Klootchy Creek Sitka Spruce Giant

Klootchy Creek Sitka Spruce Giant

Sitka Spruce Oregon Heritage Tree Site

once known as the
“Klootchy Creek Giant”
 or the “Seaside Spruce"

Located at Klootchy Creek County Park, off U.S. Highway 26 about 2-1/2 miles southeast of the U.S. 101 junction, five miles from Seaside and Cannon Beach. The 25-acre park is owned by Clatsop County.

The centerpiece of the park is the Klootchy Creek Giant Sitka Spruce, which once held the distinction of being the largest tree in Oregon and one of the oldest living things in the state, and was the first honoree in the Oregon Heritage Tree program.

In December 2006, a windstorm caused a large amount of rotted wood to break free from the tree at the site of an old lightning scar. One year later, the tree fell victim to a second windstorm that broke off the trunk about 80 feet from the ground.

In February 2011, the Parks Department had a further 40 feet or so of the remaining snag cut off, due to concerns about decaying wood falling from the trunk and putting visitors at risk.

Though no longer rising to its 200-foot height, the tree's 17-foot-diameter trunk and two fallen sections still convey to visitors the giant spruce's massive size. The downed portions have been left in place to serve as nurse logs for a new generation of Klootchy Creek giants.

SIGNIFICANCE (Before the Dec. 2, 2007, storm)

  • Largest tree in Oregon and one of the oldest living things in the state.
  • Largest Sitka spruce in the United States as recognized by the American Forests, keeper of the National Big Tree Register. Shares honor with the Quinault Lake Spruce in Washington’s Olympic National Park.
  • First Oregon Heritage Tree, a program started in 1995 recognizing trees for their contribution to Oregon history and heritage.
  • Living legacy of the primeval coastal old growth rain forests of the Pacific Northwest.

VITALS (Before the Dec. 2, 2007, storm)

  • Height: 200 feet
  • Diameter: 17 feet
  • Circumference: 673 inches or 56 feet
  • Crown spread: 93 feet
  • Age: Estimated 500 to 750 years old. The tree sprouted from a seed on the forest floor around the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215.

 

OREGON HERITAGE TREE PROGRAM
Learn more about the Oregon Heritage Tree Program at www.ortravelexperience.com.