Our monumental Douglas fir trees in Shoreline

Monday, June 21, 2021

Photo by Melody Fosmore
By Melody Fosmore, Barbara Johnstone

The Douglas fir tree is an evergreen conifer that has grown throughout Western Washington for centuries.

The Coast Douglas fir is the second tallest conifer in the world growing up to 275’ or more in height with a diameter up to 16 feet. 

The tree bark of a 100-year-old Douglas fir is so thick it can withstand fire and beetle infestation allowing a longer life. 

Douglas fir forests are home to the Northern spotted owl and Marbled Murrelet among other birds and squirrels. 

And, importantly, in terms of climate change, these trees gain their stride around age 70 as a natural carbon sink.

When we cut down our native tall trees we also lose this valuable carbon reduction benefit, adding to global warming.

Here in Shoreline, we have one of the nation's top Coast Douglas fir trees. 

Photo by Melody Fosmore
To see this tree, park off NW 175th street along the north side of Boeing Creek Park. Walk SW to Hidden Lake Trail. Descend the staircase underneath the giant Douglas firs. 

Pass a 7’ wide 200’ tall leaning fir. Another tall fir stands just north, tucked away from view along a brook that feeds into the creek. Look straight and see the largest tree in the park. 

After crossing Boeing Creek on your way west to Hidden Lake look back for a stupendous view of the three big firs in their entirety, best viewed in fall and winter.

This Coast Douglas fir tree has unknown girth and height, however it is believed the tree germinated and planted around the year 1571 (give or take 100 years) which means it is about 450 years. 

A point of reference is a 250’ tree is half of the height of the Space Needle!

In pondering life expectancies, while an individual human life is 80 years, a Douglas fir tree’s life expectancy can be 500 years. 

We are called to speak for these magnificent trees – to keep them with us for as long as possible so each generation can enjoy their magnificence.

For more information about our Shoreline Trees preservation and care please visit SaveShorelineTrees.com or email saveshorelinetrees@gmail.com


Xtal June 21, 2021 at 8:21 PM  

Traversed hidden lk trail many times as a kid growing up in Shoreline 1980's era.❤❤❤

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