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Octopus Tree
featured waymark
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Bandmaster
N 45° 29.052 W 123° 58.368
10T E 423977 N 5037201
Quick Description: The Octopus Tree (which the Indians revered and called The CouncilTree) is more than 60 feet at its base. No one can tell its age without counting the rings. Some theorize it could have been a young tree at about the time of Christ.
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 9/5/2007 4:10:03 PM
Waymark Code: WM2527
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Black Dog Trackers
Views: 365

Long Description:
SITKA SPRUCE - (PICEA SITCHENSIS)

There is a legend connected to the Octopus Tree at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint. Tradition handed down by the Indians is that the eerie giant is a burial tree shaped when it was young to hold canoes of a chief's family. Such deeply-rooted lore passed from generation to generation is likely to be founded on truth, and Indian history of the area will corroborate it.

Archaeologists have found evidence that Indians lived along these shores for 3,000 years. The tribes in this area for generations back through the dim past placed their dead in the trees in canoes. But the trees had to be prepared to hold them. Branches of a forest tree normally reach straight upward, toward the light, but those on a burial tree were forced, when pliable, into a horizontal position beyond which they grew upward. Once the pattern was set, the tree might grow to a great size but always kept the shape, as did the Octopus Tree.

Burial trees (the oldest trees) for many years could be spotted here and there in the virgin forest. The Octopus Tree (which the Indians revered and called (The CouncilTree) is more than 60 feet at its base. No one can tell its age without counting the rings. Some theorize it could have been a young tree at about the time of Christ. No matter what the actual age of the tree may be, a visit to the prehistoric tree of mystery is truly an enjoyable visit.

It is interesting that there is a different description carved in wood which contradicts the Indian Folklore version above. (See the photograph I took while there) You then, can decide for yourself which version you think is more accurate.

I found the Octopus Tree to be an easy walk. It is truly a marvel to behold. The trail up to the Octopus Tree is safe, easy, well constructed; just be careful if you plan to explore beyond the tree. I also found a trail that continued on up the hill that led me to some extraordinary vistas; but, be careful. There are no fences to keep you from walking off the edge of the cliff. There was no indication that this trail was closed or off limits.

The Octopus Tree is located just several hundred feet south of the parking lot. The improved trail is wheelchair accessible. There is a restroom at the start of the trail.



Genus/Species: SITKA SPRUCE - (PICEA SITCHENSIS)

Height: 200

Girth: 60

Method of obtaining height: Reliable source

Method of obtaining girth: Reliable source

Location type: Park

Age: 2000

Historical significance:
Archaeologists have found evidence that Indians lived along these shores for 3,000 years. The tribes in this area for generations back through the dim past placed their dead in the trees in canoes. But the trees had to be prepared to hold them. Branches of a forest tree normally reach straight upward, toward the light, but those on a burial tree were forced, when pliable, into a horizontal position beyond which they grew upward. Once the pattern was set, the tree might grow to a great size but always kept the shape, as did the Octopus Tree.


Website reference: [Web Link]

Walk time: 3

Planter: Not listed

Parking coordinates: Not Listed

Photograpy coordinates: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
A closeup picture of your GPS receiver in your hand, with the tree in the background, is required. If the tree is on private property, this closeup photograph with the tree in the background may be taken from the nearest public vantage point without actually going to the tree.
The required photograph does not need to show the entire tree, but the individual tree must be recognizable.
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