|This tree had rings so tight at times it required a magnifier to count them.|
When this tree was alive it was leaning, slightly bent, not very tall or large, probably of no commercial value -- that's what saved it from the saw over the decades, even when this canyon was last logged in the 1970s.
The tree turned out to be approximately 170 years old. That means it sprouted in about 1841. In that year Lieutenant Charles F. Wilkes led a U.S. Naval expedition of the Pacific Northwest. Oregon was not yet an organized territory. A group of pioneers led by John Bidwell set off on the Oregon Trail, sparking the Great Migration. The Homestead Act and the American Civil War were still 20 years away. WA became a state in 1889, when this tree was almost 50 years old.
This was an attractive tree, one that we left even though it shaded our solar array for an hour on winter days. It had the characteristic reddish bark found only on certain old PPs. Its slant and curve gave it a Bonsai look. It stood in the open, one of two pines on a minor ridge.
|This relatively small Ponderosa Pine was about 170 years old. It sprouted before the Civil War.|
When the stump dries out I want to cut a slab from it and get it over to our friend Dick S., who is an expert on forest fire ecology in our region. Maybe he can pinpoint the precise year of the fire.