[Photo of the Octopus trees]

Octopus Trees

"Octopus Trees" were Sitka spruce that grew up on fallen logs.  Sitka spruce logs rot quickly in the cool, damp, coastal environment.  The rotting logs hold ample moisture and nutrients, and spruce seedling can establish here in the absence of competition from mature trees.  In this way, Sitka spruce is able to complete its life cycle within an intact mature forest.  Forests of this kind are termed old growth.

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Photo by Jim Popenoe