R.I.P. gigantic tree.
December 3, 2007 4:39 PM   Subscribe

The Klootchy Creek Giant was the tallest sitka spruce in America (although some disagree), and a popular stop for those traveling out to the Oregon coast. Last year it was harmed in a storm, and on Sunday it finally snapped in half.
posted by haplesschild (24 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
posted by loquacious at 4:43 PM on December 3, 2007

posted by louie at 4:44 PM on December 3, 2007

Oh man, that tree is (was?) great.

posted by dersins at 4:50 PM on December 3, 2007


It's been a nasty three days for weather here in the Northwest. 100+ mph wind gusts on the coast, big snow coupled with big rains and near-record heat liquifying the snowpack, and lots of flooding.

The neighbors at the bottom of the hill are flooded thanks to poor drainage planning by the city of Seattle. Storm drain runs into an open brook when then tries to run back into the storm drain again. Nice work, guys.
posted by dw at 5:04 PM on December 3, 2007


I've stopped to admire that tree a few times. Next time I'm headed to the coast I guess we'll see things a bit more eye-to-eye. And yeah, it really is nasty out there today. Pity the cyclists.
posted by mumkin at 5:13 PM on December 3, 2007

Anybody hear something?
posted by CynicalKnight at 6:02 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

That's sad.

We visited that tree on a road trip through Oregon. There is something incredibly humbling about standing next to a living thing so enormous and so old.

It makes a human lifetime seem incredibly brief by comparison.
posted by Ostara at 6:33 PM on December 3, 2007


Visited it on my first trip to the West Coast, took my wife to see it a year later. Humbling indeed.
posted by bitmage at 6:42 PM on December 3, 2007

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree that this is a bad storm. It's raining and a little windy in Portland. Hardly the blizzard or hurricane forces the media wanted us to freak out about.

Portland seems a little less rainy from the news. Here in Seattle, in the 10 years I've lived here, I have never seen it rain this hard. With the melting snow pack, I expect we are going to see quite a lot of flooding. There's 4 inches of water in my basement right now, and I live on a hill.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:54 PM on December 3, 2007

They were going to strap it together at the crack, and then inject epoxy into the tree, and the bill would have run into the hundreds of thousands. That must have touched a nerve with some folks in the USDA, because they are used to raping the forest and not saving it.
posted by Sukiari at 6:57 PM on December 3, 2007

Pics or it didn't happen.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:34 PM on December 3, 2007

Been impressive, really. The creek that runs through my apartment complex is out of its banks in one section, and has flooded more than an acre.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 7:36 PM on December 3, 2007

TheOnlyCoolTim: Here you go. They finally posted this... probably not easy to get out that way today to take pictures.

Re: the stormpocolapse news coverage in Portland- I have been lucky to report nothing but rain in my neck of the woods (and if you live near Johnson Creek, you don't get shocked when it floods. every year.) , but I do have relatives on the coast that have been without power and are worried about flooding. Hopefully the tree will be the only (but still sad) casualty.
posted by haplesschild at 7:44 PM on December 3, 2007

Sorry, but I cannot be sad about a fallen tree unless it was once featured in a key scene in a Tom Cruise film. That's just the way I roll.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:43 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

Spruce from the Pacific Northwest was the wood of choice for airplanes for many years. McMinnville Oregon is the home of Howard Hughes' famous Spruce Goose, as well as, you know, that one dude...
posted by Tube at 9:32 PM on December 3, 2007

Great follow through on the FPP, haplesschild.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:39 PM on December 3, 2007

Previous post on the death of the world's only giant golden spruce.
posted by homunculus at 9:55 PM on December 3, 2007

When I was a freshman in college, my roommates and I ate some liberty caps around midnight and drove out to Cannon Beach. Right around when the mushrooms kicked in, our navigator noticed the "Largest Sitka Spruce Tree in the United States" sign and, well, we had to stop and take a look. This was back before a deck-like platform was erected around the trunk, so one could just walk up to the tree and, uh, get your tree on. We did just that - a bunch of 18 and 19-year-olds grokking this ancient plant, watching mandelbrot patterns form in the darkness on the bark. Everything was cool until this trickling sound started. We all stood in silence until one of my roommates remarked, "Hey, I'm, like, peeing on the world's largest sitka spruce tree."

Probably not the first, probably not the last. Probably contributed, in some way, to its demise.

posted by joseph_elmhurst at 12:08 AM on December 4, 2007 [2 favorites]

Is it so wrong that I look at that downed tree and see only 1000 perfectly resonant, finely grained, forward-braced acoustic guitars?
posted by ikkyu2 at 1:52 AM on December 4, 2007

1. Was there anyone there to see it fall?
2. If no, did it make a sound?
posted by nomisxid at 7:50 AM on December 4, 2007


Apropos, there was just a big-tree double feature on Cool Tools the other day.
posted by jquinby at 7:53 AM on December 4, 2007

Mathowie is from MCMINNVILLE?!?!


posted by nonmerci at 8:42 AM on December 4, 2007

posted by dipolemoment at 6:42 PM on December 4, 2007

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