The Oregon Heritage Tree Committee has created a brand new award! The Heritage Tree Hero award recognizes individuals and groups that view Oregon’s history from the perspective of the trees that witness/are witnessing it. Tell us about an inspirational individual or organization that is engaging communities through education about the importance of trees and raising awareness about Oregon’s history told through trees and forests. We encourage nominations that tell the …
For more than a century, loggers used rivers, especially the Willamette, to move millions of board feet in logs. Until ground transport became more economical in the 1970’s, men walked the logs, assembling huge rafts with long pike poles that tug boats pulled down the river. Cables wrapped around the trees along the bank tethered the rafts to shore while they waited for access to mills, sometimes for several months.
Location: GeerCrest Farm, Salem, Oregon
Species: Varied, including 24 pear trees, four plum trees, one apple, one Hawthorn tree, one butternut tree, and one hickory tree
Date Planted: approx. 1847
The year 1837 saw the beginnings of mass immigration to the Willamette Valley from the Eastern United States. The Willamette Valley, described to Americans in the East as an “Eden of the West,” had been shaped by millennia of active land management by …
Species: Pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii)
Height: approx. 68 feet
Crown spread: 70 feet
Age: 65+ years
The large Pacific madrone tree overlooking the Yang house was designated a City of Corvallis Heritage Tree in 2016. It is said by the Corvallis City forester to be the largest madrone in Corvallis, and the second largest madrone in Benton County; the largest being in an inaccessible rural area.
The tree is located at a house designed …
Species: Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
Circumference: 90 inches
Height: approx. 50 feet
Crown spread: 50 feet
The McCall Magnolia was planted in 1890 in front of the renowned home of John M. and Mary Elizabeth McCall in memory of John’s daughter Elsie, who died in 1890. While a Southern Magnolia’s life span can be greater than 100 years, it is rare that this species can thrive in this climate for so many years. Recent …
In 1967 Oregon Attorney General Robert Y. Thornton hosted the 61st annual conference of the National Association of Attorneys General in Portland. As part of a conference event, Thornton planned for the Grove of the States as an homage to First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, and her work fostering the 1965 Highway Beautification Act. The First Lady pushed hard for freeway right-of-ways filled with green landscaping and wildflowers instead of …
Shaggy bark from Western Juniper
J.W. P. Huntington
The Target Tree, one of the Junipers in the Grove.
Following the line of a very old Native American Trail, the Huntington Wagon Road was marked by J.W. Petit Huntington in 1864 as a route between The Dalles and Fort Klamath. When the road was firmly established, it was used by prospectors, homesteaders, soldiers, and tradesman. Warm Springs Indian scouts frequently used the road in …
A.M. Drake original homestead lodge and several of the Ponderosa Pines
Plaque marking the area of the A.M. Drake Homestead
Pinecone from the Ponderosa Pine
A.M. and Florence Drake arrived in Central Oregon in June 1900. As they made their way through the homeland of the Northern Paiute tribes and alongside the Deschutes River in a covered wagon, the Drakes stopped to assess their surroundings and make camp. It is reported the couple butted …
This grove of trees was protected by the Garden Club of Oregon and given to the People of Oregon in 1949. The Garden Club started many conservation projects including Operation Wildflower on state highways, “Don’t Be a LitterBug!” campaign. The Oregon Myrtle is a highly valued evergreen hardwood that has played a significant role in Oregon’s coastal economies. The site is now owned by State Parks as the Coquille Myrtlewood Wayside …
The Lees and their seven children arrived in the Willamette Valley in 1848. In 1850, they took advantage of the Donation Land Claim Act to gain title to their 611 acres in what is now known as Canby.
The oak tree the family planted sits on the site of the family’s third home, which was constructed by carpenters with the Oregon and California Railroad in 1869. When Lee died in 1887, …