101 Things To Do On The Oregon Coast - #16 Octopus Tree
Located in the same area as the Cape Meares Lighthouse, The Octopus Tree is a short walk up from the main parking lot.
This giant old Sitka Spruce did not develop into a massive single trunked tree as most spruce trees do along the Oregon Coast.
The Octopus Tree is a massive Sitka spruce with branches growing like giant tentacles from its 50-foot base. It is situated approximately 600 feet from the scenic viewpoint. The tree’s odd shape, according to local historians and Tillamook tribal descendants, comes not from the ravages of wind, as some have said, but from its function as a ceremonial site, shaped to hold cedar canoes and other ritual objects.
This tree, recognized the tree as one of several "Indian Ceremonial Trees" trained over time, a common practice of the Coast tribes. One of the many sacred evergreens on the North Coast, the Octopus Tree was specially venerated, probably serving as the gathering site for important Tillamook tribal rites.
Typical of such specially chosen trees, the branches of this spruce were forced downward toward a horizontal position when they were still flexible, finally extending about 16 feet from the base. When allowed to resume vertical growth, each branch reached skyward to more than 100 feet, creating the distinctive shape.
Located along the Three Capes Scenic Route, follow directions to the Cape Meares Lighthouse.
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Sandlake Country Inn
Oregon Coast Activity #16, Octopus Tree, From our blog series "101 Things To Do On The Oregon Coast".
Day trips from Sandlake Country Inn