Micah Ewers

 Growing up in Portland, Oregon I have held an ongoing fascination with Douglas-fir trees, and various conifers. Visiting the coastal redwood trees in 1995 when I was 8 years old also left a lasting impression on me. After collecting 25 editions of the Guinness Book of World Records over the next decade, I came across the works of Dr Al Carder and in 2005 purchased his books on Giant trees. In 2006 & 2007, this spurred my interest to look into online book and newspaper archives, in an attempt to add to the growing body of historic anecdotes suggesting some of the tallest trees once grew in the Pacific Northwest a century ago.


18 Responses to About

  1. JB says:

    Hello Micah, can you contact me directly at the email I entered for this posting? I have a question about one of your photos. I’m the data manager for the Oregon Champion Tree Registry.

  2. Erik Piikkila says:

    Big Trees Along the Pacific Coast, Alaska to California. Hi there Micah. I am wondering if you would like to get in contact with me and several of my research colleagues. We are interested in Big Trees such as Douglas-fir and Yellow Cedar to name just a few. We also collect historic reports and records like those you have been displaying in this blog. If you would like to email me, I will give you more details.

    • rephaim23 says:

      Hi Erik,

      Thank you! I would be happy to get in touch with you and your colleagues. I have no scientific background, or degrees related to forestry, or botany etc. myself, but I have fun collecting historic tree size records as a hobby, even if most are difficult to verify today.

      I’ll send you an email. Thanks!
      – Micah

  3. SteveHovde says:

    Hi Micah- recently came across the September 5, 2011 Seattle Times article that mentions the 11′ diameter Douglas Fir near Maple Falls that was logged in 1897.

    You mention one cross-section of the “Nooksack Giant” displayed at corner of Railroad Ave and Holly Street, bearing a sign : 465 feet tall, 220 feet to first branch.

    Do you know of any photo of this cross-section on the street corner?

    Thanks much!

    • Hi Steve,
      Yes, Ron Judd of Seattle Times, was able to confirm that the Whatcom County museum has the photograph in their collection.

      I was also able to find record of the photo in the Louis P. White collection: http://www.worldcat.org/title/lp-white-collection-1897-1903/oclc/699840479

      And Pacific Monthly Magazine, showing the photo which was part of the P. L. Hegg collection:


      The account of the Nooksack tree itself, I found back on February of 2009, and opened a gardenweb forum on my google book / and newspaper archive discovery, partly inspired because of tales of 400+ foot trees I had seen in that forum, as well as the research of Dr Al Carder on 400 foot trees, and the 2008 study by Oregon State university suggesting the Douglas fir could reach over 400 ft high, based on water and xylem pull/ gravity and hydraulics. http://forums2.gardenweb.com/discussions/1626175/douglas-firs-up-to-465-feet-tall

      Ron Judd of Seattle Times contacted me after reading this forum, and several youtube videos I had made on fir tree accounts, back in 2011, and wrote his excellent piece on attempting to track down the stump.

      Since 2011, I was able to find another accounts of Nooksack valley, and Deming trail newspaper reports of Tall Douglas fir, estimated at 350 to 400 feet high, from the 1891 – A timber cruise made by two Sumas propspectors comissioned by the World’s Fair. I think the evidence that convinces me there were extraordinary sized trees in these lowlands, were the tremendous height to first branches, (trees over 200 to 225 ft to first branch), and in the case of the Nooksack tree – a market yield of over 96,000 board feet – which is about twice the yield I have found to be the normal run of feet in fir trees logged that were in the 10 to 12 feet diameter range, and 300 to 350 feet high. So I think, the volumetrics would necessitate a higher tree, than the mid three hundred feet range – possibly 400 and better as the placard describes. Some skepticism is of course allowed, a big tree could fall apart and jump some feet when the top section splinters and – or measuring on rough terrain could give several feet of inaccuracies. The late Dr Al Carder of British Columbia, who wrote a magnificent work on Big Trees (Forest Giants, Past and Present, 1995) was skeptical of the Nooksack giant report, and yet he accepts other trees felled in Lynn Valley and Vancouver in 1896-1902, that were 400 and 415 feet high respectively. I figure, because the Nooksack tree dimensions were written down on the board nailed to the tree cookie, within a short period after the tree had been felled, that probably lessens the chance of the stats being exaggerated over time. I was also able to find futher documention on Alfred Bruce Loop, who had the tree cut down on his homestead in 1896, after he proved up on his land. I suspect there were likely other 350 to 400 foot trees logged in the vicinity of the Nooksack river valley, that documentation and old diaries, survey, or press clippings may surface substantiating the sort of echosystem these lowland river valleys provided. And perhaps, I can find further details on names, and or persons associated with the cutting of the Nooksack tree itself. So Its sort of an open investigation still, for me – though I now am satisfied a world record sized tree was cut down, probably in the 400 foot and above range, if the branch height and board feet are accurate.


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