferndale) held these trees, which stood so thickly wooded, they were deemed nearly impossible to remove, and other accounts of dense fir forests 300 feet high, and 10 feet diameter in the mountains. – Seattle daily post-intelligencer. [volume] (Seattle, W.T. [Wash.]) 1881-1888, September 15, 1883, Image 1, & Omaha Daily Bee. October 12, 1883, Page 2.
325+ft A report of a fir tree in Whatcom County, Wa. in 1907 that was 6 ft diameter at the stump, and made 5 cuts of 32 ft logs, two cuts of 40 ft logs, and one 48 ft log – or 288 feet of logs. Factoring stump height and 25 to 75+ feet of unusable discarded top wood, this tree must have been at least 325 ft tall by my estimations, and maybe more like 350 feet. Also reported was a Red Cedar 300 ft tall and 53 ft in circumference. – The Springdale news. [volume] (Springdale, Ark.) 1887-1990, March 15, 1907, Page 3, Image 3.
325 ft Large numbers of fir trees 325 feet tall, and 31 feet in circumference were said to be standing in Beaver Valley, Columbia county, Oregon in 1875, according to Mr. Cromwell of Bridges & Cromwell sawmill. Some trees made 50,000 board feet of lumber. – The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, September 01, 1875, Page 4.
326 ft Queets Valley, Washington 1988. 6.7 feet diameter. – Olympic: A Visitor’s Companion, By George Wuerthner, Douglas W. Moore, 1999 pg. 102. See also Forest Giants, Carder pg 1-10.
327 ft In Autumn of 1862, the Honorable Malcolm Cameron and Colonel Richard Moody of the Royal Engineers, measured a fallen fir tree that was 327 feet long, 11 feet diameter, and 200 feet to the first limbs in the Fraser river valley, near New Westminster, B.C. Cameron recalls that it was not an uncommonly sized tree in that region. – The Quebec Mercury, Feb. 16, 1863 pg. 1
Col. Moody also measured one or two fallen fir trees in another instance which were 320 feet long to where the tops broke apart in the fall, and as thick as a man’s waist where he left off measuring. – Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society Volume VIII, 1863-1864. pg 92.
328 ft Sedro Woolley, WA 1906. 17 ft diameter, 328 feet high. – “Sedro-Woolley, Key to Upper Skagit,” Bellingham Herald column, Sept. 30, 1906. In 1950, civil engineer Albert G. Mosier elaborated in a news interview about the giant trees that once stood in Sedro Woolley, “…Mosher and McDonald were logging an area about at the east city limits… It was a beautiful stand of timber, principally fir, which was the only wood considered fit to make lumber…Firs over 300 feet tall and 16-18 feet in diameter at the butt above the swell.” Some of the Cedars in the area even reached heights of 250 to 285 feet: “A cedar cut on Mortimer Cook’s place at Bug measured 285 feet in length, 6 feet in diameter; 25,000 shingles were made from half of it. — Skagit News, April 28, 1885. A big cedar on W.A. Dunlap’s place above Sterling is by actual measurement 48 feet in circumference five feet above ground. Its height is estimated at 250 feet. Some idea of the size of this can be got by taking a good-sized settler’s cabin, which would be 12×16 feet. — Skagit News, Oct. 14, 1884” – Mortimer Cook, Bug and Sedro: From Bug to Sedro, the early days; population about 10
Another fir tree in Skagit County was reported to be 63 ft circumference, or 20 ft diameter, which may have surpassed the Lake McMurray tree above, and also the nearby Conway Snag, a Douglas fir 18 ft diameter 8 feet up. (For more info on the “Conway Snag” See Carder, Forest Giants, 1995, pg 14).
329 ft Brummet Creek Tree, 4.4 ft diameter and blown down circa 1950. See: Forest Giants, Carder, pages 1 -10 & Trees To Know In Oregon, Extension Bulletin 697 Oregon State University & Oregon State Forestry Department, Revised January 1966 pg 89 (see below).
320-330+ ft An allusion is given to some very tall timber in Elliott State Forest, Coos & Douglas counties, Oregon in 1960, which could yield nine 32 foot logs. Such a height could suggest a tree over 300, and probably more like 320 to over 330 feet tall, because the rule was the top cut was usually 12 to 18 inches minimum, and Douglas fir regularly had a trunk to height ratio of 25 to 50 in mature and old growth stands:
“Stand on a mountain top and look over acres and acres of living, growing wealth spread out as far as you can see. Look up at a thick Douglas Fir giant that has been just guessed to yield an unbelievable nine 32-foot logs; or look through heavy stands of 70-year-old new growth timber that holds eternal promise for the economy of the county and the state. You’re in the Elliott State Forest.” – The News-Review from Roseburg, Oregon Pg. 7, October 18, 1960.
330 ft A Douglas fir tree 330 feet tall was measured by a Weyerhaeuser Company Forester in Coos County, Oregon in 1946 and official correspondence of the US Bureau of Land Management mentioned Douglas firs cruised on Brummet Creek in Coos County, Oregon in 1956 which measured 9 logs, each 32 feet long. The total height of these trees probably exceeded 330 feet. – Trees To Know In Oregon, Extension Bulletin 697 Oregon State University & Oregon State Forestry Department, Revised January 1966 pg 89. [Note: The Weyerhaeuser Company Forester was probably Mr. Arthur V. Smyth, who conducted the Millicoma Tree Farm survey in 1946, and reported a 332 foot tree in the Pillsbury Tract, Coos County, Ore. See report by Dr. Bob Zybach: Oregon Coast Range Old_Growth: The 1945-1947 Weyerhaeuser Coos Bay Study. pg 6, Also see Dr Zybach’s excellent 2018 article on the giants of the Oregon coast: Oregon Coast Range Old-Growth: Part II. Size Matters.
330+ ft A fir tree on the property of Mr. J.B. Wirt was reported to stand over 330 feet tall in the foothills, around Albany, Oregon in 1886. – The state rights democrat. (Albany, Or.) 1865-1900, December 17, 1886, Image 3.
260- 330 ft North Vancouver, B.C., at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Nov. 2019. The Tallest Christmas trees climbed by Marc-Luc Lalumiere, a high climber and designer at the park who strings the Christmas tree lights on the massive trees. “Lalumiere says the average height of the trees is somewhere between 260 and 300 feet, and the tallest checks in at around 330 feet.” – Meet the man who decorates the 300-foot Christmas trees at Capilano Suspension Bridge
330 ft – Whidbey and Camano Is. Washington -“The biggest trees in the county grew on southern Whidbey and on Camano Island, but virtually all the mature trees were immense…The fir was the largest of all, with a diameter of 5 to 7 feet and stood 245 to 33o feet (White 198o). By the end of the nineteenth century, most of the old growth Douglas fir had been cut…” – Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, General Management Plan: Environmental Impact Statement, Volume 1, 2006 pg 74.
“The great merit of the firs is their size and durability, with their habit of growing close together like canes in a brake, and to an immense height without knots or branches. It is not uncommon to find a tree having a diameter of four feet at a distance of ten feet from the ground, which has attained an altitude of 300 feet; nor is it unusual to find spar timbers 150 feet long with a diameter of eighteen inches, perfectly straight and sound. The mills on Puget Sound find no difficulty in furnishing squared timbers of these dimensions, and often cut plank from 60 to 90 feet in length.” – History Of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, 1845-1889. By Hubert Howe Bancroft, 1890 pg. 328
330 ft Lacamas headwaters, Washington 1880. 330 ft in length, 8 ft diameter. Felled by W. F. Tracy on his farm. – The Vancouver independent, May 06, 1880, pg 5. See article below:
330 ft A yellow fir 8 feet in diameter and 330 feet long was felled in early March, 1888 at the townsite of Toledo, Washington:
“Toledo, W. T.. Mar. 17, 1888. Mr. and Mrs. Jas. Burton, Jamestown, Kansas. Kind Friends: As per agreement I’ll write you a “wee bit.” I arrived in Washington Territory on February 17″…”The forest is so dense that where not cleared it is difficult and in some places impossible to get through even on foot. The trees are not large nor are they small. A yellow fir cut down on the town site a few days ago measured 8 feet in diameter and 330 feet long. This Is considerably above the average but not the largest by any means. A section of land covered with such beautiful straight timber, in Kansas would be of untold value.” – April 7, 1888, The Kansan, Jamestown, Kansas · Page 8.
330 ft According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Technical Bulletin published in October, 1930, there is a standing Douglas Fir near Little Rock, Washington, which is 330 feet in height, with a diameter of approximately 6 feet.
331 ft A “Yellow fir” in the Nehalem Valley, Oregon reportedly stood 331 ft tall, and an apocryphal story is told of a fir 400 feet high. – The Morning Oregonian -Portland, OR. October 6, 1903 page 14:
300+ft “My Dad said he topped a tree at 240 feet up near Grisdale and he said that was much higher then normal. Measured with a new passrope that was known length not speculation.”… We yarded this one in 84. I remember it was 12 foot and it had 7 logs in it. The first three cuts were 40s. Some of the top cuts were shorter though. I’d guess to the tip top it was pushing 300 but not over.The one my Dad topped that I mentioned he said was about 30 inches where he topped it. He said they had to put extensions on all the guylines it was so high. Rarely he said they would go over 200 feet [topped].07-24-2012, 11:29 PM http://www.arboristsite.com/forestry-logging-forum/204269-3.htm Biggest & Tallest Doug fir and Sitka Spruce & redwoods
300+ft (My Estimate for some spars over 200 ft) Based on the following: “In the early days of logging spars with the required 20 in. to 30 in. top at a height between 200 and 250 feet ceptional [sic] and those of 120 feet satisfactory.” – The Commonwealth forestry review: Volume 37 – 1958, pg 180.
More about high-climber Axel Hallgren here: http://hem.bredband.net/guha002/index.htm
330+ ft (My estimate of original height). A Spar tree 250 feet high – The Sibley journal of engineering: Volume 35 – Page 71 – Cornell University. Sibley College – 1921.
300+ft “There are other authentic measurements of Douglas firs with a total height of over 300 feet. One fir was topped for a spar tree at 256 feet above the ground”.. – American forests: Volume 68, American Forestry Association –1962 pg 66. 300+ft In any event, when the top falls the “stump”, sways and weaves with great violence and the climber must hold with tooth and spur, and this experience anywhere from 150 (46 metres) to 280 feet (85 metres) above ground is racking in the extreme. The tree that Hallgren scaled that day must have been about 300 feet (91 metres) high, for it is 240 feet (73 metres) from the ground to the point where he is shown cutting off the top. It was six feet (1,8 metres) in diameter 10 feet (3 metres) from the ground. This tree was unusually high one, for the top is usually out off these high lead trees at from 160 to 200 feet (49 to 61 metres) from the ground. http://hem.bredband.net/guha002/index.htm
332 ft “Four of the five tallest trees in the world grow along the West Coast of the United States. They are: red-wood 367 feet, Redwood Creek, California; Douglas fir 332 feet, Coos County, Oregon; Noble fir 325 feet, Harmony Falls, Oregon; and the Sitka Spruce 298 feet, Olympic National Park, Washington.” – The Southern lumberman: Volume 217 – 1968, pg 160.
330+ft (My estimate of original height of spar trees, before top 50-75 feet or more was cut off by high climbers). Spar fir trees cut at 250 & 275 feet high.– Chronicle Telegram, Feb. 14, 1921 pg. 2, & Schenectady Gazette Feb 2, 1921 Page 5. (See image of news clipping below).
335+ ft (My conservative estimate of original tree height). A Spar fir cut at 285 ft tall. – The Ironwood Times, Mar. 9, 1923 pg. 1.
335 ft- “It may not be generally known that many specimens of fir found on the shores of Puget Sound equal in height the infamous giant Sequoia or “Big tree” of California, for firs have been cut down which were over 325 feet in length from topmost branch to the edge of the cut, not including eight or ten feet of the trunk left standing above the roots.” “Engineering In The Logging Industry In The American Pacific Northwest” – Cassier’s Magazine Vol. XXIX April, 1906 No. 6
335 ft “The largest tree measured by the writer was thirteen feet in diameter and had an estimated height of nearly 300 feet. One observer states that he measured a tree in Washington 335 feet high and fifteen feet in diameter.” – The Forester, Volumes 5-6By American Forestry Association 1899 pg. 54.
338 ft Major Ambrose Newton Armstrong, a government surveyor contracted by the General Land Office in Oregon in 1854-55, reported measuring fallen fir trees in the Coast Mountain range up to 338 feet in length on the ground, and only 3 feet in diameter in his book on Oregon history published in 1857. – Oregon, Comprising a Brief History and Full Description… By A.N. Armstrong, 1857 pg. 33:
338 ft A Section from a 400 year old fir tree, 10 feet in diameter 3 ft from the ground, and 338 feet in length was exhibited at the Tacoma Exposition in Tacoma, Washington in October of 1891, according to Mr. J.M. Turney of Portland, Oregon, writing to “The Newton bee” on October 12, 1891. – “Where Rolls the Oregon”- The Newtown bee. (Newton, Connecticut). October 23, 1891, pg. 4:
339 ft Toledo, Ore – spar tree 214 ft tall 34 inches at cut, severed section was 125 feet. (Forest Giants of the World Past and Present, Carder pg 1 -10). Parks & recreation, Volume 10. American Institute of Park Executives, 1927 pg 263, and American Lumberman, Part 3, 1926 pg 84.
327 – 339 ft “Williams Fir” also known as Doerner Fir [Brummitt Fir], Coos Co. OR. 13.2 ft diameter trunk. Estimated age 500-600 yrs old. Tallest Known Living Douglas fir as of 2013. Current height is 327 feet to a dead top at average ground level. Measured 329 feet tall in 1988. Further 10 feet of trunk slopes down hill, making entire height of tree at lowest end 339 feet in 1988. Read more here: http://blog.oregonlive.com/terryrichard/2010/03/doerner_fir_rises_327_feet_int.html
See more: http://www.mdvaden.com/doerner_fir.shtml
340 ft – Puget Sound, 42 ft around. Over 79,218 board feet, 340 feet high. Spring of 1904 Mccormick Lumber Co. Lewis Co, WA Sent to St. Louis Exposition.–The Indian Forester – Page 320. Felled near Pe El, Wa. Also, see Forest Giants, Carder pg 1-10, and Washington standard – Friday, May 27th, 1904 – Page 2.
Another massive Douglas fir that once may have reached 300 feet or more in height, before losing its top, stills grows near Pe Ell, Washington, and is 35 ft circumference, 11 ft diameter, and over 500 years old. – Perhaps the last of the Giant Douglas fir in S.W. Washington, the area was extensively logged by McCormick Lumber Co. between 1902-1927 (See above “Pe Ell tree, 1904) but was saved by loggers, and protected thanks to the work of Paul Hayes and John Markham. The tree stands on Weyerhaeuser land. See Jan 12, 2018 News story: Vader Octogenarian Wants Public to See Giant Fir in Pe Ell
340 and 350 ft – Ten immense logs were taken from Port Blakely, Bainbridge Island, Washington and shipped by rail to Chicago from Tacoma for the Columbian Exposition. – The Corvallis gazette. (Corvallis, Or.) August 26, 1892, pg 2.
“On each of the two greatest foundation logs were brass plates with the following inscription: “This log, 3 feet by 3 1/2 feet, and 125 feet long, cut from a Washington yellow-fir tree 7 feet 8 inches in diameter and 350 feet long.” – A history of the World’s Columbian exposition held in Chicago in 1893, By Rossiter Johnson, 1897. pg 487, & Chicago: Its History and Its Builders–Josiah Seymour Currey, 1918 . pg 78.
Another foundation tree log was also described as, “A Washington yellow fir tree 7 feet 11 in diameter and 340 feet long” – The School Journal -1893 E.L. Kellogg & Co. pg. 85. It thus appears that at least two, and perhaps several trees, 340 to 350 feet long yielded 125 foot foundation logs for the massive Washington State Building, or Log Cabin at the Columbian Exposition in 1893. A 238 foot Douglas fir flag pole was also erected at the Exposition, cut from a tree near Everett that originally stood over 300 feet tall. – Iron Age, Volume 50. Dec 22, 1892 pg 1208.
The giant Fir flag pole was cut from a Douglas fir over 300 feet in height near Everett, Washington and some more details of this tree are recorded which tend to substantiate such a stature above 300 feet:
“Another tree even more remarkable, though not so large, was cut by Mr.
Angus M’Dougall of Tacoma for the Chicago Exhibition in 1893. This grew in
Snohomish Co., Washington, and measured on the stump only 4 feet in diameter. In
falling it broke off at a height of 238 feet, where it measured 17-1/2 inches in diameter,
and was nearly free from branches to a height of 216 feet, which length was sent to
– The Trees of Great Britain and Ireland. Henry John Elwes, and Augustine Henry -1906, Page 163
340 ft “One tree cut on Graham Island, off the coast of British Columbia, is reported to have been 17 feet in diameter on the stump, and 340 feet tall. Mature trees vary from 400 to 8OO years in age.” – News and Views, Volumes 3-5. California Division of Beaches and Parks, 1945. pg 10. (Note: Graham Island is outside the range of Douglas fir, perhaps this was some specimen of giant Sitka Spruce).
340 ft “Under date of December 5th 1919 the West Coast Lumbermen’s Association kindly offered the Society a Douglas Fir flag pole to range from 150 to 340 feet delivered free to this city with the compliments of that association.” – New York Historical Society quarterly bulletin, Volume 3 – 1920 pg 130.
341 ft A Douglas fir 341 ft tall, and 10 ft in diameter was felled by loggers in 1917, 6 Kilometers north of Cloverdale, BC. The stump, and fallen tree were measured by Dr Al Carder and his father when Carder was a boy of 7 years old. Read fascinating first hand account here: http://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/what-you-can-do/plan-your-legacy/nls-donor-spotlight/donor-spotlight-al-carder.html
346 ft A Douglas fir tree 346 ft tall was cut for a flagpole and was raised at Camp Lewis, Washington in 1918, but the pole fractured during the ceremony! – Spokane Daily Chronicle – Oct 11, 1918 pg 6. & ‘Donna Turnipseed, Directorate of Public Works Cultural Resources manager, and Dr. Duane Denfeld, architectural historian, shared the history of the flagpole.
In 1917, the then Camp Lewis gained distinction as having the largest American flag to fly to date. The Tacoma Daily Ledger newspaper had a fundraiser to acquire a flag bigger than the one flown on the 135-foot steel flagpole at Camp Jackson, S.C. The 60- by 90-foot flag raised at Camp Lewis weighed 257 pounds. The 314-foot tall first pole, made from a 346-foot-tall tree, and set into a 9-ton concrete base, snapped after the initial flag raising Oct. 12, 1918. “It was a small ceremony, and the flagpole ended up splitting in three places from the weight of the flag,” Turnipseed said.’- Construction crew unearths record-setting flagpole base
“The Daily Ledger campaign had one more step, and that was to locate a tall, straight fir tree for the flagpole. Prominent lumberman Lynn H. Miller (1877-1936) of the International Spar Company, based on Harbor Island in Seattle, sent loggers out into western Washington forests to find the tree. International Spar had experience with long trees since it provided masts and booms to shipyards in the United States and England. It took some time to find the right tree. The 346-foot tree was taken to the company’s plant and shaped into a flagpole that would be 314 feet tall. The pole was cut and strengthened with two splices. It was anchored in a 9-ton concrete block.” – World’s tallest flagpole cracks into pieces when world’s largest flag is unfurled from it at Camp Lewis flag-raising ceremony on October 12, 1918. HistoryLink.org Essay 11077
347 ft Astoria, Oregon Douglas Fir cut for flagpole 251 feet tall, Panama-Pacific Exposition.– Pamphlets on Wood Preservation, 1900-1915, University of California. pg 4 & Friends’ Intelligencer – Volume 72 – 1915, Page 316. Also See: Bell Telephone News, Volume 5, 1915. pg 20. http://books.google.com/books?id=FJnmAAAAMAAJ&pg=RA2-PA20&lpg=RA2-PA20#v=onepage&q&f=false
347 ft Tacoma, Washington, Sept. 1889. A fir tree 340 feet long from butt to top, plus stump height, scaled 81,500 board feet, from seventeen cuts of 16 ft logs:
An average fir tree was selected from an acre of forest near Tacoma, Washington Territory in Sept. 1889, and cut down by Mr. J.J. Parker, a coast lumberman, and his axe men in the presence of Mr. Ketchum, an Oshkosh millman, and Mr. Lyman Barnes, of New London, Wisconsin. The cutters placed their spring boards 2-3 feet above ground, and chopped the tree down. After it fell, Mr. Ketchum and Barnes took their measuring lines, and laid off seventeen, 16 foot logs, which total 81,500 board feet. They then measured the entire tree from the butt to top, and found it was 340 feet long. – Appleton Post, Appleton, Wisconsin. Thursday, September 12, 1889 pg 8.
348 ft “Forest Service records a Douglas Fir with a measured height of 380 feet, and I, personally, have seen many over 300, one 348.” By Joseph T. Hazard, Pacific Crest Trails from Alaska to Cape Horn–1948, pg. 64
350 ft– “PSEUDOTSUGA DOUGLASII,… – Often one of the tallest trees known (in favorable loclities, in Oregon, even 300-350 feet high), with very thick, much cracked, brown bark….” – The botanical works of the late George Engelmann, collected for …, Volume 1, 1887 pg 347.
350 ft “Fir trees are often found from 300 to 350 feet high. In connection with this it is observed that the upper portion of the tree shows larger annual growths in the center than are found near the butt.” – OREGON The Land Of Opportunity Compiled by M.D. Wisdom, 1909 Oregon Commission of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition: Forest Wealth Of Oregon 1909 By Edmund P. Sheldon, Secretary Oregon State Board of Forestry. A Place Called Oregon – 1909
350 feet Siletz Indian Reservation, Oregon c. 1907. Fir trees reported up to 350 feet tall. Morning Oregonian. November 19, 1907 Page 11 & Morning Oregonian. August 10, 1908 Page 9. Some large Fir trees up to 11 feet diameter remain today at the “Valley of the Giants”, North fork of Siletz River, west of Valsetz, Oregon: The Valley of the Giants – Dianne Roth
350 ft Columbia County, Oregon. Whole sections of Fir trees were cruised at an average height of 275 ft tall, and 6 ft diameter yielding 10 to 15 cuts of 12 foot logs from below the first branches, free from knots. Some sections running as high as 350 feet tall! – The Oregon mist. (St. Helens, Columbia County, Or.) April 21, 1893, Pg. 1
350 ft Mossyrock, Wa. 1939 A fir tree 350 feet tall, and 11 feet in diameter was felled and sent to Olympia. It scaled 40,000 Board feet – Centralia Daily Chronicle, July 19, 1939, pg. 1. & St. Petersburg Times – Aug 9, 1939 pg 8.
350 ft “Recently a log from one these fallen firs was taken to Washington, where it was on exhibition, It was part of a six hundred-year-old tree which had attained a height of 350 feet. The log weighed 60 tons and will furnish 16,690 feet of timber.” Ireton Ledger, Sep. 5, 1935 pg. 3
350 ft “Largest Tree in State,” 350 feet tall, 16 feet diameter. – Sedro Woolley, Wa. May 8, 1902. Photograph taken by Darius Kinsey. Kinsey photo collection – Kinsey photographer, 1978 —pg. 152-153. #160 – Fir Tree Undercut by Darius Kinsey. “
350 ft “Many trees, each over 280 feet tall, have been measured about Blaine [Wa]. Others in that vicinity and elsewhere reach to a height of 350 feet. There are without doubt large numbers of trees in Washington over 300 feet high.” – Forest Leaves – pg. 162 by Pennsylvania Forestry Association, American Forestry Association, 1890.
350 ft – “In Skagit County is a forest of Douglas pine and white cedar in which there are many trees reaching 325 feet high, and some of them are fully 350 feet high.” Forest Leaves – Page 162 by Pennsylvania Forestry Association, 1922.
350 ft Mr. Charles C Woodhouse, M.E. wrote about the giant fir and cedar trees in Puget sound, in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper in 1891, and mentions he had “measured one of these prostrate monsters 350 feet in length,” and describes Cedar stumps 18 feet in diameter. – The Seattle post-intelligencer. [volume] (Seattle, Wash. Terr. [Wash.]) 1888-1914, January 01, 1891, Page 23, Image 23
350 ft “The river is deep and the banks are straight, so every rancher has a landing and delivers his produce on the bank of the river and the river steamer carries it to its destination. I thought I had seen big timbers in Michigan, but it is small in comparison to that in northwestern Washington Territory. It is nothing to see trees six and eight feet in diameter and three hundred and fifty feet high. The largest tree I saw was twelve feet in diameter, that was a cedar. The land along the Skaget is very rich and productive, that is, for crops that will grow there.” – Firemen’s Magazine, Volume 8, 1884 pg 420.
350 ft “Douglas fir trees often grow seven feet to twelve feet in diameter at the ground and up to one hundred and fifty feet in height without a branch. One tree was measured fourteen feet in diameter at a point six feet above the ground and it was approximately three hundred and fifty feet high. A Douglas fir tree twelve feet in diameter at the butt was cut in Coos County, Oregon, in January, 1920, yielding 43,320 board feet of sawed lumber, valued at $1,500.” – American Lumberman, May 8, 1920. pg 62
350 ft “On the shores of Puget Sound the bulk of the forests of trees stand 250 feet high, while firs have been cut measuring almost 350 feet in height.” – The sun. (New York [N.Y.]) April 22, 1906, Third Section, Page 5.
350 ft A “Cedar” tree on the property of J. M. Hockett near Kalama, Washington was reportedly 350 feet tall and 18 feet in diameter. Whole townships in that section were reportedly covered in fir trees 250 to 350 feet high. -The Corvallis gazette. July 04, 1890 Image 1.
250-350 ft Logs from Fir trees 5 to 11 feet in diameter and 250 to 350 feet tall were small enough to handle at lumber mills at Seattle and Port Gamble, while larger trees baffled the skill of lumbermen in handling. The new Northwest. (Portland, Or.) December 22, 1881, Page 5:
350+ft Quoting from Dr J. R. Cardwell, President of the Oregon Board of Horticulture, “The trees of our forests, owing to the favorable influences referred to, are of rich, dark green foliage, rapid growth to enormous proportions, commonly from 3 to 6 feet in diameter, 350 feet high, sometimes more, and 185 feet to the first limb. This I state from actual measurements from trees prone on the ground.” – Our Conifers Economically Considered. By Dr J.R. Cardwell – 5th Biennial Report of the Oregon Board of Horticulture, 1899 pg. 544-549. Note: It is likely that Dr Cardwell measured these fallen trees while clearing his land for his gardens. He owned several properties in the Portland area, as he was one of the early pioneers to Oregon in 1852, becoming Portland’s first dentist.
350 ft Trees from 250 to 350 feet high are common sights. A fir tree recently cut near Clallam Bay was 13 feet in diameter at the butt, and a 100-foot log cut therefrom, which was seven feet in diameter at the top, scaled 84,100 feet of lumber. Report by Washington (State). Bureau of Statistics, Agriculture and Immigration – 1896, pg 112.
350 ft Estimated Height of the big Fir at Westholme, Vancouver Is. BC. Blown down 1913, Estimated to be 1500 years old, 17-feet diameter. 180 ft to blown top, and 150 ft to first branch. (See Forest Giants, Carder pgs 1 – 10) http://twpaterson.com/second-largest-douglas-fir-recalls-westholme-giant/
350+ft Estimated original Height of Queets Fir, Queets River, WA. Currently it is 202 ft to a broken top 6.7 ft diameter, and the Breast height diameter is 15.9 ft. Age is calculated at over 1,000 years old! The original height of this tree may have once easily exceeded 350 feet as estimated by the late Randy Stoltmann, and Dr Al Carder of B.C. (See Graphic from Western Canada Wilderness Committee, 1986 article ” Last of the Giants.”) The break at 200 feet is still over 6 feet thick, and as Dr. Carder notes in his book, Forest Giants, page 13, that for every foot of thickness in the trunk of these old growth Douglas fir, it is no exaggeration to conclude 25 to 30 linear feet of height. Taking that into account, this tree might even have been approaching 400 feet at one time in its thousand year life.
350+ ft The Mt. Pilchuck giant. Snohomish County, Washington. Felled On October 22, 1952, one and a half miles from Verlot at the foot of Mt Pilchuck. Over 350 feet in height, 11 feet 6 inches by 10 ft 3 inches in diameter at the cut, and 700 years old yielding 30,000 board feet from a 100 ft log. – The Arlington Times – Oct 30, 2002 pg 9. See Images below:
For more images of the Mt. Pilchuck giant fir at the Roal-Oberg mill, visit the Granite Falls Museum website: http://granitefalls.pastperfect-online.com/34971cgi/mweb.exe?request=keyword;keyword=roal%20oberg;dtype=d
350 ft A tree 350 feet long and 14 ft in diameter reportedly struck a pier at bridge 16, on the Everett & Monte Cristo Railway near the town of Robe, Washington in the great “Washout” of November, 1897, along the Stillaguamish river not far from the town of Verlot and Mt. Pilchuck – The Seattle Post-intelligencer, Volume 33, Number 6, 20 November 1897.
300 ft + Kapowsin, Washington, 1922. 9 feet diameter, over 300 feet high, 7 logs 32 ft long each (totalling 224 ft high) were cut below its branches. The Miami News – Aug 14, 1922 pg 58. Also, see above article of another fir tree cut at Kapowsin in 1937, 9 feet in diameter at the butt and scaling 70,000 feet of lumber. Such a market volume for a tree of that diameter must have also required a height well above 300 feet.
350 ft+ (My Estimate of original Height, extrapolating from log length, taper, and board footage). A Fir cut down in King Co. Wa measured 9 ft in diameter at the butt, and 4 ft 8 in at the top, 186 ft long, and scaled 64,000 feet of lumber. – Report By Washington (State). Bureau of Statistics, Agriculture and Immigration, 1896. pg. 33
350 ft? At Bellingham, Washington a log 12 feet in diameter at the butt, 278 feet long, scaled 105,000 board feet, Scribner rule. – The Yield of Douglas Fir in the Pacific Northwest, By Richard Edwin McArdle U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1930 pg 7. [Note: Often 50 to 100 feet of the top section, 2 or 3 feet in diameter was discarded from the tree as non merchantable and knotty, suggesting a log of 278 feet with that high of a yield, necessitated a tree perhaps 300 to 350 or more feet in original height by my estimates]. At the bottom of page 7 of McArdle’s report, he lists several examples of Douglas fir recorded over the years by the US Forestry service at 300 to 380 feet tall, and other examples of large volume, including the Mineral Tree.
350 ft – A tree 350 feet tall and 8 ft diameter was reportedly felled by T. F. Strain of Tacoma, Washington in 1879 while clearing his property. – American Bee Journal, Volume 53, 1913 pg 100.
350 ft “The yellow fir is the soundest and best timber in the United States. Easy of handling, it can be cut down as cheaply as white pine, though it rise to the immense height of two hundred feet (sometimes) without a limb, and to a height of often three hundred and fifty feet from the but, including tops. At the base it frequently measures six, seven, eight, nine, ten and even twelve feet in diameter at but where cut off for manufacture.” -Magazine of Western History, Volume 12, 1890 pg 81 “Tacoma, Washington” by Will L. Visscher.
350 -400 ft RE: Douglas Firs up to 465 Feet tall. – Trees Forum – Garden Web. Posted by j50wells none (My Page) on Wed, Jan 4, 12 at 12:33 Good post Jimmy. My granpa was a logger for fifty years down on the south coast near Brookings. In the 1930’s and 1940’s they did alot of logging in that area. He told me there was alot of Redwood, but not as tall as the one’s in California. He did mention that occassionally they would find a Douglas fir that was well over 300′ tall. I don’t doubt that some of them pushed close to 400′. My grandpa was a very honest man and would tell some great stories about logging. Sometimes he would mix facts up but he would always back up and say , “oops, that’s not the way it was, here’s what really happened.” He was not a liar or the type that would exaggerate, so I believe that he did fall some trees in the 350 to 400 foot range.
350 ft Grays Harbor, Washington 1910, 10 ft Diameter. From the Bothell Sentinel and Citizen, June 4, 1910 pg 6: “Programme for state convention of Bankers”…”A Joint Committee of the bankers of the cities of Hoquiam and Aberdeen are preparing a very elaborate pro-gramme of entertainment, which will include a visit to the great manufac-turing plants of Grays Harbor, a trip on the harbor and a visit to one of the great lumber camps, where the visit-ers will witness the felling of a for-est giant ten feet in thickness and 350 feet high.”
350 ft Grays Harbor, Washington in 1894. On the Timber claim of Mr. Wm. Miner a tree 350 feet long, and only 18 inches thick at the butt, fell over a gulch. – Aberdeen Herald, Volume 8, Number 16, 25 January 1894.
350 – 400 ft Near Latourell, Oregon. An immense grove of giant firs situated in a protected flat surrounded by high bluffs, between Bull creek and the Hood river. Trees estimated at 350 to 400 feet high with circumference estimated over 60 feet at 3 feet above ground. Portsmouth Herald, July 18, 1900 pg. 5
320 ft – 350 ft Trees measured by Colonel Richard Clement Moody of the Royal Engineers, at or around New Westminster, B.C. about 1863. (I estimate these trees may have been closer to 350 ft before they hit the ground, as Colonel Moody told the Royal Geographical Society in 1863-64, that in a couple of instances the fallen tree trunks were still as thick as his waist where he left off measuring at 320 feet in length, where the top splintered off in the falling. These trees were measured by Colonel Richard Clement Moody of the Royal Engineers and related to the Royal Geographical Society in response to a paper on Vancouver Island, and British Columbia written by Dr. Charles Forbes).
The Royal Geographical Society quotes and summarizes several points made by Colonel Moody:
350 ft “On the site of what is now Vancouver city–the present terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway–and in the neighborhood of that town, on Burrard Inlet, was a renowned group of these trees, and “many still standing around the city, are from 250 to 350 feet high and 12 feet in diameter at the base, or about 36 feet in girth,” growing so close together that the trees almost seem to touch each other…” – The Wilderness and Its Tenants – By John madden 1897, pg. 168.
350 ft “Some of these sylvan giants are of almost incredible dimensions, twenty four to thirty feet in circumference, eight to ten feet in diameter, at the base, running up straight as arrows perhaps 350 feet, more than 200 feet of which is without a knot or limb, and at that height from three to five feet in diameter. Of course, these are extraordinary trees; Some of them contain 25,000 feet of lumber. But if any “doubting Thomas” will come out to Puget Sound with the desire to satisfy himself upon this point, we can furnish the standing arguments needful to convince his mind that the extraordinary facts are true. I can even tell him of one fir tree sixteen feet in diameter measured with the surveyor’s chain. But lest some honest reader might be misled by the above extraordinary figures, I will say that the trees of a good timber claim will average from 180 to 300 feet in height and from three to six feet in diameter, with from one to two hundred feet of clear straight trunk, consisting of the very best spar and ship timber produced by the forests of the world.” – The pictorial cabinet of marvels, By Pictorial cabinet, Harrison Weir, 1878, pg 387.
350 ft “There the trees, crowded close together, rise to a height of 300 feet; indeed, lumbermen report trees 350 feet high, with trunks 11 feet in diameter, free of branches for 200 feet, and with hardly any perceptible taper up to that height.” – The Humeston New Era, July 26, 1916 pg. 4
350 ft “Firstly, it may be said that previous to the year 1885, the place now occupied by this city [Vancouver] was a wilderness of gigantic trees, some of them being fully twelve feet diameter a few feet above the ground, and from 300 to 350 feet in height, all of which had to be cut down and rooted out before a house could be built.” – 3800 Miles Across Canada – By John Wilton Cuninghame Haldane 1908, pg 224.
350 ft “Under favourable conditions the Douglas fir averages 180 ft. in height and 3 to 4 ft. in diameter, but it sometimes reaches a height of 350 ft. and a diameter of 10 ft.” – Native Trees of Canada, By B.R. Morton. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, CANADA – FORESTRY BRANCH BULLETIN No. 61, 1921. pg 38
351 ft A Douglas fir felled in the coastal mountains near Astoria, Oregon, circa 1903. “The fir is both red and yellow. It grows five to 14 feet in diameter, and 150 to 300 feet tall (351 feet is said to have been measured on one fallen tree in the coast mountains.) …” – The Morning Astorian. Astoria, Or. January 01, 1903, Page 7. See also The Morning Astorian April 07, 1905, Page 6, & Rand-McNally guide to the Great Northwest – 1903 pg 35-36.
352 ft Lynn Valley, N Vancouver BC, Felled in 1907, 9 ft 8 in diameter. 220 feet to lowest branch. This tree contained 16 logs of wood, 16 feet per log. Top 92 feet discarded. Height 352 feet including 4 ft stump. Details are recounted by historian Walter Mackay Draycott of Lynn Valley, BC from old lumberman William Mitchell of Lynn Valley. “Early Days in Lynn Valley” pg. 29. Also, see Forest Giants, Carder pg 1 -10.
354 ft A Douglas fir tree 9-1/2 feet in diameter 3 feet above ground and 354 feet tall was said to have been felled in August, 1857 by the young George H. Himes, (who later became curator and assistant secretary of the Oregon Historical Society) then a boy of 13 or 14 years old, with assistance of another man. (Note: This tree was probably felled some four or five miles east of Olympia, Washington on the Tyrus Himes or David Chambers property where the young George Himes worked into his early adulthood clearing land, logging, and farming). – American Lumberman – No. 2412 August 6, 1921 pg 64.
355 ft “The tallest tree on record in Canada today is a Douglas fir in Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island. It is over 108 m tall.” — Countdown Canada: A conceptual Geography study, By Alderdice, Roy, Vass, Ben, Sled, George, Published 1977 Macmillan of Canada pg 7 -10. Note: Further reference to this tree eludes me, perhaps it was forgotten, blew down, or was one of the very tall fir trees reported around Puntledge Ridge, Strathcona Park in the 1960s to 1980s. In 1987, Randy Stoltmann of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee mentioned tall Douglas fir at Puntledge River, Strathcona Park reaching heights of up to 305 feet (93 meters).
358 ft Cloverdale, Surrey, BC. Tallest Fir measured by a BC forester. Discovered in 1881 by William Shannon, while constructing Hall’s Prairie Rd. Measured after being Felled, 1,100 yr old. 11.5 ft diameter and 358 feet tall. (Forest Giants, Carder pg 1 -10). William Shannon – Cloverdale
360 ft “…Douglas-firs along Oregon’s Millicoma River, topped 360 feet.” – Analysis of a Pre-existing Condition: the Northwest’s Old-growth Forests, by Chuck Bolsinger Published: Saturday, October 15, 2011, 12:03 PM The Oregonian. http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2011/10/analysis_of_a_pre-existing_con.html
Charles L. Bolsinger worked as a researcher with the US Forestry Service for many years, so his statements on the size of the trees, and the forest conditions of the past I believe carry much credibility. I recently found a report written by Dr. Bob Zybach on the Millicoma Tree Farm and Pillsbury Tract entitled: “Oregon Coast Range Old-Growth: The 1945-1947 Weyerhaeuser Coos Bay Study Dr. Bob Zybach” (Links to DOCX file) He highlights some of the Weyerhaeuser Forestry Department 1945-1946 Timber Cruise report findings, quote:
“A high average net volume of 73,900 board feet per acre was found for the 180-year old stands on site I in the [Millicoma] area.”
“Stands of the [Pillsbury] area are less uniform and more defective.”
“Several trees were over 300 feet tall and one 332-footer may be a record for Douglas fir.”
So it appears that the Millicoma tree farm & Pillsbury tract (which extended to the south forks of Coos and Coquille rivers) did in fact have at least a few Douglas-fir measured in the 300 to 332 foot high range, according to Timber Cruise records of Weyerhaeuser in the forties conducted by Arthur V. Smyth & others. This section of Coos County, Oregon is particularly rich in the tallest living giant Douglas fir today, in the 300 to 330 foot high range, with dozens of very tall trees discovered in the past 30 years, and new discoveries being made with assistance of LiDAR data (See DOGAMI & Ascending the Giants in OPB special on tallest trees in Oregon Nov. 2017, As well as 2011 expedition of Taylor, Vaden & Atkins in Coos County). The Brummett or Doerner fir reached 329 feet in 1988, and other trees 320 to 330 feet or more have been measured in the same creek in the 1950s. Added to this the many old newspaper stories of trees 300 to 360 feet tall in this part of Coos and Douglas counties, the old Pillsbury tract and Weyerhaeuser Millicoma Tree farm probably contained many giant trees, perhaps some of the world’s tallest before major logging began.
360+ ft A fir tree standing over 360 feet high, 15 feet in diameter, and over 100 feet to first limb near Loon Lake, Douglas County, Oregon was photographed and reported to the Coos Bay Times newspaper in 1914 by Jack McDonald, Sawmill owner, and co-founder of McDonald-Vaughan Logging Company. – The Coos Bay times. (Marshfield, Or.) June 09, 1914, EVENING EDITION, Page 1:
360 ft “Till recently it was by no means rare to meet in the pine groves of Washington and Oregon specimens of the yellow pine 260 and even 360 feet high.” – The Earth and Its Inhabitants …: The United States – Page 419, Elisée Reclus, Ernest George Ravenstein, Augustus Henry Keane – 1893
360 ft A Douglas Fir 360 feet tall was felled at Ryderwood, Washington c. 1930s, 13 ft diameter. – Lewis County Historical Museum. – Note: Also see report of 324 ft and 311 ft tall Fir trees from Ryderwood in 1937.
350 ft+ Fir trees over 350 feet high estimated along the Deming trail, Middle Fork of Nooksack river valley in 1909. “The timber began to get larger and by the time we had traversed three miles upon the trail we viewed countless numbers of gigantic fir trees growing not less than fifty feet apart and towering at least 350 feet into the air.” Deming Trail, Whatcom Co. Wa. Bellingham Herald – July 10, 1909.
375 ft Vancouver Island, BC. – Mason City Globe-Gazette, Nov. 4, 1961 pg. 20.
375 ft Quoting Governor William A. Newell of Washington Territory who was interviewed by the Camden, N.J. Courier in June 3, 1882: “…Trees attain an almost incredible size, a full grown fir averaging four feet in diameter, running up a straight shaft, almost without a limb, to an average height of two hundred and twent-five feet. Many are of a much larger dimension, ranging from seven to fourteen feet in diameter, and reaching a height of three hundred and sevent-five feet.” – Seattle daily post-intelligencer. (Seattle, W.T. [Wash.) 1881-1888, June 28, 1882, pg. 3
300-400 ft “Sir Edward Belcher and many others describe the pine trees in the Oregon territory to be from two hundred and fifty to three hundred feet in height and from twenty to forty feet in circumference while Sir George Simpson speaks of having seen trees near the Columbia River from three to four hundred feet high. The latter must be about the largest trees in the world.”- Transactions of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, Volume 4 – 1843, pg 286.
300-400 ft The gigantic fir trees of Washington are often between 300 and 400 feet high, a single one sometimes furnishing 100,000 feet of lumber. To eastern eyes the stumps left standing look very strange. They are from five to fifteen feet high. –Newark Daily Advocate Sep. 27, 1889.
400 ft. [Fort George /Astoria, Oregon c. 1846] “There was a monstrous fir pine that had been blown up by the roots, and it looked as if it had been down for many years. Some of the boys measured it and reported that it was twelve feet in diameter at the butt and three hundred and thirty feet in length to where it had been sawed off to make a roadway. It was eighteen inches in diameter where it had been sawed off ; so the boys concluded that it must have been about four hundred feet high.” — Burr Osborn, Survivor of Howison Expedition to Oregon, 1846 — Oregon Historical Quarterly – Page 361 by Oregon Historical Society – Oregon – 1913.
380 ft Nisqually River, Wa. 1899 or 1900, measured as a fallen tree near Ashford, Wa. at 380 feet in length, with a small portion of top missing. Measured with steel tape by USFS ranger Edward Tyson Allen, one of the early technically trained foresters who was stationed in Portland, Oregon. – Forest Giants, Carder pg 2, E.T. Allen. Red Fir in the Northwest, unpublished typescript in library of Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Portland, Oregon, 1899 or 1900, p. 5. See also letter from E.T. Allen to R.H. McKee, Seattle, Apr. 3, 1924; Richard E. McArdle, Some Notes on Maximum Sizes, Ages, and Yield of Forest Trees, U.S. Department of Agriculture (hereafter USDA) Forest Service Pamphlet, Nov. 22, 1926, p. 7; and E.L. Kolbe, Big Tree Statistics for the North Pacific Region, Data Sheet, June 7, 1933, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Portland, Oregon. http://books.google.com/books?id=UFQyAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA67#v=onepage&q&f=false
385 ft Near Elma, Washington in 1896. Quoting from the “West Coast Lumberman,” a fir tree was cut down and measured 385 feet in length. Nearby was another fallen fir, which was 6 feet diameter at the stump, and at 225 feet had broken in two. At the break it was still 3 feet diameter. [Note: this second tree also likely exceeded 300 ft, if we extrapolate from log taper]. – Omaha Daily Bee, February 03, 1896, Page 5., & Tillamook Headlight. (Tillamook, Or.) January 23, 1896, Image 4.
393 ft Mineral, Washington. Blown down in 1929 or 1930, 1,020 years old. 15.4 ft. diameter at breast height, and 6 ft. in diameter at 225 ft to broken top. Height measured by USFS Chief Richard McArdle in 1924 with steel tape and Abney level at 225. 168 ft of blown top measured on the ground and recorded in 1905 by Joe Westover, land engineer from Northern Pacific Railway. The tree and blown top was measured again in 1930 by Jesse Hurd, superintendent of Pacific National Lumber Company’s operations in Mineral, and again in the 1930 -1931 by University of Washington forestry students (See Photo below). A section of this tree still resides at the Wind River Arboretum, Wa. For more details about this tree see Forest Giants, Carder 1995 pg 3, Forest Giants of the Pacific Coast, Robert Van Pelt, Global Forest Society, 2001 pgs. 16, 22, & 44, Genetics of Douglas Fir, Roy R. Silen, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Research Paper WO-35, 1978 pg 5, Isaac and Dimock 1965, and McArdle, Richard E. (1930). The Yield of Douglas Fir in the Pacific Northwest. United States Department of Agriculture. Technical Bulletin No. 201. pg 7, and plate 5. Development and dominance of Douglas-fir in North American rainforests, Stephen C. Sillett, Robert Van Pelt, et al – Forest Ecology and Management 429 (2018) 93-114, page 2.
Regarding above photograph of fallen Mineral tree: “The Archie Memorial “Remember When” Photo Steve Archie, ’66, former editor of the Washington Forester enjoyed collecting and selecting old photos for the “Remember When” photo which appeared in many past issues of our newsletter. His files will permit us to continue the tradition for a while longer. This photograph taken by William A. Eastman, Jr.,’ 33 shows some members of his sophomore class at the site of the fallen Big Tree of Mineral, WA. Professor Alexander’s class at Pack Forest, having just finished constructing Biltmore-Hypsometer sticks, traveled to Mineral where they visited this giant Douglas-fir which had fallen during a 1929-1930 winter storm. The class took various measurements of the tree. It was estimated that the tree was 1,020 years old when it fell, 15.4 feet dbh and 385 feet tall. The height has been the subject of some speculation as the top had blown off many years before the tree fell and no written record of the length of the fallen top has been found. But it is believed that Leo Isaac measured the fallen top to arrive at a total height of 385 feet. This photo also appeared in the American Forests magazine of June 1981. It appears that Bill took the photo in April 1931 although 1930 is also listed as the date. Can anybody shed any light on the correct date and the length of the blown out top? ” – See Link: http://www.cfr.washington.edu/aboutTheSchool/printNewsletter/99-Summer/wafor.html