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.” Historic trees which were measured on the ground after they were felled, or those measured as standing trees with inclinometer, transit or theodolite, or laser range finder, and 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.
A Story of West Coast Lumber: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p27MX9Vy4Jk&list=PL2deVLDq3XCOJDSq4BTGYX3C_KBEq2tkJ&index=3
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, 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! We will be sure to go back and find taller 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. – American Lumberman, Part 2, 1922 pg 50.
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 “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 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 William Clark, March 10, 1806. 39 feet girth, 6 ft above ground, estimated 200 feet to first limbs.
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 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. http://books.google.com/books?id=DjFKWE8DiqIC&pg=PA145#v=onepage&q&f=false
302 ft. Finnegan’s Fir, OR. Blown down 1975. Officially listed at 302 ft.
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 “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 Satsop Valley, Washington 1936. 10 ft 10 in diameter, 300 feet tall. – Spokane Daily Chronicle – May 21, 1936 pg 2.
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
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 Woss Lake on northern Vancouver Island. – 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:
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.
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 From British Columbia, ten sections of a “fir” which was 309 feet tall were displayed at the International Exhibition. – The North-west Territories and British Columbia … By Aeneas McDonell Dawson –1881, pg 66.310 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 “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.
311 ft 9 feet diameter.—Housing By National Housing Association Published 1935.
311 ft 9’4” diam. 50,000 board feet, 434 years old, cut in Washington State, Aug. 16, 1926. Spirit of the Lakes by David K Peterson, 2004.
311 ft Aberdeen, Wash. 1929 Appleton Post Crescent (May be same tree as above)
312 ft Felled in 1886, Georgia St. Vancouver, BC – [Site of Present Vancouver Art Gallery] Fir tree measured 13 feet diam at breast height, and 4 feet in diam 200 feet from butt. Also known as the Alex Russell Tree. (See Forest Giants, Carder 1995 pg 1 -10, & Vancouver Historical Journal, 3rd edition, 1960 pg 17.)
312 ft “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 Journals of Lewis and Clark. April 5, 1806.
315 ft Skagit River, 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.
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
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 measured by Lewis and Clark, Saturday, April 5th, 1806, not far from fort Vancouver [near Gresham]. Only 3.5 feet diameter. [Possibly Sitka Spruce]
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.
320 ft Koksilah Giant, British Columbia–blown down 1979 after clearcut. Standing portion, and blown top both measured by Dr. Al Carder in the 1978, and confirmed to stand 320 feet tall and 12 feet in diameter. (Forest Giants, Carder pg 1-10).
320 ft Olympic Natl Park WA. 16 ft diameter
320 ft James Irvine Fir — Prairie Creek State Park/ James Irvine Trail, Cal.
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 “One of the wonders of the American forests is the fir tree of Puget Sound. The trees average 200 feet high, and some specimens have been cut that measured 320 feet in length and twelve feet in diameter at the base, with a straight and well proportioned log length of ninety feet to the first limb.” – The Canadian horticulturist: Volumes 5-6 – Page 94 Fruit Growers’ Association of Ontario – 1882
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 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. 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
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
324 ft Chehalis, Lewis Co. Wa. Oak Tribune 1934
324 ft Wa–900 yr old, Times Recorder, Nov. 1935
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 diam. 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. (See 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, Wa. 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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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.
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 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:
330+ft (My estimate of original tree height.) “In Portland, Oregon, there is a radio mast 28 inches in diameter at the butt, 12 inches in diameter at the top and 304 feet high, turned from one stick of Douglas Fir!” – Sagas of the Evergreens, By Frank H. Lamb, Published 1938. W.W. Norton & Co., inc. pg 226330+ft (My estimate of original height) Elma, Wa. A felled Douglas fir, 5 feet 2 inches in diameter was cut into seven logs each 40 feet long. The tree was 221 years old according to ring count. – Monthly bulletin By Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen. 1918, pg. 21.
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 losing tops). 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.
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, age 300 years 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.
340 – 350 ft – “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. Note: This tree 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.
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
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 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 “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 “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 propert 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 “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.” Fifth Biennial Report to the Board of Horticulture – Oregon Board of Horticulture, 1898 pg. 545
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 300 feet, and perhaps 350 feet as estimated by the late Randy Stoltmann of B.C.. 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
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 – A tree 350 feet tall and 8 ft diameter was reportedly felled by T. F. Strain of Tacoma, Washington in 1870 on his property. – American Bee Journal, Volume 53, 1913 pg 100.
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
350 ft (My estimate of original ht) “With regard to the pine forests there were very valuable pines on the coast of British Columbia and in the interior. The value of the timber could scarcely be exaggerated; great quantities would be sent to China and much might be brought home. The size of the trees was extraordinary. He [Dr. Forbes] had measured numbers and he made out that the average of the Douglas pine ranged somewhat over 300 feet in height. One or two measured 320 feet to where the top branches had been broken and splintered off by the trees falling; and where he left off measuring the tree was as thick round as his waist. Settlers looked upon these trees with abhorrence because of the difficulty of clearing the ground which they entailed but the day would come when the trees would find their market value. On one occasion he was out riding with Governor Douglas and they came upon the ruins of a great cedar tree. Governor Douglas got off his horse and with a 3 foot rule he measured the trunk about 5 feet 6 inches above the ground and although the bark had been burnt off the tree measured 57 feet in circumference.” -Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society Volume VIII, 1863-1864. pg 92.
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.
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.
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 -10.358 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
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 “The timber began to get larger and by the time we had traversed three miles into the trail we viewed countless numbers of gigantic fir trees growing not less than fifty feet apart and towering at least 360 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.
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
393 ft Mineral, Wa. 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.
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
350-400 ft “It is, however, the fact that the trees cut in the Oregon region are generally young and of small size, while those cut in Washington, especially by the mills along the South Bend branch of the Northern Pacific Railway are giants, many of them being from 350 to 400 feet in height, and from five to fourteen feet in diameter.” –Telephony: Volume 61 – Page 183. Harry B. McMeal – 1911
300 – 400 ft Report from North western Washington of multiple Douglas fir trees 300 to 400 ft tall, from 9 to 14 ft diameter near the south fork of the Nooksack river, along the railroad at Licking station in Whatcom county. The tallest were judged to be from 350 to possibly 400 feet high. Trees specially cruised by request of the World’s Fair Commission. – Aberdeen Herald – August 06, 1891, Pg 8., and The Seattle Post-intelligencer – Sunday, July 19th, 1891 – Page 16.
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.
400 ft “I have not been able to obtain any reliable information concerning the maximum height of the Douglas Spruce. Lumbermen on Puget Sound habitually speak of trees from three hundred to three hundred and fifty feet tall, but their statements, unsupported by actual measurements, must be accepted cautiously. It is not impossible, however, that this tree may grow to even a greater height than three hundred and fifty feet, as large specimens in some of the sheltered valleys at the base of the Olympic Mountains of northwestern Washington tower far above the surrounding forest, which undoubtedly has an average height of nearly three hundred feet. In this region and on the western slopes of Mt. Rainier in Washington, trunks from ten to eleven feet in diameter five feet above the surface of the ground and free of branches for two hundred or two hundred and fifty feet are not rare, two or three such trees sometimes standing on an acre of ground. Individuals twelve feet in diameter may occasionally be seen, although they are very rare, and lumbermen and prospectors tell of trees with trunks sixteen feet in diameter.”- The silva of North America: a description of the trees which grow …, Volume 12 By Charles Sprague Sargent – 1898. pg. 88
400 ft “Papa and my brother-in-law cut down a fir tree that was four hundred feet high and ten feet through at the base of the tree.” – Myra G. Monsey, age 12. Snohomish Co. Wahsington, 1898 – Farm, Field, and Fireside, 19 March 1898 pg 375. (See below).
400 ft “There are 23,588,512 acres of timber land in Washington. In height, fir trees average from 200 to 400, and 100 to the first limb in many instances. In Tillamook county, Oregon there are fir trees from 15 to 30 feet in diameter. Cedar trees that are from 12 to 20 feet in diameter and from 150 to 350 feet high, with the first limb 90 or 100 feet from the ground, are called “large” and “fine.” At present rates of consumption the Pacific coast could supply the world for 70 years. Washington’s supply would be exhausted by the world in half that time.” – Mining and Scientific Press, Volume 66, Feb 4, 1893 pg 69.
400 ft “…the writer knows personally of whole townships in that county [Chehalis]that will cruise from 6,000,000 to 12,000,000 feet to the quarter section. On one occasion he stood and counted within a radius of about two hundred feet no less than sixty-four trees, not one of which was less than four feet in diameter, and from two hundred to four hundred feet in height, besides as many more smaller ones that might be termed ‘merchantable timber.” -Scientific American – Page 44. July 20, 1895
400 ft “In the typical fir forests, the trees, crowded close together, become very tall, two hundred fifty to four hundred feet high, and sometimes eight to twelve feet in diameter.”The Pacific Monthly by William Bittle Wells – 1903 pg. 345
400 ft “Pine trees growing in Island county, in Puget Sound, are often found to have attained a height of four hundred feet.” – Transactions of the Illinois State Horticultural Society, Volume 12 By Illinois State Horticultural Society pg. 239. 1879
400 ft “The maximum height known is nearly 400 feet; the greatest diameter of the stem is 14 feet. Can be grown very closely, when the stems will attain, according to Drs. Kellogg and Newberry, a height of over 200 feet without a branch.” – Select Extra-Tropical Plants Readily Eligable For Industrial Culture Or Naturalization, With Indications Of Their Native Countries And Some Of Their Uses. – Baron Ferd. Von Mueller, 1884 pg. 268
400 ft “From the Cascade range to the Pacific, compromising about one-half of Washington Territory, the surface is densely covered with the finest forest growth in the world. Some of the trees, straight as an arrow, are four hundred feet in height, and fourteen feet in diameter near the ground.” — Resources of the Pacific Slope: A Statistical and Descriptive Summary… By John Ross Browne 1869, pg 574
400 ft “Here, too, it reaches its greatest dimensions, it being claimed that about the base of Mt. Rainier there are trees [Douglas Fir] over 400 feet in height.” The American Naturalist 1899 by American Society of Naturalists, pg. 391
400 ft “These Ranier fir crossarms, which have become noted for their strength and extreme durability, are made from the old yellow fir trees, giants of the forest, which grow on the Cascade Mountains in Washington. Some of the trees run from 14 to 16 feet in diameter and 400 feet in height, 200 to 250 feet without a branch.” – Electrical Review, Volume 61, 1912. pg 997.
400 ft “In its native habitats, the Douglas fir varies considerably in dimensions. In the forests of Washington State it often reaches a height of 250 feet, with a girth of 36 feet. There, trees so high as 300 feet have been seen. These trees are therefore more than twice the height of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square and would even over-shadow the Boston stump. Trees even much loftier than this have been seen, some of them almost reaching the height of the Spire of Salisbury Cathedral which is a little over 400 feet. Specimens have been known to be more than 750 years old.” Trees in Britain, By Lionel John Farnham Brimble, Macmillan, 1946 – pg 98. 400 ft “These forest giants are only surpassed in size by the California red-wood trees, of which we have heard so much. Some of them grow four hundred feet high and fifteen feet through, single trees yielding eighty thousand feet of sawed lumber.” – Our native land By George Titus Ferris, 1882, pg. 130.
400 ft Fir tree 400 feet tall. – Chronicle Telegram, Feb. 14, 1921 pg. 2. and Current Opinion, Volume 70, Jan-June1921. Page 851.
400 ft 1909, The “Paderewski.” A big tree in Ravenna Park, Seattle, Wa. Named after famous pianist Jan Paderewski. About 400 feet high, 30 ft in circumference. Photo by F.H. Nowell. — Seattle Postcard. http://www.cardcow.com/27824/paderewski-ravenna-park-seattle-washington/
270- 370 feet* – The Roosevelt tree, Ravenna Park, Seattle Washington, 1908. Described as 60 feet in circumference at the base and 370 feet – The Lynden tribune. (Lynden, Wash.) November 26, 1908, pg 6 Note: Later reports have it that the tree was “over 200 feet” before it was cut down, variously described as 270 to 280 feet. This may have been due to the fact the tree was reported to have been dying, and perhaps was decaying, or lost the top section. Or perhaps different people measured it, and hence different heights were recorded.
400 ft 1908, “Paderewski” and “Robert E. Lee” tallest trees of Ravenna Park, Seattle, Wa. Paderweski was listed as “about 400 feet tall & 30 ft circumference” (9.5 ft diameter) while the Roosevelt and Robert E Lee were reputed to be 270 feet tall as stated on old post cards with photos by Frank H. Nowell See link: Ravenna Park (Seattle) HistoryLink.org Essay 9559
400+ft ‘The height of many of the trees as they grow in the woods is very great. “I have been told,” writes Mr. Sproat in his notes, “that there was a tree lying on the ground, in some part of Puget Sound, which measured over 400 feet as it lay; but I am inclined to think the feet must have been short in this case. I can speak of what I have myself seen. The highest flag-pole in Europe is the Douglas fir one in Kew Gardens, near London, which measures 165 feet. This tree was sent home by a friend of mine from the North-West coast, and presented to the Gardens.”‘ – The countries of the world, by Robert Brown, 1876 pg 263. 400 ft Kerrisdale District, South Vancouver, BC. Felled in 1896. Julius Martin Fromme superintendent of Hastings Mill, says it was the largest Fir ever received by the Mill at almost 400 ft long. Bark up to 16″ thick. 13′ 8″ butt diameter. (Forest Giants, Carder. pg 1-10)
400 ft Allegedly logged by MacMillan Export Company, Copper Canyon, Vancouver Island, BC. date unknown: “Incidentally, I believe there were other fir trees in B.C. that reached heights in excess of 400 feet. It is a matter of record that one was taken out of Copper Canyon by MacMillan Export Co. in fairly recent years.” – Ernie Dalskog, Fanny Bay, B.C. – Support for Dr. Carder from Ernie Dalskog, Fanny Bay, B.C, Raincoast Chronicles Six/Ten, No. 8, 1983:166
400 ft – In 1948 a fir tree in West Vancouver, B.C. across Burrard Inlet reportedly measured 14 feet in diameter and 180 feet tall to a broken top, said to be the largest fir in the Northwest. It was estimated that at its full height it would have been about 400 feet high. – The Timberman, Volume 50, Part 2 M. Freeman Publications, 1948 – Pg 224.
400 ft 1893, a “Red fir” in Chehalis County, Wa. 400 feet high, and nearly 54 feet in circumference 6 feet from the ground. – Gettysburg Compiler, Mar. 4,1893. pg. 4.
400+ ft From “Chehalis county,” [sic] the ‘Lumberman’ was appraised of a fir “53 feet 8 inches in circumference 6 feet from the ground, and over 400 feet high, “. . .and this is doubtless the largest fir in the State.” – More deadly than war!: Pacific Coast logging, 1827-1981, Andrew Mason Prouty – 1985 pg 66. – “If there is any larger tree in the state than the one we have in Chehalis County, a tree that can be vouched for and pointed out, let us hear of its location. Our giant is vouched for by H.F. Coles of this county, who knows exactly where the tree can be found on the southwest quarter of section 10, township 16 north, range 8 west. The tree is a red fir and is 53 feet and 8 inches in circumference at a distance of six feet from the ground and has not a churn butt. Both Mr. Coles and the witness who was with him agree in believing that the tree is over 400 feet high — Oakville Globe.” – Montesano Vidette – Friday, Feb. 10, 1893 & Scientific American, Volume 67 pg. 421, Dec. 31, 1892.
400+ft 1909, a Giant fir tree over 400 feet tall East of Seattle, Wa. Located on western slope of Cascade Mountains, 17.8 ft diam, 18 inches above ground. – The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette, Nov. 29, 1909 pg. 10. & “Coast and Mountain News.” Western Lumberman, Jan. 1910. pg. 16.
400 ft 16 miles from Tacoma, near Camp Lewis, Wa. According to George Crowl, who was stationed there with the Two Hundred Thirteenth field signal corps, “The camp which quartered 60,000 men, was situated in the heart of the tall fir timberland, beside American Lake. Mount Ranier, although 80 miles away, loomed up as if it were but a short distance from camp”…. “Some of the trees were 400 feet high.” – Waterloo Evening Courier, 1928-08-10 pg. 1.
400 ft About a year later , West climbed aboard a Pullman train car and traveled through 32 states to Tillamook, Ore. “We called it the land of cheese, trees and ocean breeze,” he said. “We built log cabins for the hunters, made roads and saw trees like I had never seen before. There were Douglas Fir trees that were 12 feet in diameter and 400-feet tall.” – Jim West at age 94, resident of Jamestown, Rhode Island. – Oldest living island veteran shares lifetime of memories, The Jamestown Press 2009-07-16: http://www.jamestownpress.com/news/2009-07-16/Front_Page/Oldest_living_island_veteran_shares_lifetime_of_me.html?print=1
407 ft* “A cedar tree four hundred and seven feet in height, and seventy feet in circumference at the base, was recently felled near Ocosta, Wash. The first limb sprang sixty feet from the base, and this limb was seven feet in diameter.” – The Roanoke times., March 28, 1895, Page 8. [More details needed.]
400 ft In 1918 a “Spruce” tree 20 feet in diameter and near 400 feet tall was reported near Lake Pleasant Sawmill in Washington. – Monthly Bulletin, Volumes 1-2 By Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen, 1918 Pg 17.
400 ft “Special Agent Mosier writes to the general land office from Tacoma, Wash., that a grove of giant redwood trees, like those in the Yosemite National Park, Cal had been discovered in Pierce county, Wash. The secretary of the interior has ordered on investigation of the subject through the agricultural division of the census bureau, and congress may be asked to set aside the land on which the trees are standing as a national park. Mr. Mosier says that the people of Tacoma will probably have a flag pole made of one of the tallest trees to be sent to the world’s fair. Some of the trees are 400 feet high and 13 feet in diameter.” – The Princeton Union – Nov. 27, 1890 pg 6
400 ft An unconfirmed report of a 400 feet high fir tree in Oregon only 3 feet in diameter [36 inches] was under investigation by the World’s Fair commission in 1903 – The Hood River glacier., August 20, 1903, Page 5. (See Below):
400 ft “…Horseshoe Bay in British Columbia, where it is said a 400-foot Douglas-fir was once cut down.” The Quiet Mountains: A Ten-year Search For The Last Wild Trout Of Mexico’s … By Rex Johnson. 2005 – pg. 18.
412 ft Felled near Tacoma, Wa. and measured 412 feet in length “Which Is the Biggest of Them All?” MacMillan Bloedel News, Vancouver, B.C., Nov. 1970, pg. 6. See Forest Giants, Carder pg 1 -10.
415 ft Lynn Valley, N. Vancouver B.C. Felled in 1902 by the “Tremblay Brothers” at Argyle Rd off Mountain Highway (Centre Rd) on the property of Alfred John Nye who measured the felled fir tree at 410 feet long, and 5 feet tall at the stump where the diameter was 14 feet 3 inches, and bark 13.5 in thick. The height of this growing tree was 415 ft. Details are recounted in correspondence between historian Walter Mackay Draycott, and Mr. Alfred John Nye, both of who lived in Lynn valley, B.C. Also, Dr. Al C. Carder remembers seeing a photograph of this same tree when he was a boy of 10 years old, his father and he were visiting the old Vancouver Museum at Main and Hastings St. in 1920. The caption on the photo read “410 feet.” – Walter M. Draycott, “Early Days in Lynn Valley”, 1972 pg. 29. & A.C. Carder, “Forest Giants of the World, Past and Present,” 1995. pg. 8. See PDF link, “British Columbia Forest History Newsletter, January 1996”: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/Library/Forest_History_Newsletter/45.pdf Also see PDF article, “A Fir Tree of the Mind,” and Dr. Carder’s compelling rebuttal to the article: www.spirasolaris.ca/DouglasFir.pdf
425 ft *- [Unconfirmed anecdote]-Pat Kealy25/6/15 “i remember in 1968 the the fallers on northern vancouver island told me they took down a 425 foot douglas fir in the un logged ( to that date) victoria lake vally” http://vancouverislandbigtrees.blogspot.com/2011/07/douglas-fir-tallest-tree-in-world.html
450 ft “Douglas Spruce (Ps. taxifolia, Britton.)—Large, strong-timbered trees of wide distribution, but limited to our Pacific region, forming the greater part of the dense forests around Puget Sound, where it attains the enormous diameter of twelve to fifteen feet, with a height of 300 to 450 feet.” – Sierra Club bulletin: Volume 2 – Page 161. Sierra Club – 1899
450+ft “…and the Douglas Spruce, one of the most valuable timber trees on earth, becomes in Oregon and Washington the tallest trees known, 450 to probably 480 feet high!” – How to tell the trees and Forest Endowment of Pacific Slope By John Gill Lemmon, Sara Allen Plummer Lemmon 1902, pg. 13.
450 ft “Cutting down the tall trees, from two hundred fifty to four hundred fifty feet, required considerable care and skill. Sometimes we felt the pathos of it all, when a huge giant, the dignified product of patient centuries of growth, fell crashing, groaning to the earth.”Book: Blazing the way: or, True stories, songs and sketches of Puget Sound and … By Emily Inez Denny. 1899 pg. 439
465 ft 1896, A fir-tree cut down at Loop’s Ranch Forks, Whatcom county, Washington, on the property of Alfred Bruce Loop at the North Fork of the Nooksack River was reportedly 465 feet high, 220 feet to the first limb, and 33 ft 11 inches in circumference at the base and scaled 96,345 feet of lumber. Ring count showed this tree to be 480 years old. A cross section of the tree was displayed on the corner of Railroad Avenue and Holly Street, New Whatcom, (Bellingham) from 1896 to 1897 with a placard listing the above dimensions. – Mining and Scientific Press, Mar 7, 1896 pg 185. , The New York Times, Topics of the Times, March 7, 1897, The Overland Monthly, 1900, pg. 329, The Columbia River Empire by Patrick Donan, Oregon-Washington Railroad and Navigation Company, 1899, pg. 68, & Meehans’ Monthly: A Magazine of Horticulture, Botany and Kindred Subjects Published by Thomas Meehan & Sons, 1897. [Note: I unearthed this report of the Whatcom fir in Feb of 2009 while perusing old book and newspaper archives online, and Ron Judd consulted me on this report in July of 2011, and published his story in the Seattle Times in September 2011 after he had contacted the current property owner of the old Loop homestead, and retrieved a photograph of the tree from the Whatcom County museum. Read full news story here: http://seattletimes.com/html/restlessnative/2016112972_restless05m.html]
More about Alfred B. Loop: http://www.theloopfamilyinamerica.org/CHAP21VH.htm
See Seattle Times Story of the “Nooksack Giant”: http://seattletimes.com/html/restlessnative/2016112972_restless05m.html
*AGENDA, per Oct. 23, 2013: I have recently been in communication with well known Seattle Arborist, plant expert, and author Mr. Arthur Lee Jacobson, and he forwarded this Seattle Times news story to the eminent author, and tree expert Dr. Al C. Carder (The primary author of giant trees who I credit at the beginning of this page). After reading the story of the Nooksack giant, Dr. Carder did not find it credible, and Arthur Lee Jacobson also found the height, “465 feet” unreasonable, as such a tall tree would stand out like a target, subjected to wind and lightning, but also the noticeable lack of other trees in this size range. I take these two gentlemen’s assessments seriously, as they are experts in plant biology, and have studied trees for decades. I suggest the reader of this blog take this reported tree’s height, and many other historic reported heights on this blog with a level of caution and healthy skepticism. Those trees whose height has been studied and researched by Dr. Carder, and are referenced in his book are in my opinion, of the highest credibility. Also, living trees (Douglas-fir, and Redwood) listed here which have been measured by laser range finder, LiDAR survey, or climbed and measured via tape, are of the very highest level of credibility.
That being said, I do find the provenance of the Nooksack tree significant, as I was able to contact the current property owner of the old Alfred Loop homestead who knew about the story of the tree, and even approximately where the stump once was, and through Ron Judd of the Seattle Times, I was able to acquire a photograph of the actual tree itself from 1897 with very detailed measurements described on the placard. So I have little doubt a great Douglas-fir was felled at the Loop ranch, but the exact, and authentic size of the tree still needs further confirmation. Keeping a skeptical but open mind, I will say the reported board foot volume of 96,345 feet is significant in my opinion, especially considering the relatively slender girth of the tree — about 34 feet, or almost 11 feet diameter. Similar 11 ft diameter Douglas fir trees in the 300 to 350 foot tall range have reportedly scaled 40,000 – 60,000 merchantable board feet–the yield of lumber beneath the first branches- yet this is only half as much as the Nooksack giant. Assuming for the sake of argument, the Nooksack tree’s board footage was a genuine number, by my estimates of extrapolating market board footage from the volume of a cone, as well as estimating prime lumber using the Doyle and Scribner scale from the 220 feet of the tree’s trunk (high grade market board feet) I have concluded the tree had to have been somewhere around 350 to 400+ feet at the minimum to account for such a massive volume of timber. To read more on my estimates of volume for this tree see link: https://rephaim23.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/nooksack-giant-my-extrapolation-of-height-volume/
Additionally, the 2008 study by Domec et al, on vertical trends in pit aperture conductance for Douglas fir suggested a theoretical maximum height of 131 – 145 meters (430 – 476 ft) with 95% confidence interval — For what it’s worth. In Dr Carder’s book Forest Giants, he gives credence to some reports of fallen Eucalyptus Regnans which were measured at over 400 to 435 feet in length. I don’t know if any height studies have been done on the theoretical limits of Eucalyptus Regnans, but with the study by Domec et al, and the fact that the Nooksack tree was apparently measured on the ground, and bucked into log lengths– it is my opinion that the tree is potentially as credible as any of the extreme claims of Eucalyptus Regnans in the 400 to 500 feet range, and was in fact only 12% taller than the Lynn Valley tree, which Dr. Carder accepted as genuine. Perhaps in time, more solid documentary evidence can be located which will ultimately refute or substantiate the purported height.
430 -476 ft: A study published in 2008 proposed that Douglas fir may have a theoretical height limit of between 131 and 145 meters (430 to 476 feet). See Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7556065.stm “Vertical trends of different morphological traits have been used to estimate the maximum height to which trees can grow (1, 10). These extrapolations provide estimates that can be compared to observations to infer whether the trends within the data range persist beyond it. Using this approach, we made extrapolations of regressions fitted to the relationships between pit aperture conductance and height to predict the height at which pit aperture conductance would approach zero. This height was 138 m (131 – 145 m; 95% confidence interval) and 109 m (99 – 123 m; 95% confidence interval) in branches and trunks, respectively (Fig. 3B). This calculated range of maximum height for Douglas–fir, predicted on the basis of vertical trends in pit aperture conductance, is consistent with the historic record height range of 100 – 127 m (16, 17).” Maximum height in a conifer is associated with conflicting requirements for xylem design. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2008:
- Jean-Christophe Domec*†,
- Barbara Lachenbruch†‡,
- Frederick C. Meinzer†§,
- David R. Woodruff§,
- Jeffrey M. Warren¶, and
- Katherine A. McCulloh‡
480 ft * Douglas-fir felled at the south side of the Black Hills, near Bordeaux, Wa c. 1930. It was situated in a south facing valley with high ridges on either side. This tree was measured on the ground with steel tape by loggers at 480 feet in length, and 12 ft in diameter at the butt. – [Story unconfirmed 2nd hand account as of 2012] Personal online communication I had in tree forum with user “issafish”:
|My father told me that when he was working for a logging company in the 1930’s they cut down a Douglas Fir on the south side of the Black Hills in Washington State that when they got it on the ground it measured 480 feet. Of course I only have my father’s word so no proven facts. A book on Northwest logging, I forgot the title but remembered this fact, talked about a Douglas Fir of that height being cut down south of Tacoma Washington. unfortunately, almost all the old growth lowland Douglas firs have been logged, so we will never know if they truely got that big.I have included a wikipedia link that states that a study says that Douglas fir has the potential to get 476 feet tall, so there probably were some that big or bigger before they were logged.”|
See link with back story of the above photos: http://ipentimento.com/1938-bordeaux-washington-old-growth-logs/
500 ft * “Fir is a hard, tough wood, very straight-grained and very close-grained. The trees grow to from 300 to 400 feet in height (sometimes to 500 Feet) and from 200 to 250 feet before branching.” — Telephony: Volume 61 – Page 39. Harry B. McMeal – 1911.
Tallest Historically Reported Coast Redwood Trees: (This list is in its infancy and needs more work. I tend to think many more reports of 380 – 400+ Coast Redwood trees exist, and are yet to be located, as Coast Redwood is clearly the superior tree of height and volume- far surpassing any present or historic Douglas fir in girth and volume- and undeniably the tallest tree species on the earth at present.)
372 Ft. Dyerville Giant, Humboldt Redwoods State Park. It was 113.4 metres (372 ft) high when it fell in March 1991. It was estimated to be 1,600 years old, and measured 17 feet diameter at chest height.
379.84 feet – Hyperion Tree, Redwood National Park, 386 feet to lowest end of stem, 379.65 feet above average ground level. discovered August 25, 2006 by naturalists Chris Atkins, and Michael Taylor. Tallest confirmed living tree in the world for the past 7 years.
Tallest current Redwood trees as of 2013:
379.65 115.72 15.2 4.63 Hyperion, Redwood, Tributary of Redwood National Park, LIDAR search confirms this to be the tallest redwood. 376.54 114.77 16.0 4.88 Helios, Redwood, Redwood Creek Tributary, Former title holder for tallest from 7/1/2006 - 8/25/2006. 372.73 113.61 17.0 5.18 Stratosphere, Humboldt, Rockefeller Forest. Former title holder for tallest, 2000-2006. 371.19 113.14 12.4 3.78 Icarus, Redwood, Redwood Creek Tributary, Discovered July 1st, 2006. Dead spire top. Once taller. 371.00 113.08 14.4 4.39 Nugget, Redwood. Grows on a bench along Redwood Creek. Vigorous Top. 370.34 112.88 12.8 3.90 Paradox, South Fork Eel River. Former title holder for tallest, 1995-1996. 370.04 112.79 14.9 4.54 Lauralyn, Humboldt, South Fork Eel River. Big Leaner. Discovered by Paul Zinke & Al Stangenburger. 370.01 112.78 13.7 4.18 Orion, Redwood, RNP. Found by Sillett-Atkins-Taylor. Grows on a high perched bench with spring. From Michael Taylor's webpage: http://www.landmarktrees.net/redwoods.html
380 ft – A tree which was claimed to be 380 feet tall was cut down in 1914, near Eureka, California, 26 feet in diameter 7 feet above ground. – American Forestry, Volume 21, American Forestry Association, 1915 pg 150, & Carder, A (1995). Forest giants of the world: past and present. Ontario: Fitzhenry and Whiteside.
390 ft – Tulare, California, 1891. Gigantic redwood 390 feet tall 26 feet diameter to be cut for Chicago Exhibition Fair. – The Railway News …, Volume 56, 1892. pg 200
390 ft – Lindsey Creek tree, near Fieldbrook, CA. Felled by a storm in 1905, and allegedly measured over 390 feet tall, and 30 ft diameter at the base. Possibly the largest tree specimen ever recorded in history: Lindsey Creek tree & Crannell Creek Giant | Lindsey Creek Giant Redwood
392 ft – Tichenor grove, near North Fork Hotel, Mendocino County, California. 17 ft 2 inches diameter at 7 ft above ground, estimated height 392 feet. – The Californian, Volume 5 By A. Roman, 1882 – pg 486
400 ft + Estimated possible original height of the “Giant Tree”, in the Rockerfeller forest, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California. Tree is 363 feet tall to re-grown top. Original crown broken off at 339 feet, where the trunk is still 3.5 feet diameter in thickness. Dr. Al Carder speculated the tree’s original height may have once exceeded 400 feet! (See Forest Giants, A. C. Carder 1995 pg 33 reference 10, personal Correspondence between Al Carder and big tree expert Ron Hildebrandt from 1991-1992.)
401 ft – Eel River, Humboldt County, California measured 24 feet in diameter 8 feet above ground, and was 401 feet high. – The Californian, Volume 5 By A. Roman, 1882 – pg 486. See Attached Image below:
424 ft – A Redwood claimed to be 424 feet was felled in November 1886 by the Elk River Mill and Lumber Co. in Humboldt, County, California yielding 79,736 marketable board feet from 21 cuts. – Redwood Lumber Industry, Lynwood Carranco. Golden West Books, 1982 – Page 21., Fort Worth Daily Gazette, Fort Worth, Texas. December 9th, 1886 – Page 2″. Chroniclingamerica.loc.gov. Retrieved 2012-08-07. & Does size matter? John Driscoll/The Times-Standard, Eureka, California. September 8th, 2006″. Times-standard.com. Retrieved 2012-08-07. http://www.times-standard.com/local/ci_4305681
400 – 427 feet – (122 – 130 meters)
REDWOODS: How tall can they grow?
Published 4:00 am, Monday, April 26, 2004
The limits to tree height-
Nature 428, 851-854 (22 April 2004) | doi:10.1038/nature02417; Received 7 November 2003; Accepted 16 February 2004
- Department of Biological Sciences and the Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011, USA
- Department of Biological Sciences, Humboldt State University, Arcata, California 95521, USA
- Natural Science Division, Pepperdine University, Malibu, California 90263-4321, USA
Trees grow tall where resources are abundant, stresses are minor, and competition for light places a premium on height growth1, 2. The height to which trees can grow and the biophysical determinants of maximum height are poorly understood. Some models predict heights of up to 120 m in the absence of mechanical damage3, 4, but there are historical accounts of taller trees5. Current hypotheses of height limitation focus on increasing water transport constraints in taller trees and the resulting reductions in leaf photosynthesis6. We studied redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens), including the tallest known tree on Earth (112.7 m), in wet temperate forests of northern California. Our regression analyses of height gradients in leaf functional characteristics estimate a maximum tree height of 122–130 m barring mechanical damage, similar to the tallest recorded trees of the past. As trees grow taller, increasing leaf water stress due to gravity and path length resistance may ultimately limit leaf expansion and photosynthesis for further height growth, even with ample soil moisture. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v428/n6985/full/nature02417.html?type=access_denied