List of superlative trees

Inspired by the Wikipedia page of the same name, and Orion Magazine’s wonderful Enumeration series.

  • The young scraggly Japanese maple in front of my house. You have a long way to go, but you already bring life to the street.
  • The bigger, more established one across the street, especially when I’m sitting in the easychair on an October afternoon and my window frames your golden leaves just so.
  • The enormous fir at the corner of the street, so big that you must be the one tree on this block that was kept when the streets were put in. I sometimes wonder if the strange little jog in the street grid was made to put you on the corner.
  • That tall, unkempt apple tree in a friendly stranger’s yard that we picked to stop the fruit from rotting on the ground. You seemed oddly unloved, and yet you gave us as much delicious fruit as we could carry.
  • The incense cedars along Belltown’s 2nd Ave nightlife strip. Your smell is an odd and very welcome reminder of the forest between all the concrete, brick, trash and dog piss.
  • The poor out-of-place palm tree at the Stewart & Denny bus stop, somehow managing to cling on to life.
  • All the five-trunked bigleaf maples that grew back from stumps in Carkeek Park. You remind me that what looks like the end frequently isn’t.
  • Any madrona catching the light of the golden hour on your fresh red bark.
  • The whole gang of conifers that turn Alpental’s “Snake Dance” from merely a steep slope into the most technically demanding ski run I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.
  • And of course, this one: The big tree at the top of the Magnolia Bluffs

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