The Pow-Wow Bigleaf Maple Tree

Gladstone, Oregon

“It’s important to carry on what went before- a living thing that draws everybody together and continues to grow through time.”
- Mel Shultz, Formerly with the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde

This Bigleaf Maple Tree (Acer macrophyllum), estimated to be over 230 years old, is believed to have been a traditional meeting place for the Clackamas Indian people.
For later settlers the tree became the symbol of fun and recreation. The tree marked the entrance to the state and county fairs (which began in the 1860s) and also became the centerpiece of area Bicentennial celebrations in 1976. In January 2002, the maple tree sustained major damage during a violent ice storm. The tree’s trunk split and many of its branches cracked against the weight of the ice. Elaborate riggings were set up to support the weakened limbs and the main trunk was treated for potential decay. Today, at 70 feet, with a trunk circumference of seven feet in diameter, the gnarled Bigleaf Maple not only stands as the last reminder of the native occupation, but it serves as a witness to the major cultural shifts from Native American presence to early settlers, the founding of the City of Gladstone to the rapid development of the 20th century.

Courtesy Clackamas County Planning Department
educational partners
Garden DesignGeorge Eastman House
Additional Sponsors

John A. Brooks, Inc. • The Brown Foundation • Charles Butt • The City of Charleston • Barb & George Cochran • Topher Delaney• Jungle Gardens, Inc. • Magnolia Plantation & Gardens • Marc Dutton Irrigation, Inc. • Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation • L. Cary Saurage II Fund • Jeff & Patsy Tarr • Seibert & Rice