Tree on Wash. coast likely Japanese tsunami debris

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Wood samples taken from a tree that washed up along Long Beach, Washington indicate it is likely a Japanese black pine.

Researchers theorize the tree was uprooted in the 2011 tsunami and then floated across the Pacific Ocean.

"It's a pretty special log," said Russ Lewis of Long Beach. "If this tree could talk, it sure could tell a story."

The beach clean-up volunteer found the 20-foot long section of tree, covered with mussels and barnacles, in late December 2014.

"This came in with a lot of long-range debris," Lewis said.

Related: Watch for Japanese transponders on Oregon Coast

Researchers with the Japanese Tsunami and Marine Debris group took samples of the tree. The Oregon State University wood lab tested the samples and determined it was likely a Japanese Black Pine.

"The black pine is a good candidate, as it is a 'shore' pine, living along the Japanese coast, much like our shore pine, pinus contorta," said marine biologist Nancy Treneman of the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology and Southwestern Oregon Community College.

More: Tsunami debris FAQs

Simulated map of tsunami debris


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