Arcadia Cedar Grove
On Oregon’s wild northern coast, a grove of large western redcedars reside in relative obscurity. Despite the widespread logging that has befallen the region, the trees in this recently discovered grove remain intact. In order to protect their wild state, I’ll refrain from providing exact directions but suffice to say, reaching them requires a bit of bushwhacking.
The trees here are hundreds of years old and the grove contains the largest western redcedar in Oregon, the Arcadia Cedar (picture one). The cedar is likely over 800 years old and has been able to survive the many tsunamis that have crashed into Oregon’s coast over the last millennia because of its position high on a hill. The cedar was measured in 2010 by “Ascending the Giants” (an Oregon-based group of tree climbers and enthusiasts), officially making it Oregon's champion western redcedar at 17 feet in diameter, 152 feet tall with a 70-foot crown spread.
Klootchy Creek Sitka Spruce Giant
The Klootchy Creek Sitka Spruce Giant (also known as the “Klootchy Creek Giant” or the “Seaside Spruce") is a nearly 800-year-old giant that used to hold the title of Oregon's biggest tree. A violent windstorm in 2006 caused a large amount of rotted wood to break free from the tree at the site of an old lightning scar and 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 Oregon 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. At its height, it shared the title of world’s largest Sitka spruce with the Quinault Lake Spruce (and possibly the Queets Spruce) in Washington’s Olympic National Park.
Cape Meares Giant
Often overshadowed by the much more popular and oddly-shaped “Octopus Tree” in Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge, the Cape Meares Giant is a massive example of the huge Sitka spruce trees that existed in coastal Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. The tree is easily accessible within the Wildlife Refuge via a mainly flat path less than half a mile in length.
Also know as “Big Spruce,” the tree was designated the state champion in 2008 when the Klootchy Creek Spruce (featured in the post above) lost its upper half. The Cape Meares Giant also has a missing top, but it's giant girth gives it enough bulk to make it the “official biggest spruce in Oregon.” It is 144 feet tall, 48 feet in circumference, 15 1/2 feet in diameter, and estimated to be 750 to 800 years old.
Recent findings have upended the Cape Meares Giant’s title as Oregon’s largest Sitka spruce. Today, Oregon's actual largest Sitka Spruce, is Falcon's Tower, located in nearby Oswald West State Park.