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Oregon Forest Home for World’s Tallest Living Pine Tree

Posted by Keith Riggs, Office of Communication, U.S. Forest Service in Forestry
Feb 21, 2017
Tim Lovitt, a seasonal forester, stands next to the base of a 240-foot ponderosa pine, which has a smaller diameter than the ponderosa “Phalanx.” USFS photo.
Tim Lovitt, a seasonal forester, stands next to the base of a 240-foot ponderosa pine, which has a smaller diameter than the ponderosa “Phalanx.” USFS photo.

The ponderosa pine is fairly easy to identify. The orange-hued checked bark is well known to westerners.

What might not be as well known though is that these native trees can grow to sizes rivaling giant redwoods.

Near Grants Pass, in the southwestern part of Oregon, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is home to the tallest known specimen and was recently measured to be nearly as high as a 30 story building.

The tree named “Phalanx” was climbed and measured by tape in October by Portland arborist Will Koomjian. At 268.3 feet it’s the world’s tallest pine tree of any species.

Located on the Wild Rivers Ranger District, Phalanx is surrounded by a number of other ponderosas over 250 feet in height.

”This is an exciting find,” says Wild Rivers District Ranger Roy Bergstrom.  “To have this unique grove of record sized ponderosa pine adds to the botanical wonderment of the Siskiyou mountains.”

Another national forest in Oregon, the Umpqua, is also home to a record-breaker; the tallest know sugar pine, which tops out at 255 feet.

Category/Topic: Forestry

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Comments

John Spotts
Dec 11, 2011

that's huge, not larger

Stephanie McKee
Dec 13, 2011

The location of this tree is incorrect. It is located on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, South Fork Management Unit in Northern California. I should know, I've been there many times and the gentleman in the photos use to be one of my employees. We are very proud that this amazing organism is on our Forest, and I think that the caption should be changed to reflect the correct location.

Jon Martin
Jan 12, 2012

Fuels look heavy in this photo. Are there any efforts to reduce fire risk around this tree?

Aaron Santos
Mar 19, 2019

I'm a 6th grader in itasca Tx and i'm doing research on pine trees so this a really amazing thing to see and to read about.

David Cooper
Apr 16, 2019

Do they know how old is tree is and is it in good health and how old will it live

Ivan Earl
Nov 20, 2019

Wonderfull to have a living thing so big and alive.

Evan Bragg
Nov 29, 2019

whyd you name the tree phalanx

Nichole Coulter
Feb 13, 2020

This is a very cool story I'm an Arborists is well..