Iconic Dinosaur Tree Moved To High School

The dinosaur tree that formerly sat in front of the old Columbia Bank building has found a permanent home. Woodburn High School teacher Dave Ellingson took possession of the tree, which had community members worried it was going to be thrown away, and planted it in front of the high school, visible from either direction of Highway 214.

“Somebody from the community called the school and I got the message that ODOT was going to possess the bank property and they weren’t sure what was going to happen to the tree,” Elllingson said. “Some community members were concerned it would be thrown away, and I didn’t want to see that happen. It’s really kind of a City icon.”

Through phone calls Ellingson got a hold of Jay Johnson of K&E Excavating, who is the contractor for the Interchange Project, and Johnson said they would dig it up for the school if they could get a trailer. A few days later it was at the high school.

Ellingson said he was contacted because of the connection with paleo digs his classes do each year. Just below where the dinosaur sits now is where prehistoric bones have been dug up by Ellingson’s classes over the years.

“We do a lot of prehistoric digs and stuff in that location, so they thought this was a good spot for it,” Ellingson said. “My hope is to make it a little more attractive, maybe put a bench and some bark around it. I’m open to suggestions (from the community) on how to make it look nice.”

The move was not without a small complication, however. The dinosaur’s tail broke off in the move.

“It won’t be too big of a deal,” Ellingson said. “It will grow back in a few years.”

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