A walk through Pier Park …
A walk through Pier Park is a walk among the trees. Upon entering the park from any direction you are greeted by trees. At first glimpse, all you may see are the fir trees that dominate the landscape, but a closer look reveals the graceful boughs of the Western Red Cedars, the peeling bark of the Madrones, and leaves larger than your hand with changing seasonal hues of the Big Leaf Maple. In fact, at least 20 tree species are woven throughout the park including katsura, pine, elm, oak and cottonwood.
Pier Park also boasts one of the largest Sequoia Groves in a city park anywhere with 29 Sequoias. Looking toward the far northern side of the park you will see the Sequoia’s giant spires. These trees were planted about 60 years ago on a quiet knoll in the park. Since the giant Sequoia has an average life-span of about 2000 years in their natural habitat, our Sequoias are still in their infancy even though their circumference ranges from 14′ to 22′.
Take a moment to look up and you may discover a hawk or a pair of bald eagles soaring above you or perched high on a bough. Listen to the layers of bird songs carried by a breeze as you follow along the large network of trails winding through the park under the canopy of trees. Springtime brings the blossoms of rhododendrons, viburnum , Indian plum and flowering trees. The fall color of the katsuras and maples glow in the autumn sun. On a hot summer day take respite in the cool shade or enjoy a picnic with family and friends. When you visit Pier Park, you will see why this park is truly one of Portland’s urban forest treasures.
Links to Pier Park Trees and Shrubs – photos and descriptions
Big Leaf Maple – Acer macrophyllum
Dogwood tree – Cornus Kousa
Douglas Fir – Pseudotsuga menziesii
Katsura tree – Cercidiphyllum japonicum
Mock Orange shrub – Philadelphus lewisii
Giant Sequoia – Sequoiadendron giganteum
Pacific Madrona – Arbutus menziesii
Tulip tree – Liriodendron tulipifera
Viburnum – “Pink Dawn” viburnum x bodnantense
Vine Maple – Acer circinatum
Western Red Cedar – Thuja plicata
In early Spring of 2013, a group of folks concerned about the impact of the Chimney/Pier Bridge on the Sequoia grove asked an arborist, Terrence Flanagan, to walk through the grove and issue a report about potential impacts. A PDF of the report is linked below.