OTE - Oregon Travel Experience

Sitka Spruce at Klootchy Creek

Posted on: September 24th, 2011 in Heritage Tree Audio Tours, Heritage Tree Details |

Picea sitchensis

This is the first tree to be designated an official Oregon Heritage Tree and was once the biggest tree in Oregon and the National Co-Champion Sitka Spruce. It germinated from a seed onthe forest floor around the time of the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 and grew to its mature height about the time Christopher Columbus sailed to the new world. A legacy of the primeval coastal old growth rain forests of the Pacific Northwest, it was also remarkable for being bypassed for logging when spruce was in high demand for building military aircraft, but it was considered to have too many limbs to meet the standards of the national aircraft board.

Sadly, this once magnificent tree suffered severe damage on December 2, 2007 when hurricane force winds snapped the tree about 80 feet above ground along an old lightening scar. The top portion shattered as it hit the ground.

Aware of the tree’s significance, Clatsop County officials will let the trunk stand and the pieces lay on the ground to rot and provide nutrients for future Sitka giants. New interpretive signs will be developed to tell the history of the Klootchy Creek Giant and about the natural life cycle of trees in the forest.

Tree Facts

  • Approx. height: 216′
  • Age: Approx. 800 years
  • Circumference: 56′
  • Dedicated on: April 11, 1997
  • Crown: 93′

Visit this tree

This tree is located on US Highway 26 in Klootchy Creek County Park 2.5 miles east of the junction with US Highway 101.

Sitka Spruce at Klootchy Creek Audio Tour