Google earth urban forestry height assessment of Portland Metropolitan area based on Photogrammetric renderings. Using my own measurements of some standing trees via Suunto Inclinometer, and comparing them to these digital renderings, I’d say the accuracy in Google earth is greater than 90 -95+% in most cases — with the exception of very skinny tree tops. Actual height of trees are likely to be a couple or several feet higher than these numbers listed below, and trees on steep slopes likely to be less accurate. Update: 11/16/14 Note: Having read a recent post to my link on Reddit, I am happy to report that New 2014 Aerial Imagery has been added to Google Earth with crisper, sharper graphics in the 3D mode. Tree heights have increased 3 to as much as 20 feet on some of these listed specimens, due in part to new tree growth in the past 4 or 5 years, but also for better quality imagery which renders sharper and narrower tree tops. For instance, the previous 2010 Google Earth photogrammetric imagery often was not able to render church steeples, and cell towers 3 or 4 ft diameter. This new 2014 imagery does! I find the 2014 imagery to be 95-99% accurate, and even then the heights are conservative, as still the very top 1-3 ft of a tree may not render completely if it is a mere twig some inch in diameter. I still have lots of work to do on this amateur project, and there are many very tall trees in the Portland Metropolitan. More tall trees exist in Portland’s metro region than Seattle Metro based on my analysis, thanks largely to places like Forest Park. I will add more data to more Portland Parks, and if you want to know the heights of trees in a certain park, log into Google, or comment below and I’ll give you my estimate. *Note To climbers, and avid outdoors-men/women and the vertically inclined: Many of these trees are on private property. Ascend at your own risk….
S.E. Portland Laurelhurst Park: Douglas fir 171 ft tall, 45°31’16.91″N & 122°37’24.92″W *Update 11/16/14, due to new Google Earth Imagery, I have calculated this tree is actually closer to 180 ft tall. Sellwood Park: 171 ft Douglas fir, 45°28’3.47″N & 122°39’38.87″W * Update, new aerial imagery from 2014 has been uploaded for this area in Google earth’s 3D function. Tree is actually about 178 ft tall. A combination of sharper imagery, and new height growth of these old Douglas fir (6″ to over 12″ per year) may also have contributed to these increased values. Former 3D imagery was from aerial survey in 2010. Mt Tabor Park. Plenty of 140 – 185 ft Douglas fir: Kelly Butte, Some 150 – 190 ft Douglas fir. Powell Butte: Many 170 – 205 foot Douglas fir. At the north end of Powell Butte a wall of 170 – 200 foot Douglas fir forms the boundary of the park right next to a neighborhood: Same neighborhood — wall of giants: Lents Park, One 150 ft Douglas fir: Mt Scott Park. 100 – 150 ft Douglas fir. Mt Scott Park. 30 meter (100 ft) canopy: Church Campgrounds on S.E. Duke street. 100 – 140 ft Douglas fir. Woodstock Park, Douglas fir up to 143 ft. *Update per 11/16/14, tree is now 146 ft tall. — thanks to 3 ft of growth in 4 years time/ and or sharper resolution imagery uploaded to Google Earth. Tallest in Eastmoreland — near Reed College. Three 130 – 140 ft tall Giant Sequoias.* Note: 11/16/14, Tallest of these 3 trees is actually 147 ft. per new sharper 2014 Google Earth 3D imagery. Update 6/24/15, Tallest is actually 150 feet high according to Google earth Imagery — I applied 45 meter canopy to these 3 trees and found that the tallest is almost 46 meters. However, actual measurement in person with inclinometer suggests this tree may be 153 to 154 feet tall, as the top 3 or 4 feet may not render completely in Google Earth. Real world measurement is generally higher than these renderings. The 147 ft estimate was derived from subtracting the tree’s crown ht (323 ft above ground) from the base elevation (176 ft) in Google earth’s 2d function. In the 3D function base elevation is actually about 173 ft.
*Eastmoreland – 6/24/15 – Update: These 3 giant Sequoias are slated to be cut down per a new development being built. A tentative deal was struck that will delay the cutting for 60 days: http://www.katu.com/news/local/Neighbors-rally-to-save-redwoods-eastmoreland-309409281.html?mobile=y
*UPDATE: 6/28/15.Neighbors and citizens of Portland have started an official Go Fund Me page to help donate to Save these 3 giant trees: http://www.gofundme.com/SaveTheGiants
My most recent Google Earth estimates for the tallest of these 3 trees was 147 feet, and now 150 feet. Today I measured it in person using an inclinometer, from 4 different angles, and I now estimate the tallest at 153 – 154 feet. These are possibly the tallest trees for a mile radius within Portland, and the tallest in Eastmoreland. There is a nother Sequoia in Eastmoreland that is at least 143 feet tall, possibly even taller, and a 151+ ft Douglas fir in Crystal springs.. But no taller trees exist in all of inner S.E. Portland’s Eastmoreland, Woodstock, and Brentwood neighborhoods as far as I can tell.
Eastmoreland, at SE 28th and Tolman a giant deciduous tree (species?) a monolithic 137 ft! Among the top dozen trees in that area. A recent windstorm late sept. 2013 brought down a few big Elm trees, or parts of them, in this neighborhood. Crystal Springs has some respectable Dougli in the 130 ft – 140 ft + range. Update: 11/16/14. Located the new tallest tree in Eastmoreland, a 151 ft tall Douglas fir in Crystal Springs at 45°28’37.48″N & 122°38’9.34″W. Kenilworth park has some 140 – 160 foot Doug fir. Ross Island’s tallest trees; Black Cottonwoods 159 ft and 161 ft. Government Island has some up to 166 ft. Downtown, across the street from Multnomah Co. Court house. 8 ft diameter 135+ ft Giant Sequoia. Note: * Update, per 11/16/2014. Tree is actually 156 feet tall! New imagery from 2014 contains sharper photography, and hence a better rendering of the top 20 feet of this conically endowed specimen of the Sequoiadendron race. Forest Park. Along the canyon at Balch creek in Macleay park are the oldest and tallest trees in the city. Douglas fir 200 – 300 years old 6 ft diameter reaching 200 to about 250 ft tall! I found dozens of 190 – 240 footers clustered in the deep valleys. There are likely to be taller ones. Tryon Creek State Park, in Lake Oswego a number of 200 – 224 ft Douglas fir nestled in the hills above Tryon creek. Happy Valley, near Sunnyside on private property near Hood View Park at 45°25’5.44″N & 122°30’3.46″W some 200 – 217 ft Douglas fir nestled in a gulch along Rock Creek. Land may be logged and turned into housing at some point. Brand new Neighborhoods are popping up in this area! Per Request: Columbia Park, Portland. Some rather tall 130 – 165 ft Douglas fir. Tallest I could find was a Douglas fir 165 ft tall at 45°34’45.52″N and 122°42’39.14″W located on the edge of the football field straight between and behind the western goal posts. Some other tall trees in the 150 – 160 ft range are located deep in the stand of forest west of the main field.
Per request from BigTreeGuy. Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Vancouver B.C. I barely scratched the surface of this 1,200 + acre park, but found some Douglas fir in the 200 to 230 feet tall range (60 to 70 meters) tall. I think some trees exceeding 70 or 75 meters could well exist! I will continue to survey this park and see what else I might find! Next in line is Stanley Park! 100 years ago some gigantic fir trees measuring 300 to 320 feet tall and 8 – 10 ft diameter were reported to have fallen over in Windstorms at Stanley park, so I hope to be excited with possible new giants there.