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Doerner Fir tucked deep in Coos County forest is world's tallest non-redwood tree

By Terry Richard

The Doerner Fir will take your breath away three times: while you drive the maze of logging roads it takes to get there, as you hike the trail that gets little attention from the BLM and when you see the giant tree.The Doerner Fir is the tallest non-redwood tree on the planet, though an Australian eucalyptus is about the same height. This coastal Douglas fir is 327 feet, three inches tall. It grows in a remnant old-growth stand on the east side of Coos County in land managed by the Coos Bay BLM.

The majority of Oregon's big trees were cut down during logging's heyday (others burned in fires), but not all of them. The Doerner Fir was discovered in 1989 and measured two years later, so it's not a stretch to imagine that other very tall trees can still be found. Protected from logging by a BLM designation, the fir is likely between 450 to 500 years old. With a diameter of 11.5 feet, the Doerner Fir is not close to being the largest known Douglas fir when measured by wood volume. That would be the Red Creek Tree of British Columbia, which has a 16.5-foot diameter but is "only" 232 feet tall.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015