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Slugman
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PostThu Sep 05, 2019 10:53 am 
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"The last real big fir that has survived into modernity (which has been publicly reported anyways) was the ďMt. Pilchuck giantĒ, fir tree cut down on October 22, 1952 near the small town of Verlot, Washington. The big tree, 700 years old, was reported to be over 350 foot high, 11 ft 6 inches diameter and 30,000 board feet."
Micah Ewers

Doug firs were taller than redwoods until cut down


I'm curious if anyone has heard of this tree, or knows anything about historical reports of Doug firs that were taller than the tallest redwoods.

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"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore. There is society where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but nature more..."  Childe Harold
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Doppelganger
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PostThu Sep 05, 2019 1:43 pm 
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Don't worry, we'll just replant & harvest again in a decade or two right?  mad.gif  mad.gif  mad.gif


For what it's worth, there are some survivors out there of nearly comparable size, see the link below. Convince me that tree farms are capable of replacing this (not directed at Slug, just general frustration at needless loss) rolleyes.gif

https://rephaim23.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/tallest-douglas-fir-and-redwood-in-america/

Edit: Found the remaining chunk pictured above, to see it for yourself hit the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum, the tree section is just to the north of the museum building:
https://goo.gl/maps/hc3fbxR1KdHZVvrCA
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Chief Joseph
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PostThu Sep 05, 2019 3:58 pm 
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Donít know about that one Sluggo, but up the NF Sauk trail prior to the Makinaw shelter there is a huge DougFir, pretty sure there is a pic on my TR.

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Anne Elk
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PostFri Sep 06, 2019 8:53 pm 
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Thanks to Slugman for posing the question and Doppelganger for answering with so many interesting links. 

What I always think about when I read about the vast swaths of giant trees that used to cover the whole PNW is, "what were they thinking?"  I mean, did they have to take it ALL?  They were wiping off the face of the continent living things that had been alive for so long that we can scarcely imagine it, and that humans would not see ever again.  You'd think they might have left some complete valleys intact just so we could see and experience such wonders. But commerce was just too important.   I suppose 100 years hence, people will say similar things about us (let's not go there).   shakehead.gif

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Brushwork
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PostFri Sep 06, 2019 9:40 pm 
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Once in a while I see really large stumps/remains.   I wonder, what did this forest use to look like..........

Itís  hard to imagine when so much of the remaining trees are not anywhere near that old.   And then I wonder,  will any of the trees ever be able to reach that age again....  what will it look like in a few hundred or five or six hundred years from now...will any trees/ forests get that old again...   will it all get cleared like most of Europe....,(or burned...).

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FiresideChats
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PostFri Sep 06, 2019 10:46 pm 
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The good news is the old growth that remains is protected. Virtually all of it is on public land and is locked up in perpetuity. I now view the spread of the fire biome into old growth habitat as the greatest risk for the remaining ancient trees.

As for the 19th century past, the mentality of "the Earth is for Man," I think, has a logical extreme that needed forceful correction. We all live in wooden houses, but to denude the Earth like that with no thought for the future was like the rapacious underbelly of a broad truth. This hiker is deeply grateful to the Spring and Manning generation who worked within our democracy to change the broad mentalities of the public and bring effective and bipartisan protection to the wilds.
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Schroder
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PostSat Sep 07, 2019 6:13 am 
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The piece of log in front of the Verlot Ranger station was there for a long time. I didn't notice that they had removed it.  A lot of those giants were near the bottom of the Heather Lake trail and you can still see the stumps that are over 8 feet in diameter.
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FiresideChats
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PostSat Sep 07, 2019 6:35 am 
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One of my favorite short trails, Shroeder. I'll look more closely at the stumps next time. The Heather Lake trail has that stunning transition between 2nd growth and old growth about half way up.
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FiresideChats
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PostSat Sep 07, 2019 6:36 am 
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Does anyone know if Big Doug on the Noisy Creek way trail has been measured?
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the1mitch
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PostSat Sep 07, 2019 7:33 am 
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Goat Lake! After where the Lower Elliot Trail and the road trail join. Walk slow and look around. Don't be afraid to go off trail and you will see some giants. Oh yeah keep your voice down since you will be on "sacred ground".

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kvpair
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PostSat Sep 07, 2019 8:09 am 
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On this historical note, I'd recommend the book called "The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the fire that saved America" by Timothy Egan.
He gives a compelling account of how Roosevelt and Pinchot fought off the rapacious timber barons and established the USFS as stewards of our Nations forests.
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Anne Elk
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PostSat Sep 07, 2019 8:23 am 
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Speaking of Mt. Loop Trails, the Lake 22 trail, with its "research natural area" designation, contains some respectably large old trees, but not any true "giants".  It was set aside as an RNA in 1947.  I recall enjoying the 22 trail more than the Heather Lake trail, but not likely to revisit, given the TH mobs I've seen in passing.

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Celticclimber
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PostSun Sep 15, 2019 2:29 pm 
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About 1500 years back; when the whole NW burned.
Pilchuck ( and a few other rare spots) didn't. They were  'islands'.
There are plants there that aren't anywhere else.

Speaking of OG giants.
My grandfather worked for the Wallace Falls Timber Co.
Back when they used axes and trains.
He said that the biggest tree they ever brought out was a
21ft Cedar.
Later in life, he understood the damage that had been done.
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FiresideChats
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PostSun Sep 15, 2019 4:00 pm 
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Celticclimber, where is this documented? Having walked in the awesome Roosevelt Grove on the Idaho border, I can certainly understand the idea of islands of giants in a burn zone, but is there evidence that the whole West side region burned down to pockets?
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wickstad
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PostSun Sep 15, 2019 5:45 pm 
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Twin Lakes trail heading up Napeequa Valley has some nice cedars.
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Forum Index > Trail Talk > Ever heard of "The Mt Pilchuck Giant"?
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