Boise Relics, Curiosities, and Collections

World's Largest Ponderosa Pine Trunk - A Major Woody

For those of you out there who just love a good piece of wood, I have an item for you. Tucked snugly in the heart of Kathryn Albertson Park is a cross section of what is purported to be the largest ponderosa pine tree known to man. And even though it's not redwood-sized, it's still some major wood; to that I can attest.

According to people who know how to count tree rings, the tree in question germinated from a seed before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth Rock in 1620, which means it was around 376 years old when it met its end by chainsaw sometime in the late 1980s. It was donated by a dude from Donnelly named Frank Edwards, so we can assume it was taken from the Payette or Boise National Forest. Although the loss of such a grand tree is indeed sad, take heart that all the spotted owls, squirrels, bluebirds, and insects were safely evacuated from the tree before it was felled, just like all logging operations. At least that's what the timber people say, and they seem like honest folks.

The stump is laid on its side so you can get an idea of the diameter of the tree, which is 9 feet and 4 inches. There are numbered markers at certain points of the cross section that indicate how large the tree was when certain historical events occurred in America and Idaho.

You can try to count the rings in the wood yourself, but exposure to the elements and the resulting wear and tear on the wood makes it a tad difficult. Big cracks in the wood have been filled in with some type of solid material supported by nails, and while it's not necessarily pretty, it has succeeded in postponing the inevitable.

This woody attraction isn't necessarily a destination in itself, but if you're in Kathryn Albertson Park you have to stop and take a gander. It's in the Rookery section of the park, which features a cool reservable shelter. The tree is also a great photo op for the whole family. If you can't make it to redwood country in Northern California, it's the best tree-related family photos you're likely to get.

Relic, Curiosity, or Collection: World's Largest Ponderosa Pine Trunk
Where: On Display in the Rookery area of Ann Morrison Park

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Hours: Dawn to dusk, year round
Cost: Free
Website: None
Fun fact: 98% of Americans love large phallic-shaped items.