Horticulture is not all flowery. It includes arboriculture, which is the horticulture of trees. As both a horticulturist and arborist, I get t0 work with it all. Not only do I work with arboriculture, but I get to work part of the time in forests of coastal redwoods, which are the tallest trees in the World. Compared to these redwoods, Douglas firs are rather average.

1. At about noon on May 7, this big Douglas fir fell unexpectedly. Since it was not cut down intentionally, no one actually yelled “Timber!”. This picture is recycled from a post from May 10.P00510-1

2. This is what it looks like now. Even though a bay tree fell on top of the Douglas fir and bridge after the picture above was taken, damage was minimal. Parts of the banister were replaced.P00530-2

3. The Douglas fir was less than eighty years old. It started growing here in the early 1940s. My grandparents might have met it when it was a baby. By the way, I did not count all the rings.P00530-3

4. The carcass of the Douglas fir is now more than twenty feet below. The light brown chips to the upper left are from the top of the tree that needed to be cleared from an adjacent roadway.P00530-4

5. This unfortunate maple really was an exemplary young specimen before it got clobbered by the big Douglas fir and bay tree. Not only are the limbs stripped off, but the trunk is fractured.P00530-5

6. The third trunk from the left is what remains of the bay tree that was leaning on the Douglas fir, and then fell on top of it. The top limb extending to the right is now about to break too.P00530-6

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:



10 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Timber! II

    1. We tend to take for granted what we are accustomed to; but I never get tired of the redwoods. There are bigger (unharvested) specimens up north, and the giant redwoods of the Sierra Nevada, although not quite as tall, are bulkier! The maple will likely be left to figure out what to do next. We are too busy to go down there to cut it down. Except for trees that become obviously hazardous, the forest is left to do what is natural for it. The lumber of the fir will eventually decay. Harvest is not practical, particularly for this tree. The upper half split into double trunks which are not as big as the main trunk, so are not worth milling. The lower main trunk fractured on impact. Although there is quite a bit of good lumber remaining, extraction from the canyon would not be feasible. Redwoods and ponderosa pines sometimes get removed for processing if they are accessible. No one shouted “Timber!” for this tree, because no one was there when it fell. It certainly made a big noise though.


  1. What height are the tallest wild Douglas firs, there are trees here; well, in Scotland, that are well over 200ft. The tallest has been claimed as both our, and Europe’s, tallest tree. Coast Redwood doesn’t grow so well here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here, they do not much more than 250 feet tall. They get more than 300 feet tall in the Pacific Northwest. The specimen that fell seemed to be somewhat tall before it fell, but might not have been more than 150 tall. Only those low in the canyons need to get significantly taller. From above, they all seem to be on the same level. From below, those high in the canyons are shorter, and those low in the canyons are taller.


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