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Jun 3, 2019 2:39 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Nick Rowlett
Gladstone, OR (Zone 7a)
Each "segment" of this thread will be headed with an Oregon native tree, followed by my reminiscence of it (from my earliest memory to my present day thoughts) - which I will call Chapters - intermixed with pics taken of the trees growing in my own yard, some being large mature trees, others only young sprouts of saplings found growing here within the boundaries of my residential property. I will add to each Chapter with additional narration and pics as the thread continues, although the headings will then be mixed since my posts will be at various times and dates after the initial post.
• Big-leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) - seedlings from a mature tree growing adjacent to my property
• Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana) - 2 mature trees and numerous young saplings and newly sprouted acorns of various ages
• Port Orford Cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) - young trees of various sizes
• Hazelnut (Genus Corylus) - young saplings to mature nut-bearing trees
• Indian Plum (Oemleria cerasiformis) - young saplings to mature fruit-bearing trees (or shrubs)
• Hawthorn (Genus Crataegus) - several young saplings up to about 5 feet tall

Big-leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum)

Chapter 1 The Indian Lady at the bluff where the Big Leaf Maple Grows from a crack in the cliff overlooking Willamette Falls, Oregon City, Oregon

A nice place (Oregon) to live, yes. I live in Gladstone, Oregon, about 3 miles (as the crow flies) from Oregon City, Oregon - where Willamette Falls is located. I was born in a hospital in Oregon City, just a "stone's throw" from the End of the Oregon Trail commemorative plaque. It seems like I've accumulated so much Oregon history and Native American "wisdom" that it often amazes me (and members of my family) just how much! They have to make excuses to stop listening to me - I can talk for hours & hours sometimes.

Go to Wikipedia > Oregon City, Oregon

Everything you read there, I've accumulated from life experience, and from something like absorbing Native American "wisdom" from the environment. Among my very first memories, before I knew how to speak, and just beginning to walk, my grandmother took me by the hand and we walked along the bluff in Oregon City to a place where an ancient Big Leaf maple tree was growing out of a cleft of basalt - a remnant of the cliff that had been left when they put a walkway through there years ago. That place still exists and you can see it today.

I visited there with my cousin about a month ago and told her " This is exactly how it was when grandma took me here 68 years ago - the tree looks exactly the same! I pointed out the hundreds of "cliff ferns" that were growing next to the tree, and how the tree itself was growing out of a crack in the basalt - not rooted in the ground except for some roots that crept over the rocks and into the ground several feet below. I told her "These ferns and this tree look like they have been this way for a thousand years … "

I also told her (my cousin) that grandma would point out "the Indian lady" to me as she would often be gazing out at Willamette Falls, never looking at us, and never speaking. She was dressed not like us, but like Native American people would be dressed in those days, and the place was where the ancient Big Leaf Maple still stands today, growing out of the side of the cliff - truly an amazing place that even my cousin never saw before. She saw it for the first time just a month ago. I was surprised to learn that. I asked "Didn't grandma ever take you here?" She said no, it was too far down the other end of the bluff.

Chapter 12 Here the Spirit is Alive


Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana)

Chapter 2 Dale and the Oak 2009

My Oregon White Oak, which actually is not mine - it belongs to the neighborhood community and those who will strive to preserve and protect if - it is a Clackamas County Heritage Tree, but this is not enough to protect it since the City of Gladstone allows property owners to cut them down without cause or concern, or even a permit. In fact a property owner may cut down a large ancient Oregon White Oak on his or her property by themselves if they had the notion to, but this would be an enormous undertaking for one person unless he or she possessed the strength of our early pioneers who cut a great number of these ancient trees to "clear the land" for farming. In those days there were no chainsaws available to them - the tools used were axes and saws, but in the end, the giants were toppled and burned in place, the oak savanna canopy opened to allow sunlight through to the ground beneath for the first time in decades or centuries, and the ashes were spread and the acreage planted in wheat.

But this tree, the Heritage oak in the front of the house next to the street, was estimated to be "150 years plus" in 2009 by a County arborist when I had the tree (and another in the rear of the property) nominated as Clackamas County Heritage Trees. The County accepted my nomination since I had photo documentation of the size of the trees when the photo's were taken.

150+ years in 2009 would be long before the City of Gladstone became a "thing" since the first EuroAmerican settlers began entering the land which is now the state of Oregon in 1843. I estimated the tree to be from 165 to 200 years old in 2009, and gave the age of 165 years approximately as an estimate when I first sent emails to the person in charge of getting the tree nominated in the first place, and said it could even be 200 years old (or more) judging from the size of other trees which other people had estimated … but in the years since a more concentrated effort to determine the age of select Oregon White Oaks by documentation such as "It was mentioned as being a giant tree left standing on our acreage when this farm was a donation land claim in the early 1800's … " or "Here's a picture of the tree in 1910 when we bought the old farm house … "

So my estimate of approximately 165 years in 2009 (when the tree became a Heritage tree) would have meant that it was a young tree, or sapling, or newly sprouted acorn in 1844 approximately, when the EuroAmerica settlers began coming here in great numbers. That would make the tree pre-historic as far as written history is concerned, since the region these "settlers" came to was was completely unknown except to individuals such as fur trappers and explorers, Lewis and Clark being the most notable example (the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 -1806) ...

I have a plaque given to me by the county at an event in which several other Clackamas County Heritage Tree nominees also attended - the plaque reads :
Clackamas County Heritage Tree
Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana)
Stand of two trees

Info from the Clackamas County Heritage Tree website :
Stand of two Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana)
Location : (my street address) City of Gladstone
Significance: Specimen - a tree/s of exceptional size, form, or rarity, or horticultural value.
Measurements (approximate):
Height: 60 [feet]
Circumference (meas. at 4½'): 10', 9' 2.5"
[measured at 4½ feet above ground level]
[10 feet, 9 feet 2½ inches - measurements for 2 different trees]
Crown Spread: 45 - 60 [feet]
Age: 150+ years
Dedication Ceremony: April 30, 2009
Additional Information: Both trees have a single trunk and are in a natural state, not severely pruned. The two trees probably arose from acorns that sprouted naturally. The trees were much the same size 40 years ago. Ancient Oregon white oaks like these 150+ year old trees were once a common sight on the Oregon landscape. They have become rarer due to development as well as natural causes.
As per the nominator: Nick Rowlette, "That oak (the "northeast oak" clearly withstood the most powerful windstorm on record to date* without damage, because no major limbs from it have been cut, which is evident by just looking at the trunk of the tree from the ground up." [* the Columbus Day Storm of 1962 - October 12, 1962 - here in the Willamette Valley, Oregon]

I'm posting the following pics:

OAK-1 (1971).JPG (a pic of the "front yard tree", 1971. The neighbor kids showing what they found at the Easter egg hunt at the city park.)

OAK-2 (1968).JPG (a pic of the "back yard tree", 1968. The tree is visible over the roof of the house, right side. Yes, that's me standing by the front door, with guitar and Beatle haircut - very stylish back in those days.

Dale & the Oak 2009.JPG (a pic of my dad standing in the front yard, behind him is the "front yard oak", in 2009. I submitted this photo, and the other two above, to the Clackamas County Heritage tree website as a nominee, to get the tree accepted.)

The Big Blow.JPG (A rare publication documenting the Columbus Day Storm of 1962, which I have in the house, and show people what the storm did to other trees, but left these 2 oaks alone. Trees were down all over the Willamette Valley and the power was out for days, weeks in some cases, depending on the area. I remember my brother and I out in it with our coats spread out like wings, lifting us up off the ground.)

My kitty and I are very appreciative of these oaks on hot summer days, or even hot days of early Spring such as it was this year. The cooling effect influences the temperature of adjacent neighbors too, since the tree cast such a large shadow - for example, the "back yard oak" spreads its canopy over 4 adjacent properties. Such a large area of shade lowers the air temperature by 10 degrees or more, and you can really feel the difference if you walk down the street a short distance away from the shade, when it gets really hot. On hot summer days it is common to see a person parked under the shade, eating lunch or gabbing on the phone, or a stroller pausing there for a few minutes to absorb the cool air.

(to be continued)

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Last edited by NickyNick Sep 6, 2019 6:23 AM Icon for preview
Jun 3, 2019 6:32 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Nick Rowlett
Gladstone, OR (Zone 7a)
Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana)

Chapter 3 Then and Now

Fifty years later, the oak in front receives the designation as a Clackamas County Heritage tree. And the "back yard oak" reaches over the rooftops of the houses in the back to a greater height. Comparing the 1968 and 2019 pics of the "back yard oak" the upper branches forming the canopy have grown much thicker and the spread of the canopy has increased considerably.

The "front yard oak" in 1968 has been cast in ice during one of our winter storms, dreaded by some folks, when freezing rain accumulates as layers of ice clinging to the branches and power lines, often bringing both to the ground. In this view facing east, the 50-foot Big-leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) which currently resides where the red pickup was parked then, is non-existent, proving that a Big-leaf Maple can grow in 50 years to rival the trunk size and the height of an Oregon White Oak of 150(+) years, but one tree is decades older than the other in reality.

The oak in front during a significant snowfall in 2014, bringing a peaceful morning without the usual droning of the traffic noise; now with a greater feeling of isolation and opportunity to reflect on treasured memories of the past.

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Jun 3, 2019 10:23 AM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Charter ATP Member Keeper of Poultry I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Keeps Horses
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Great idea! Thanks, Nick.
Jun 4, 2019 1:31 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Nick Rowlett
Gladstone, OR (Zone 7a)
Port Orford Cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana)

Chapter 4 Death of a beloved tree

Port Orford Cedar ("double header") [ Chamaecyparis lawsoniana] Estimated age: 60 years. This tree originally had a 3rd branch from the main trunk, but it was blown down in a powerful windstorm several years ago. I had to repair the damage to the main trunk about 10 feet up from the ground where it broke off - it healed perfectly. The diameter of the forked trunk that broke off was about 10 inches. The main trunk today is about 18 to 20 inches in diameter.

The 2nd pic shows the tree completely brown, obviously dead. At first just the lower branches began turning brown, and during the course of a year the die-off slowly spread from the lower to the upper branches. Later, it was discovered that the lower portion of the trunk(s) were heavily infested with a beetle. The whitish larvae (grubs) totally mined the cambium layer just under the bark, then as the metamorphosed into adult beetles, they mined tunnels into the wood, heading down into the wood as far as possible.

Several adult beetles were removed from their little tunnels several inches into the wood beneath the bark, placed in alcohol, then onto my flatbed scanner. Here you see three of them.

The tree was finally cut down about 5 years ago (2014).

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Jun 4, 2019 2:43 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Nick Rowlett
Gladstone, OR (Zone 7a)
Indian Plum (Oemleria cerasiformis)

Chapter 5 Indians ate the little plum-shaped fruits and made arrow shafts from the wood

I read that in several books and found it to be true. The little "plums" are not very tasty, but not disagreeable either, really. Most of the fruit consists of the large "pit" (seed). Birds just love the fruit and are getting them even before they fully ripen. I often hear a robin chortling happily from deep within a large bush next to my fiberglass greenhouse, gobbling them up.

I've made arrow shafts from the wood, too. To do that, select some branches that seem the right diameter for arrow shafts, cut them to length, peel the bark and straighten them by turning them slowly over the camp fire and bending them into straightness - continue until the wood is dry, and set aside. Repeat the process if necessary until you get good straight shafts. You know the rest: scrape the wood smooth with a blade, then by rubbing the wood with dry sand. Then attach your arrow point, which can be a piece of fire-hardened red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum) wood which has been carved to a sharp point. Forget the feathers at the other end if you're in a hurry to try one with your long bow.

A close-up pic of the bush shows a reddish stem sans fruit. A closer look will reveal a few ripe fruits still left, and some green ones, but most have ripened by now (early June).

At the trailhead to the house, a 4-foot tall sapling has risen up in just the right place, brought there by the birds. This one is about 3 (or 4) years old.

Another one in a secluded place, shaded heavily by the oak, but not minding it, as it has grown surprising fast, nearly 5 feet tall, and only about 4 years old (center of pic).

In a sunny spot at road's edge is another, about 2 feet tall. Numerous others have sprouted up in the same area, all beneath the branches of the oak, and all from bird droppings.

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Jun 4, 2019 3:57 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Nick Rowlett
Gladstone, OR (Zone 7a)
Hawthorn (Genus Crataegus)

Chapter 6 A valuable survival food

I've read books where lost explorers ate the haws (the fruits of the Hawthorn) and stayed alive to tell their tales, and mountain men too, in their wanderings in the vastness of the Oregon wilderness. The fruit of the Hawthorn look just like tiny apples, and they belong to the same family of plants, the Rosaceae.

How can you recognize a Hawthorn tree in the first place : feel around on the branches until you get poked by a very sharp spine - that's one sure way - then look for the tiny fruits, which will look like small red apples, or rose hips (same family of plants). The haws. like the rose hips (which are also edible) are loaded with seeds, but the haws have more sustainability if you're eating them on the trail.

I often hear news items on radio or TV of lost people in the woods and how they stayed alive by eating something ridiculous that they had in their pocket or backpack, like a stick of gum or taco sauce packets, or maybe they had nothing at all, only a little water from a stream. Hawthorns grow from the coast to the Rocky Mountains, and beyond, as far as I know, so to know this tree and their edible little fruits is definitely a must for hikers or casual afternoon trail walkers who may stumble off course ...

Robins eat the fruits until they're falling-down-drunk and flying against the window of your house if you happen to have a large tree or bush nearby. Saw that when I was a kid.

My young Hawthorns here are too young to bear fruit yet, but the branches are spiny, which is how I recognized the saplings as they appeared in the vicinity of the oak, sprouting up beneath the branches, like the Indian plum saplings.

The first pic shows the leaves and small branches of some of the young trees (spread across the entire field of the pic). This first pic can also be compared to the pic of the oak and the red pick-up in Chapter 3 of this thread (above) where the neighbor's Big-leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) is now growing exactly where the red pick-up was parked then (50 years ago).

The 2nd pic shows another group of Hawthorns growing near road's edge, all about 4 to 5 feet tall and about 4 years old.

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Jun 6, 2019 4:37 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Nick Rowlett
Gladstone, OR (Zone 7a)
Hazelnut (Genus Corylus)

Chapter 7 Filberts (or hazelnuts)

Grandma had a huge filbert tree in her back yard; it was more like a thicket than a tree or bush. You could actually hide in it - go deep inside and nobody would find you. We called them hazel nuts sometimes, but most of the time filberts. You could pick them right off the branches when the husks started turning from green to brown, peel the husk off and check the outside of the nut to see if there was a tiny hole in it or not. If there was, that meant you'd find a little white grub inside eating away at the nut. Sometimes if you caught it early it didn't eat much so you could just brush it off to get rid of it and munch down on one of those nice sweet tasting nuts - a real treat.

Back in those days, the late 50s and early 60s, if you saw a lot of filberts (or hazelnuts) scattered on the ground underneath a large thicket, a good percentage of the nuts had no "worms" (those little white grubs) and so you could rake up a sack full and bring them in to a shed or something to spread out and let dry. Those and walnuts were some of the best finds if you were out foraging in the neighborhood. I'd just walk my well-chosen routes with my backpack and collect what I could, along with apples, plums, and whatever else I could find. In later years the filberts got worse - you could hardly find any without a hole bored through the shell and a pile of "sawdust" inside - what was left of the nut after the grubs got in.

I would usually pick strawberries in the summer to make "extra money" (really it was an obligatory thing for the parents to make arrangements for certain kids like me by calling local farms to see if they needed pickers.

Then I was told I had to go stand on the corner of such and such a street by 8:30 in the morning, or whatever, and a bus would come by and pick us up. That's what "Spring break" was really for, to let the kids out of school by about mid-June just as the strawberries were ripe and ready. Droves of kids were out in the fields and the field bosses were loading up crates of strawberries on a truck destined for the Smucker's plant. Some of my friends never had to pick strawberries - they had to rake filberts instead. Even adults would do that to make extra money.

There were huge filbert (or hazelnut) groves out in the countryside that you'd see from the back seat of the car driving with the family on a Sunday afternoon. Sometimes it seemed like it took several minutes to drive though one of the groves, trees as far as you could see on both sides of the road.

The official "state nut" of Oregon (no, not the governor … ) : Hazelnut "According to the state, Oregon's Willamette Valley is home to 99% of the U.S. hazelnut industry." [source: List of Oregon state symbols - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

The "Hazel nuts" (the name I thought seemed right to me) that you could pick up on your own were different than the ones in the stores. Those in the stores were larger, darker in color, and harder to crack. I guess that makes them better for some people, but the "wild" ones tasted better to me, a lot sweeter and more chewy (less crunchy).

The following pics are from my own saplings or small trees in my yard. I was looking to get a close-up of the nuts, but they were already pilfered by the squirrels who eat them green in the early spring, like they do the tiny apples as they are just developing on the trees. They eat quite a few, but usually let some of the nuts stay on the trees until late summer when they begin to mature. Then there's usually a noisy squabble between the squirrels and the jays, each of them stashing or hiding them in the ground, where some will sprout up later (which is how they become established in my yard). I have at least one nut-bearing tree, the source of the smaller saplings.

One year I was surprised to learn that grandma had hired someone to cut down her filbert thicket in the back yard - that, and a huge holly tree - another one of Oregon's major industries. The filbert and holly tree took up most of her back yard. Gone too was the old shed which the filbert thicket mostly concealed way back in the darkness … where she had stored some relics of the past, including my dad's old bike which he used to deliver papers with during the 1930s (Great Depression years) at the former family settlement several miles away. And was he ever mad when he found out about that! I guess that bike meant everything to him, and he trusted grandma to keep if for him there. When he learned that she had sold it to a dealer, he tried to track it down (unsuccessfully).

Well, there goes two of Oregon's biggest industries, from grandma's back yard. The filbert grove and the holly tree took up half of grandma's back yard. I guess she wanted to fit in more with the neighborhood and not have such a wild looking place back there. Before she had the holly tree cut down, I made some holly wreaths from her tree, using wreath rings that I got while working at one of the Brownell farms, the one outside of Carver, Oregon, where I worked for one season cutting wreath tips (a special type of the holly branch which develops after the trees are topped). Wreath tips were used for making the holly wreaths; the "regular" holly sprigs were too spiky and rigid. Bags of wreath tips were brought in to the large pole building where workers assembled the wreaths. The wreath tips were gathered in clusters and attached to the wreath rings by specialty workers using a clamp operated by a foot pedal, like an assembly line, producing various sizes of wreaths. Berry clusters were added to the wreath tip clusters during the process.

That particular Brownell farm supplied the annual wreath which was sent to the White House in Washington D.C. every year. My foreman (Gran Lee)was the grandson of the founder of Brownell Farms, and Oregon's holly industry. We became friends and during breaks he talked about how his grandfather got the whole thing going.

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Jun 6, 2019 5:27 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Nick Rowlett
Gladstone, OR (Zone 7a)
Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana)

Chapter 8 An awakening

"Our Big Backyard"
Operation Oak
Fall / 2014
Published by:
600 NE Grand Ave.
Portland, OR 97232-2736

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Jun 22, 2019 11:46 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Nick Rowlett
Gladstone, OR (Zone 7a)
Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana)

Chapter 9 Desecration

Yesterday, 21 June 2019, marked the First Day of Summer. At about 8 AM the sound of a chain saw drew my attention to the back yard where a tree worker was up in a bucket truck about 30 feet off the ground at the property next door, pruning limbs off of my neighbor's oak tree, an Oregon White Oak about 60 feet tall. At first I thought that he was just pruning off dead limbs but in about an hour I saw ropes and pulley hung in the tree and large portions of the oak entirely gone.

As the day progressed, a crew had cut down two of the ancient Oregon White Oak trees which have stood on that property for decades. Those two trees, being very close to my own two Oregon White Oak trees, were probably the same age, as they were approximately the same height, and formed part of a fairly contiguous canopy of these oaks in this part of Gladstone, Oregon.

Those two oaks were clearly as healthy as the rest of the nearby trees - the foliage was the same color green, and as lush as the rest of them, so what was the reason for cutting these trees down? I suppose I could call the tree service who did the work: Bartlett Tree Experts, or yell over the fence at my neighbors, if they could hear me over the noise of the chainsaws, which are going again full bore today, cutting the trunk and limbs into firewood size logs probably. The sound of two chainsaws going simultaneously can be heard for a half mile, and I'm right next door, so there's no escape from the sound. So all day yesterday, from 8 AM to 5:30 PM, and again today from 8 AM to when? I have to listen to the sound of that desecration.

I'm pretty sure it's the same property owners as it was in 1968 when we moved to this house in Gladstone, because I can hear them talking at times. So why is it desecration to be cutting these ancient oaks? In some people's minds, it clearly is not. That is why the City of Gladstone has no "tree ordinance" so property owners can cut down these ancient trees if they stand on their property, without a permit, or so much as a "hey, how do ya do?" Anything wrong with that? Not really, because pretty soon the City of Gladstone will be running out of their inventory of Oregon White Oaks, then there won't be a reason to have one.

So the Gladstone lumberjacks next door will have wood to burn in their fireplace or stove this winter, and the clearing opened up will allow the sun to bake their property, since these two oaks were on the south side of the property, "blocking sunlight" for a good portion of the day, or "casting shade" for a good portion of the day - whichever way you want to think of it. And since they have a metal roof on the house, it should bake that roof really really hot, "hot as the hubs of hell" as my former boss used to say. So now the air conditioner can run double time and triple time to try to keep up with the increased heat. Now just think of how many people in Oregon are doing the same thing as these folks are doing, and how that is adding to the desertification of the state, and the increased strain on the power grid.

And let me put in a word about our Governor here in Oregon, who I call the "Cat Lady" because she snuck into office under such strange and unusual circumstances, like a prowling cat would, seizing upon the opportunity (like a cat would do) - would she care if the "Keep Oregon Green" slogan just went away, or the meaning of "Green" changed from trees to cannabis? I'm thinking, maybe that's why my neighbors cut those trees down, to let more sunlight in for a backyard cannabis patch, now that it's legal in Oregon.

If I called the office of the Governor said "I think Oregon needs an antiquities law against cutting these ancient oak trees down", do you think I would get a reply? Looking at what's happening in the Oregon legislature right now, with the "Cat Lady" threatening to arrest some of those legislators who are walking out of the proceedings in protest of what she, the "Cat Lady" is doing, I don't think I would get so much as a snort or whiny remark …

Meanwhile here, at 10:30 AM, the chainsaws continue to intermittently interrupt the quietude of an otherwise peaceful neighborhood.

The image below shows the two trees which are no longer in existence.

two fallen oaks. JPG

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Jun 25, 2019 3:28 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Nick Rowlett
Gladstone, OR (Zone 7a)
Big-leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum)
Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana)

not native > 'tree of heaven' (Ailanthus altissima)

Chapter 10 Good Tree People

At 8 AM on 24 June 2019 the "Good Tree People" (Integrity Tree Care) showed up to remove two trees on my neighbor's property, also to prune a limb on my Oregon White Oak that was in contact with their cable and telephone lines. I knew that they were coming because I talked with the people next door a couple of days earlier about pruning that limb, and discussed with them how much of the limb should be pruned. Since their power line was very close to the limb also, but not contacting it, they felt that possibly the limb should be pruned quite a way down so the power line would be nowhere close to a branch from my oak tree.

When the tree crew arrived, I went out with my diagram to show them where the limb should be pruned (see diagram.JPG). Since my next door neighbors were not out there at the time, I could not show them the diagram, which indicated where I thought the limb should be pruned, not lower down as previously discussed.

Since this oak is a Clackamas County Heritage Tree, I thought it VERY IMPORTANT that only a small portion of the limb be removed, because if it were cut lower down, a very large portion of that tree would have to be removed, and it would permanently be disfigured. Since the tree was determined to be more than160 years old in 2009, it was already a large old tree when the house at 680 E. Exeter was built, and the power line has remained where it is for many years without causing any problem. So there would not be a reason now to remove so much of the tree.

I knew that once the crew started work, for me just to point at the limb and say "prune there, not there" would not be sufficient, because would he know exactly where I was pointing? That's why I drew the diagram and showed it to the person who would be doing the work, so he could see EXACTLY where to cut.

No portion of the live tree has been pruned since the late 1960s - only dead branches. So when it was all over with, the next door neighbor came out, I explained it to him, and he was satisfied with my decision. Everything went smoothly due to careful planning on my part.

See > PICT0045.JPG A worker with the Integrity Tree Care crew is removing a portion of a limb from my oak tree that is in contact with the cable and telephone lines running to the house next door.

Next, the crew began removing two large trees on my neighbor's property, a Big-leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) and a 'tree of heaven' (Ailanthus altissima).

See > two trees.JPG - the yellow arrow is pointing to the 'tree of heaven' and the cyan arrow is pointing to the Big-leaf Maple. The so called 'tree of heaven' is considered to be a "weed tree" at best, but a better description would be 'a public nuisance' since the seeds migrate hundreds of yards away from the tree and sprout up and grow so rapidly that if not removed as soon as they are about 12 inches tall, they cannot be successfully removed by pulling, digging, or other means because they have a deep taproot and when pulled or dug, any portion that remains in the soil will sprout up again very soon. They will sprout in the middle of your favorite rose bush, or deep inside your hedge, or a crack in your stone wall, and will soon outgrow any small bush, completely sucking up every drop of moisture in the ground until it kills it.

Since they resemble walnut trees, they are often mistaken for them, unless the foliage is rubbed in the hands and an unpleasant or rank smell is detected, which is one way to identify the 'tree of heaven'.

When the tree releases its seeds, they spin laterally like a propeller and look like an insect flying in the air. They can travel for hundreds of feet away from the tree even when there is no wind, since they are "self propelled" by this sideways spinning motion.

The Big-leaf Maple had to come down because the trunk had begun to rot and split, which is common for these trees when they become a certain size and age. This tree was about 50 to 60 feet tall and about 50 years old. It probably grew as a sprouted seed from other trees in the area.

Integrity Tree Care, the "Good Tree People" PICT0012.JPG

One of the crew in the bucket of the bucket truck removing the Big-leaf Maple PICT0017.JPG

Silhouettes of the 'tree of heaven' (left) and the Big-leaf Maple (right) over the rooftop of the house next door PICT0026.JPG

Most of the Big-leaf Maple now removed PICT0033.JPG & PICT0036.JPG


two trees.JPG

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Last edited by NickyNick Jun 25, 2019 9:43 AM Icon for preview
Jun 25, 2019 10:26 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Nick Rowlett
Gladstone, OR (Zone 7a)
Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana)

Chapter 11 Fallen Oaks

Southeast corner of E. Exeter St. and Cornell Ave.
One large oak which toppled in a windstorm late 2017 or early 2018, taking down power lines. Power was off here for 2 or 3 days. PGE had to replace power pole which was next to it. > oak1.JPG

Northeast corner of E. Dartmouth St. and Union Ave.
One "medium size" (multi-stem ?) oak cut down for no apparent reason Spring of 2018.
Tree(s) on city property (?) or easement (?) very close to edge of pavement on Union Ave., and pavement of E. Dartmouth St. Possibly outside the property line on house on the corner with pile of rocks (old fountain landscape feature). > oak2.JPG

Southeast corner of E. Dartmouth St. and Union Ave.
One large oak cut down for no apparent reason. Within property boundary of house on the corner, next to a gravel parking area. Cut down late winter or early spring 2018. > oak3.JPG

Northeast corner of E. Clarendon St. and Union Ave.
One (or possibly two) large oaks cut down just after property was sold and new owner moved in late winter or spring 2018. I spoke to owner briefly on my way to Safeway - he said he was making room to build a deck in front of the house. Other oaks on the property were previously cut during the time that the house was vacant for more than a year (prior to 2018). There are (or were) several other small oaks of various sizes located on the property, including "seedlings" (1 or 2 feet tall) on borders (or beds) on or near the property along Union Ave. A row of arborvitae (hedge) in front of the house had also been cut down in 2018. > oak4.JPG

On Union Ave., near northwest corner of Union Ave. and E. Dartmouth St. on the property between the duplex and the house on the corner (labeled "The Quemedobe") - two "medium size" to large oaks, within a group of similar size trees - possibly part of a group of multi-stem trees (?) - cut down in August of 2018. A crew of 4 or 5 people worked 2 full days to remove them. These trees belonged to the property of the duplex. Two trees of the group (of 4?) were left standing. Other trees (oaks?) farther back from the street were possibly also cut (not visible from my vantage point). > oak5.JPG



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Sep 5, 2019 1:06 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Nick Rowlett
Gladstone, OR (Zone 7a)
Big-leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum)

Chapter 12 Here the Spirit is Alive

This is where the story began : The Indian Lady at the bluff where the Big Leaf Maple Grows from a crack in the cliff overlooking Willamette Falls, Oregon City, Oregon (Chapter 1)

… and I can resume now, since I brought my camera with me this time, with my return visit with my cousin, who brought me there when we visited the place again, as described in Chapter 1

As before, we stopped at the store on High Street, in Oregon City, to buy a few things before continuing on. This store is just the same from the outside as it was when I was old enough to walk, about 68 years ago. The structure is an old quonset hut which served as living quarters for World War 2 military personnel, named Minit Mart, located at 223 High Street, Oregon City, Oregon. Both times that we visited we were met at the checkout counter by very nice people of Korean ancestry. How did I know that? My daughter is "½ Korean" ☯ and I recognized the Korean writing on the stack of free newspapers in the bottom of a rack near the checkout counter.

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From there, you can simply get out of your car and walk westward about ½ block toward the bluff overlooking lower Oregon City, on the promenade, and walk along the concrete railing south (take a left turn - on foot or bike only - no cars allowed on the promenade) about a city block to the place where the Big-leaf Maple grows from a crack in the cliff overlooking Willamette Falls.

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On this visit, the leaves on the trunk of the tree facing the Willamette River have turned yellow, while the foliage of the trunk facing east have remained green. The strange ferns near the base of the tree (in the foreground) have entirely dried up. Beyond the tree, to the south, where the promenade takes a sudden dip, is the VFW building; highway 99E (McLoughlin Blvd.) is visible below to the right, where a car is parked at the wayside overlooking Willamette Falls.

The promenade is lined in very distinctive masonry put there during The Great Depression of the mid 1930s, where my grandfather, who I never knew, had worked as a mason's helper, employed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). His job was to do the heavy lifting of the quarried basalt stones while the skilled mason set them in place. Only skilled masons could set the stones; the unskilled unfortunate laborers suffered the heavy labor of lifting the stones and mixing the mortar. During that time, a man was "lucky" to have a job at all, so my grandfather worked at it until he caught pneumonia and died, leaving my grandmother to raise her 4 children herself. My father was 8 or 9 years old at the time, when his father left for the Spirit World.

Looking at the tree, I wonder how it could look exactly the same as it did when I first saw it with my mother, or grandmother, 68 years ago. That was when I hardly knew language. My memory of it is purely visual. That is the way it was when I was first learning to walk. My mother and grandmother lived in houses side by side there on the bluff, a short distance away. Maybe my first sight of the tree was from a baby stroller, before I could walk.

Directly at the base of the tree, on the other side of the masonry wall, is a large boulder. This is the exact spot where the "Indian Lady" stood as she looked out toward the southwest toward the Falls. Many years later I learned that her name was Priscilla - her "white man's" name. She never spoke to us, and would only glance at us for a moment maybe. She was always dressed in a long flowing dress that rippled like water when a breeze was blowing. Very long hair tied back. Quite distinctive in appearance from all the other women I had ever seen in those early years of my life.

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How many lifetimes has this tree been here, as measured, or judged, by a human life?

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Look carefully at the surrounding basaltic boulders which encloses it and protects it. Look at the moss, the lichens covering the boulders. Has this small area remained undisturbed for 500 years? Or a thousand years, while everything surrounding it has been changed over by human hands. Look at the VFW building beyond it, where the U.S. flag is flying in the background. Since I first saw the tree, the area around that building has increased its presence by adding a huge parking area which comes right up to within 20 feet of the tree, on the south side.

Then there is the paved path, which may have been only been stony grassy path along the masonry wall many years ago. I think it may have been; it seems that it was difficult to walk the path beyond this point because of the stones and grass at your feet, except for a narrow "deer trail" that you could easily navigate if you were young, or very careful. Now the path is nice and smooth, and even lamp posts have been installed. I don't think they could have possibly been there 68 years ago. I believe that the smoothest part of the former pathway ended about a half block away to the north, where it turned onto High Street where the Minit Market is located. And that's the route that most people went, but you could venture past the well trodden path and continue on past the tree without much of a problem, but too bumpy and difficult for a baby stroller, or an older person to walk. Why is the masonry wall there anyway? It wasn't there before 1930, when you could just walk to the edge of the cliff and fall over the side … but then again, was it even a cliff before 99E went through this part of Oregon City?

So much basaltic stone had to be blasted away during the construction of 99E that its almost unthinkable. I think before that time, it was "walkable" from the tree right down to the bank of the Willamette River; I have done it myself when I was less than 30, about a mile or two south, beginning at 99E and going right over the other side of a metal guard rail, where the slope is steep, but it can be navigated carefully from the sloping hill to an outcropping of basalt here and there, right down to the river. The elevation would be about 300 feet from the road to the river, across a railroad track. But it was not a sheer cliff, it was a steep natural incline.

That little island of stone where the tree is situated has remained intact, I believe, for over 500 years. Maybe a thousand years or more. How old is the tree then? A tree of the same kind, and about as tall, was recently cut down just next door to my house in Gladstone. That was 24 June 2019 (see > Chapter 10 "Good Tree People" - this thread). That tree was not even there in 1968 when our family moved to that house. This tree in Oregon City, I can promise you, is much much older than that one, many times over. So you can surely not judge the age of a Big-leaf Maple just by looking at the size. This tree in particular is not growing in deep soil. I would venture to say that it is not growing in soil at all.

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A closer look begins to reveal the place where the two trunks converge - but first, look to the left at the brown dried remnants where the very unusual ferns were growing, when we (my cousin and I) visited the place earlier in the year. And someone unfortunately has painted their rude (beyond rude) remarks (tags) on the face of the boulders. Aside from that, the age-old layer of moss and lichen still remain mostly undisturbed, as it has for all this time. This, being my time of 68 years, quite short compared to this. So block out the tags and the background building and you can glimpse a scene of how it looked to the first people.

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Over to the right just here, up against the masonry wall and rail, is the cleft boulder where the "Indian Lady" used to stand. The moss and lichen tell the story. That's why I now carefully study both. For instance, you can walk through a cemetery, which we had done earlier in the morning, and I pointed out to my cousin the different degrees of mossy accumulation according to the ages of the stone - easily determined from the dates on the stones themselves.

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Are these two trunks of the same tree, or two different trees growing together at the exact same spot?

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I could photoshop this to erase this desecration of a natural wonder : the "tags" sprayed on the boulders, but it's a call to the Protector and a testament; far worse could have happened before this. We need Protectors to protect ourselves from ourselves.

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Peering through the cleft boulder ...

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… I'm thinking that we have traveled beyond the age of paper-making, and the two Great Mills formerly at the Falls are no longer in existence; Crown Zellerbach across the river …

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… and Publishers (which became Blue Heron Paper Company) on this side of the river … are forever gone. Now I hear that the Grand Ronde people (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde) have taken possession of the old abandoned Blue Heron mill

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Now moving closer to the base of the tree, or trees, I can carefully study the huge buttressing where the trunk emerges from a fissure or cleft in the "stack of boulders", or the basaltic outcropping - I don't know the the exact geological terms to use here, but it is basalt (a type of lava of volcanic origin). What I'm mostly concerned with is the age of the tree (or trees) and whether this is one single tree that sprouted as a seedling and one of the shoots ran up between the boulders to become the other trunk; or if these are coincidently two different trees that happened to sprout up at the same time and place, years and years ago?

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From a couple more feet to the south, the two trunks with the huge globular mass (burl) at the base of the lower trunk is in plain view.

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On the right side of the burl is a cluster of "saplings" emerging from it (on the south side) - if one of these saplings were to find a fissure and run up inside it, it could become another trunk eventually.

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A few more feet south past the lower trunk, this cluster of saplings is (or are) more visible, and only inches to go toward a fissure for one of them, which may seek out a place deep within the boulder to establish itself. If left alone and undisturbed, and given enough time …
In this same pic, just to the left of the lower trunk is the base of the upper trunk where is disappears into the boulder, blending in with the moss-covered rock so well that you have to look very carefully.
I have decided that this is a tree which originated as just one seedling, which diverged at an early age to become two trunks. Whether or not that is correct, they have taken a parallel path for so long that they are really one entity - just looking from a distance they appear as a single tree.
I was commenting to my cousin that there is really no soil that they can grow in, other than what may happen to fall into the fissures or openings in the boulders from above. So the growth must be very slow and gradual. And this tree must be of great age.

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A diversity of mosses and lichens, and a species of sedum growing on this boulder; each has its boundary. Not a mishmash.

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Protectors : we need this special place as a model for the time when so much of the Earth has to be made over … where the Spirit is Alive …

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… so much left behind, abandoned and rusting, after its usefulness is over. Dead. Now it must be disposed of, at great cost of time and effort.

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In another time, unimaginable on this perfect day, when the mills were running you could never see a day like this, looking upriver to the south. The air would be filled with a great cloud originating from the mills, and so much sulphur in the air that it would burn your eyes; and you could taste it in your mouth.

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The pedestrian bridge crossing over 99E as someone takes advantage of this shortcut over to the other side, to another sidewalk down below. A little used portion of the highway at this location compared to the time when this portion of U.S. Route 99 was the main road of travel, running from Canada to Mexico, before Interstate 5, and Interstate 205.

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Looking north, downriver, at the expanse of the mill below. The concrete "arch bridge" (or Oregon City Bridge) and a portion of the I-205 Abernethy Bridge (in green) is partially visible beyond that. A portion of the cleft boulder where Priscilla (the "Indian Lady") stood, is at the right side of the pic.

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My cousin. So nice of her to have brought me here on this "perfect day" as she repeatedly said. This is only her second visit to this part of the promenade. The first visit for her was only a few months ago, with me. Reason : way back then, grandma told her something … probably not to, because there's no reason to, nothing down there anyway, and she might get lost. Notice where the wall and railing take a sharp incline downward, where the yellow stripe is on the pedestrian path. That may have been "the point of no return" back in the day …

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Last edited by NickyNick Sep 6, 2019 6:19 AM Icon for preview
Sep 18, 2019 9:50 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Nick Rowlett
Gladstone, OR (Zone 7a)
Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana) - 2 mature trees and numerous young saplings and newly sprouted acorns of various ages

Chapter 13 This one thing can be your legacy [a beginning]

Tree-Mail: Harold Rowlett
From: NickyNick
Between: NickyNick and RROWLETT
Sep 17, 2019 3:35 PM CST
Our second cousin, Harold Rowlett, who lives in Albany, OR called me on the phone yesterday. I hadn't talked to him since we were doing family research here at this house, with Dale, in the late 1980s (?)

Tree-Mail: Harold Rowlett
From: NickyNick
Between: NickyNick and RROWLETT
Sep 17, 2019 4:52 PM CST
I have Planning Commission tonight... someone did call before I read your message, and I didnt answer, didnt recognize the number...

Tree-Mail: Harold Rowlett
From: NickyNick
Between: NickyNick and RROWLETT
Sep 17, 2019 6:41 PM CST
Don't forget to bring up our ancient native oaks (Oregon White Oak - Quercus garryana) and that near death of a thing, the Pow Wow Tree should be dumped as symbolic of Gladstone, and the oaks used as an icon instead. And a tree-cutting ordinance should be adopted here in Gladstone for "trees of antiquity" which would be the oaks, which live to be MUCH MUCH longer that the big-leaf maples - such as the pow wow tree. That can be your legacy, if you do nothing more in your life. If you neglect it, it's on you.

Gladstone Oregon
Gladstone Planning Commission Meeting September 17th, 2019
Published on Sep 18, 2019
Gladstone Planning Commission Meeting September 17th, 2019
running time > 24:10
> 4 views [at the time of my viewing : NickyNick 18 September 2019]

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0:05 RROWLETT is calling the meeting to order
10:30 RROWLETT brings up the issue of trees

✓ duly noted lil' bro - you spoke well and created discussion among the other council members about this. Just remember : "trees of antiquity" (the oaks) are a distinction from any other tree which may be on a certain property.

And remember that my 2 oaks are Clackamas County Heritage Trees, a further distinction. On the Clackamas County Heritage Trees website is my listing and description :

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Dale Rowlette (R.I.P.)

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Seth Cusick (R.I.P.)
[not pictured] who used to live next door (to the east), who I educated about the age and the value of the Oregon White Oaks, and who I had to discourage from trimming "all of the overhanging branches over my fence line" so he could build a garage in his back yard. I said "Seth, if that happens, the tree will be off balance and will topple over, hitting my house, and possibly damaging 3 other houses on the adjacent properties. After several conversations with him about this, he finally settled on having a crew remove only one huge branch, which took them about a week to cut up and haul away. The crew consisted of Seth's dad & friends. Thankfully nobody was injured or killed. The property is now owned by Cierra and Casey Cook (680 E. Exeter)

Sharon Crown Flues McFarlaine (R.I.P.)
[not pictured] my former next door neighbor to west. I cleared her Oregon White Oak of English ivy in the mid-1990s, which had completely surrounded the trunk and crept up into the upper branches of the tree to a height of about 25 feet. The trunks of the ivy were about 3 to 4 inches in diameter near ground level and I used a chainsaw and crowbar to remove them as far up as I could reach.Since then, the tree has fully recovered and there is no trace of the English ivy today. The property is now owned by Allen David (650 E. Exeter)

Yes, they are watching from the other side. I feel their spirits often.

Jefferson Airplane - The Other Side Of This Life
Last edited by NickyNick Sep 19, 2019 1:22 AM Icon for preview
Sep 26, 2019 2:54 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Nick Rowlett
Gladstone, OR (Zone 7a)
Chapter 14 First Fruits

Hawthorn (Genus Crataegus) - several young saplings up to about 5 feet tall

see > Chapter 6 A valuable survival food
Hawthorn (Genus Crataegus)

The following pics were taken 25 September 2019

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Look carefully and you will see the seven tiny red fruits, which look just like miniature apples.
Last edited by NickyNick Sep 26, 2019 2:56 AM Icon for preview
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