Summer Street Closed by Giant Oregon White Oak

  • Intersection From D Street
  • Vacant Lot Where Tree Stood
  • Stump Snapped Like Pretzel
  • Limbs Collapsed on Impact
  • Summer Blocked Curb to Curb
  • Looking North at Cleanup
  • Salem City Arborist Limbing Tree
  • State Archives Building Sign



  • Not since December of 1995 has NE Salem lost such a large tree to storm damage. This tree, estimated by the Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to be approximately 300 years old, was a native Oregon White Oak located just southwest of the intersection of Summer Street & D Street NE.

    A week of intermittent heavy rains water-logged the earth and a gust of wind took the tree down at approximately 8:30 AM on Sunday, March 9, 2003. The report came in from a driver who was said to have seen the tree fall while he was looking in his rear view mirror. A second, smaller oak remained standing but was severely damaged when the giant fell and struck it on the way down.

    There appeared to be no property damage as the trees & flying limbs missed intersection street lights, parking meters & a fire hydrant. There were no parked cars and automobile traffic was not involved, apparently due to good fortune and the timing, early Sunday morning.

    View this series of photos to see how the giant oak tumbled across Summer Street from curb to curb. Photos were shot from a variety of angles. These are high resolution photos, each about 150k in size. The white marble State of Oregon Archives Building can be seen in some of the shots. The houses seen boarded-up are among those the State has purchased and are being moved to clear ground for Capitol Mall expansion. A State worker in blaze orange is seen "limbing" the monstrous oak as the clearing project begins.

  • See a Super Size View (268k) of the downed tree.

  • Report & Photographs by Jon Hazen




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