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Plant of the Month: February 2005
Tall Trees in Seattle
    As part of my current work to update my book Trees of Seattle I measure the heights of many trees. The aim is to discover what individual of each species is the tallest known in Seattle. This is my initial report, limited to trees more than 100 feet tall; based on work done December 2004 into February 2005. Heights cited in the book's first edition were made using a clinometer, and date mostly from 1987 or 1988. The heights cited below were made using a LaserTech Impulse 200 range-finder. This device is far less prone to error --if used correctly (that is: on vertical distance mode). Study has shown that the clinometer (as well as careless usage of the laser) tends to often exaggerate tree heights. As a result, in the following list of trees you can note that certain maximum reported heights cited in Trees of Seattle are higher than the contemporary (2004 growing season) heights cited. This is mostly because the previous measurements were too high. The current measurements are conservative and if anything underestimate heights. Using the laser to pinpoint the topmost twig on a broad-crowned deciduous tree in winter, is painstaking and often the measurement is actually of a lower twig. In a few cases, such as with Douglas Fir, the tallest specimen known in 1988 fell down or died --so I list the tallest known alive presently.
    I will continue my measurements and update this page periodically. All measurements are in feet.

Species 1987 or 1988 2004 Location
Douglas Fir
Pseudotsuga Menziesii
255' 235' O.O. Denny Park
Grand Fir
Abies grandis
ca. 200' 188' O.O. Denny Park
Western Red Cedar
Thuja plicata
175'+ 176' O.O. Denny Park
Coast Redwood
Sequoia sempervirens
141' 165.5' Interlaken Park
Black Cottonwood
Populus trichocarpa
152' 162.5' O.O. Denny Park
Western Hemlock
Tsuga heterophylla
ca. 150' 156' O.O. Denny Park
Sierra Redwood
Sequoiadendron giganteum
112' 155' 1523 Madrona Drive
Lombardy Poplar
Populus nigra 'Italica'
139' 141' Lake Wash. Blvd. S
Ghost Poplar
Populus nigra 'Thevestina'
112' 132' West Seattle golf course
Bolleana White Poplar
Populus alba 'Pyramidalis'
102' 127.5' Lake Wash. Blvd. by SR 520
European Beech
Fagus sylvatica
120' 127' Lake Wash. Blvd. in the Arboretum
Atlas Cedar
Cedrus atlantica
92' 126.5' Lincoln Park
Ponderosa Pine
Pinus ponderosa
92' 126.5' 24th Ave. E.
Bigleaf Maple
Acer macrophyllum
ca. 120-130' 124' Seward Park
Hybrid Black Poplar
Populus x canadensis 'Eugenei'
114' 123' Lake Wash. Blvd. by SR 520
Tulip Tree
Liriodendron Tulipifera
118' 122' 700 McGilvra Blvd. E.
Red Alder
Alnus rubra
100'+ 120' Camp Long
Norway Spruce
Picea Abies
100'+ 120' Seward Park fish hatchery
Turkish Oak
Quercus Cerris
107' 118.5' Lake Wash. Blvd. in the Arboretum
Arbutus Menziesii
110'+ 118' Seward Park
English Elm
Ulmus procera
113' 118' Seattle Pacific University
Eastern White Pine
Pinus Strobus
101' 115.5' Interlaken Park
Deodar Cedar
Cedrus Deodara
114' 114.5' Boyer Ave. E.
Incense Cedar
Calocedrus decurrens
83' 112' Ravenna Park
Red Oak
Quercus rubra
101' 111.5' University of WA.
Sugar Pine
Pinus Lambertiana
78' 111.5' Lincoln Park
White Birch
Betula pendula
96' 110.5' Interlaken Park
Hybrid Black Poplar
Populus x canadensis 'Marilandica'
100' 109.5' Lake Wash. Blvd. in the Arboretum
Bigcone Pine
Pinus Coulteri
101' 109.5' University of WA.
Western White Pine
Pinus monticola
99' 109' Lincoln Park
Bald Cypress
Taxodium distichum
96' 109' Green Lake
Dawn Redwood
Metasequoia glyptostroboides
93' 107.5' Washington Park Arboretum
Scots Pine
Pinus sylvestris
70' 106.5' Seward Park
Pin Oak
Quercus palustris
112' 106.5' Mt. Baker Park
Corsican Black Pine
Pinus nigra var. Laricio
97' 106' Volunteer Park
Sawara Cypress
Cham¾cyparis pisifera f. plumosa
97' 106' Leschi Park
Oregon Ash
Fraxinus latifolia
100' 105' Washington Park Arboretum
Guernsey Elm
Ulmus ŌSarniensisÕ
55' 103.5' Jefferson Park golf course
Hybrid Black Poplar
Populus x canadensis 'Regenerata'
109' 103' Mt. Baker Blvd. east of 33rd Ave. S.
Bigleaf Linden
Tilia platyphyllos
83' 103' Frink Park
Black Oak
Quercus velutina
?' 103' Washington Park Arboretum
Wych Elm
Ulmus glabra
? 103' Seattle Pacific University
Cercidiphyllum japonicum
93' 102' Washington Park Arboretum
English Oak
Quercus robur
102' 102' Mt. Baker Park
Scarlet Oak
Quercus coccinea
96' 101.5' Washington Park Arboretum
Littleleaf Linden
Tilia cordata
88' 101' Volunteer Park
White Oak
Quercus alba
94' 101' Washington Park Arboretum
Black Locust
Robinia Pseudoacacia
75'+ 101' West Seattle golf course
Mazzard Cherry
Prunus avium
ca. 100' 101' Interlaken Park
hybrid White Oak
Quercus x Bebbiana
? 101' Washington Park Arboretum

Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert

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