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Colossal Conifers
Published: 10/15/2015  Updated: 02/11/2016
 

Growing as large as mythical giants, Sitka Spruce trees along the Oregon Coast stand as silent sentries to the passage of time.

Found only within a narrow ten-mile strip of the Pacific Ocean, from southern Oregon to Alaska, the Sitka Spruce grows farther north than any other conifer and is among the fastest-growing and largest trees in the world. Due to its strength and extensive root system, the Sitka can tolerate continuous coastal wind and dominates Oregon's rugged shoreline. Treasured as a resource for generations by coastal Native Americans, several landmark examples, standing steadfast along the Oregon Coast, have their own story to tell.

KLOOTCHY CREEK GIANT
Once the biggest tree in Oregon, the Klootchy Creek Giant grew to its mature height about the time Christopher Columbus sailed to the new world. This Heritage Tree was snapped off by a hurricane force windstorm in 2007, leaving only an 80-foot snag behind. Klootchy Creek County Park is located on US Highway 26, approximately 2.5 miles east of Highway 101.
By the Numbers - Approximate height: 216 feet. Approximate age: 800 years. Circumference: 56 feet.

GIANT SPRUCE OF CAPE PERPETUA
Designated a Heritage Tree in 2007, the Perpetua giant began its life nourished by a nurse log almost 600 years ago. In the 1930s, the first trail to the tree was opened up. The Giant Spruce is accessible from the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, three miles south of Yachats, by walking the one-mile Giant Spruce Trail.
By the Numbers - Approximate height: 185 feet. Approximate age: 600 years. Circumference: 40 feet.

BIG SPRUCE CHAMPION
After a hurricane-force windstorm in 2007 toppled the Klootchy Creek spruce, Big Spruce was designated the Oregon state champion. It is located in Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint, about ten miles west of Tillamook on the Three Capes Scenic Route. The Big Spruce champion is a quarter-mile hike from the small turn off at the entrance to the park.
By the Numbers - Approximate height: 144 feet. Approximate age: 800 years. Circumference: 48 feet.

OCTOPUS TREE
Shown above, this Sitka of mysterious origins has tentacle-like branches that grow horizontally from the tree for over a dozen feet, before reaching vertically into the sky. After visiting the Big Spruce Champion above, continue into the Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint. Take a short, uphill hike east from the parking lot to meet this unique tree.
By the Numbers - Approximate height: 105 feet. Approximate age: 250 years. Circumference: 92 feet.

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