The Klootchy Creek Spruce broke in a storm, December 2, 2007. It was 204 feet tall, 16.7 feet diameter dbh, and over 850 points on the National champion list.
It was a co-champion with the Washington Sitka Spruce at Quinault.
Even the remnants are interesting.
Read more about the Klootchy Creek Giant below.
Cape Meares Spruce ~ pseudo-champion
Oregon Champion Spruce replacement .... the pseudo-champion
After the collapse of the Klootchy Creek Spruce, another Sitka near Tillamook and Cape Meares, became the new Oregon champ, by default, with 743 points (2011), though only 144 feet tall. That was a logical substitute back then.
It was measured by Ascending the Giants.
The Cape Meares Spruce is at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint and National Wildlife Refuge.
The trunk was published at 15.27 ft. diameter or 576 inches circumference. But the tape was wrapped around a protruding burl, inflating its points.
In the photo to the right, you can see the tape being wrapped around the large burl.
Crown spread was said to be 93 ft. But the method I used seemed crude. The team wandered the ground staring up trying to eyeball a guess whether they were under the branch tips.I tested the wandering method and found it can be off by 15 feet easily. My test compared their wandering eye method to a laser's precision.
Falcon's Tower ~ Actual Largest by Points
Discovery: The photo below is Falcon's Tower Sitka Spruce, north of Manzanita. I discovered Falcon's Tower May 22, 2011, on the heels of our world's Tallest Pine & Tallest Hemlock discoveries. This Spruce was measured by the Oregon Registry. Their results are included after my measurements. Even though the team wrapped a burl on the other Cape Meares spruce inflating its points, Falcon's Tower still exceeds it.
Falcon's Tower spruce in this photo was estimated at 706 points in May, 2011. July, 2011, I returned with assistance for a second measurement:
Height - 224 ft.
Circumference - 504 in.
1/4 Crown Estimate - 22 ft.
Total Points - 750
I also located Falcon's Tower on Google Earth, and the scale showed that a 1/4 crown spread of 22 ft. was acceptable for 22 points
The circumference was 504 inches and the width or diameter was 13.51 ft. DBH. The 224 ft. towers over the stubby 144 ft. of Cape Meares Spruce.
There is about 10 feet elevation difference between the high and low sides of the trunk. I nominated Falcon's Tower to the Oregon Registry, August 2011.
Comparison of this Spruce to the Cape Meares Sitka was supposed to be based American Forest system. But the team failed to measure the diameter accurately at average dbh. The diameter should have been measured about 5 ft. lower than where the man in the image is holding the tape. There was a large root that he is kneeling on, and there was an easy way to bridge the root. Instead of measuring at 4.5 ft. above average grade, Ascending the Giants measured about 9 ft. above average grade. In other words, the spruce was not measured.
Click these for a few extra views. Captions should be underneath.
Falcon's Tower Part II
Falcon's Tower was measured September 25, 2011, by the Oregon Registry volunteers, aka Ascending the Giants. They came up with 219 ft. using a tape drop. That is 5 feet variance from my number. The crown spread they guessed at, using the eyeballing method like they did for the Cape Meares spruce.
In the end, they did not report back with final numbers, but said they did not come up with enough points. When they measured Cape Meares spruce, they wrapped the tape around a big burl that inflated size and points. Compare that to Falcon's Tower diameter points diminished by wrapping too high where trunk diameter narrrows. It is worth sharing that Ascending the Giants said the 1/4 crown points "are not as important" as height and circumference". I differ and place equal emphasis on height, circumference and crown spread, because each contributes to the total points.
Octopus Spruce of Cape Meares Explained
Change of pace here for a moment ...
Enlarge the photo to the right, to see the Octopus Spruce which grows in the same area as Cape Meares Spruce.
The sign for it says that the form is a mystery people have debated about. Almost certainly we cannot know for a fact what happened ... but chances are about 90% that it resulted from a simple occurance. When the Spruce was young with a trunk not much bigger than 14" to 20" in diameter, a storm snapped the trunk, or another trunk nearby fell and broke it, just above a whorl of limbs.
The extended length of the curved trunks (up to 16 feet outward) from the center, connote that it was not just 10 feet tall with 1 inch diameter branches. The branches would have to have been about 2 to 4 inches in diameter, and in relatively good health with foliage. And the branches would need to have already been about 10 to 14 feet long when the breakage occured. This also suggests something else ... that this Spruce was not in a thick grove ... probably more in the open, maybe with just a few others around it. Otherwise, in thick groves, the lower limbs die and decay fairly quickly: evident by the grove you will walk through to see this one. Just look at all the understory stubs in the shady grove.