The Oregon Record Hackberry Tree


“Ralph, I think I have identified the Oregon record Hackberry tree. I have found Hackberry trees in the Deschutes River Canyon… they seem to be uncommon in Oregon… I know where some big ones are located… maybe one is a record. Let’s go look.”

“A Hackberry tree was submitted about ten years ago but never verified. It’s in Hells Canyon, on the Oregon side of the Snake River and difficult to reach. The guy that submitted it recently asked again if we had ever confirmed his tree… maybe we can do that. We owe it to him to verify his submission.”

We checked the location on Google Earth, found what we thought was the tree in question and decided the terrain was a little too rugged to hike for a couple of old guys. But another plan occurred to me.

“Ralph, have you ever ridden a jetboat from Hells Canyon Dam to Lewiston, Idaho and returned to the dam? It’s an exciting adventure in terms of whitewater rapids. I know you would enjoy seeing the rock formations. That tree is close to the river… maybe we can encourage the jetboat captain to pull ashore long enough to let us confirm the tree.”

Snake River Rapids
Hell’s Canyon Adventure

Ralph was agreeable to the plan, so, the plan was hatched.

We made reservations with Hells Canyon Adventures and put the plan into motion. The jetboat ride down river was momentous and I thought I spotted the tree up river from Dug Bar. All we needed was some cooperation from the captain and about five minutes on shore.

The captain was amenable. During our layover in Lewiston we coordinated the stop to measure the tree… he remembered the spot I described and he put us ashore within 100 feet of the tree in question. Ralph got the necessary measurements and photos to verify the tree. I love it when a plan comes together.

Record Hackberry TreeOregon’s Record Hackberry Tree… Hell’s Canyon, Snake River Sept 20, 2015


As soon as the submission details were confirmed we sent a congratulatory letter of notification for finding an Oregon record tree.

We got a thank you letter from the guy’s wife with the sad news that he had passed away during the year. Bummer… he waited almost ten years for confirmation but maybe he is smiling up there, knowing his tree finally made the list of big trees.


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