For the love of trees
After an April 16 dedication of two special trees in Wilsonville's Memorial Park, the state's count of official Heritage Trees stands at 75.
The "cable trees" bear the scars after generations of use to anchor rafts of logs to the banks of the Willamette. For many decades, floating logs tied together in enormous rafts was the principal method of getting the logs to mills for processing and often they had to be "stored" to wait for a market need, or to make way for other rafts.
The Newberg Pool, the mostly placid part of the river from Newberg to the Willamette Falls, was a prime location for these anchored rafts.
Clark Caffall, a second-generation logger and tugboat operator, spoke at the dedication.
"I cut my teeth rafting logs on the Willamette, and we had a storage area right across from what is now Waverley Country Club," he said. "It was an endless amount of work and kept an awful lot of people employed."
"The trees are the connection between the water and the earth and that's very important when you live on a boat," said Joe Bernert, whose family operated a fleet of tugboats on the river during the peak of the log rafting era. "I see those marks on the trees and it reminds me of a time when I was young, when I ran logs doing what my father taught me and his father taught him."
Also at the event, the Oregon Heritage Trees Commission honored two dedicated tree lovers with the Maynard Drawson Memorial Award. Drawson was one of the commission founders.
The award for 2019 was given to twin brothers Darryl and Darvel Lloyd, whose father was a forester, so they were introduced to huge trees as young children. The 76-year-old adventurers still hike and explore forests in pursuit of magnificent trees and document their finds with photos and GPS coordinates.
To see more photos of this event, go online at www.wilsonvillespokesman.com.
— The Spokesman