Crews cut down Cathedral Park’s famous willow tree

The tree fell onto power lines during a recent windstorm.

Gothic-style arches support a tall bridge above a lush park with a willow tree at the center.

A 2009 plan for improving Cathedral Park proposed removing the willow to “improve the view.”

Photo by @cambrieee_

An iconic willow tree at Cathedral Park is no more. Portland Parks and Recreation said the tree, which stood beneath one of the gothic arches of the St. Johns Bridge, toppled onto nearby power lines during a windstorm last week. The tree reportedly knocked out power for thousands of residents and caught on fire, so it was cut down and removed.

Officials think the tree’s root system was already failing before the storm. The parks department said the city’s policy is to replace a tree whenever one falls, but we don’t yet know if another willow will be planted in this one’s place.

Its graceful boughs are immortalized in countless photos from the weddings, engagements, and other special events held at Cathedral Park over the years. While it may be gone, there are still hundreds of other beautiful trees representing dozens of species to see and appreciate. You can learn more about them by taking a virtual tour created by the Urban Forestry group’s Tree Inventory Project.

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