It is possible that the tallest tree of the world up to the end of the 19th century was coast Douglas fir – in 1897 there was cut reportedly 142 m tall fir in Loup’s Ranch, Washington state (4). Nowadays the tallest known coast Douglas fir is Doerner Fir in Oregon, 99.76 m tall. The age of this tree is approximately 450 – 500 years.
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This giant tree was discovered in 1989 by Hank Wiliams and first measured two years later. It has been measured several times with slightly different results from 99.4 to 100.3 m. The result which exceeded the 100 m mark, was measured when the tree was a bit taller and its top was still there.
One of the more recent measurements was done in 2008 by three climbers (Brian French, Will Koomjian, Sean O’Connor) from Ascending the Giants of Portland – they climbed the tree up to the top and measured it with tape – it was 99.7 m tall. In 2011 there was made one more measurement – the result was 99.75 m (3). The tree stands on a slope and there has been calculated the average level at its base.
The upper 15 m of this giant tree are almost dead. Due to this Doerner Fir step by step decreases in height, but it is expected that the circumference and volume of timber will gradually increase.
In the tree have been spotted clouded salamanders (Aneides ferreus) – rare amphibians which seem to be living in trees.
Initially the tree was named Brummit Fir – after the stream near it. Later though it got the name of Ray Doerner, Douglas County Commissioner.
Bureau of Land Management has arranged a special Doerner Fir Trail, leading through a primeval forest (called also cathedral forests) of Oregon’s Coast Ranges.
There is a probability that in remote valleys of Oregon might be found a taller coast Douglas fir.
As the top of Doerner Fir is dying away, it is highly possible that there is a new height champion in the species. In 2021 Michael Taylor and Steve Sillett reported a find of 99.5 m tall coast Douglas fir in Olympic National Park (5). This new find has a healthy top and very well might exceed the 100 m mark one day!
- Terry Richard, Doerner Fir rises 327 feet into the Coos County heavens, March 27 2010, accessed on December 18, 2010
- Brummit Fir, Ascending Giants, accessed on December 18 2010. Images of the climb in 2008!
- Doerner Fir | Tallest Douglas Fir, Coast Redwood Adventures, accessed on December 23 2016.
- rephaim23, Tallest Douglas Fir in America. Posted on November 12, 2012. Accessed on December 26 2016.
- Tressa Gibbard, Michael Taylor & Steve Sillett Discover World’s 10 Tallest Douglas-firs, The Sugar Pine Foundation. Accessed on June 26 2022.
Doerner Fir is included in the following articles:
The most impressive wonders in Oregon are canyons and gorges, waterfalls, giant trees, and coastal formations.
The United States of America is one of the largest countries in the world and offers a wide array of diverse attractions: many are unsurpassed in the world. Highlights of the United States are cliffs, canyons, and rock formations, several impressive downtowns of cities with numerous skyscrapers as well as a rich array of geothermal features, and the giant forest of California.
The category includes some of the most impressive and interesting separate trees in the world. The total number of tree species in the world still is a wild guess – maybe 10,000 and maybe 100,000 but most likely somewhere in between. Every month there are reported new tree species from the whole world, including Western Europe.
Portrays the anatomy and growth of the redwood, describes the plants and animals that share its habitat and looks at the history of redwood logging.
Coast Redwood is the first contemporary illustrated book to focus exclusively on the natural and cultural history of the world’s tallest tree. This handsome volume, updated and revised in 2011, contains 230 color images and 100 black and white historic photos and describes the origins, distribution, life history, ecology, and wildlife associated with coast redwood.