Hundreds gather to hug trees at Hoyt Arboretum

Attendees wrap their arms around some bark. <br><font size="1">Photo: <a href="">Lucia DeLisa</a></font>
Attendees wrap their arms around some bark.
Photo: Lucia DeLisa

How does it feel to hug a tree for one full minute?

“It feels bumpy. Because it’s a tree,” said 7-year-old Liam, who was out with his sister and mom along with hundreds of others at the Hoyt Arboretum Saturday.

In total, 599 tree-huggers braved temperatures in the ’90s in an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the most people simultaneously hugging trees. Last year, Portland set the record with more than 900 tree-huggers, so we didn’t raise the bar this year. But that doesn’t mean folks didn’t have a blast.

World record tree climb
A new world record was set for the most people—24 trained arborists organized by Ascending the Giants— ascending a tree at once.
Photo: Lucia DeLisa

“It’s not about the record at this point,” organizer Damon Schrosk of Treecology told the Oregonian. “It’s about people having a good time and learning about the nonprofit groups we have here.”

Those groups included Hoyt Arboretum Friends, Treecology, Portland Parks and Recreation Urban Forestry division, Friends of Trees and Ascending the Giants.

One record may have been set Saturday. Ascending the Giants organized 24 trained arborists to climb and hug one tree all at once, which, if verified, would set a new Guinness World Record.

Thanks to everyone who came out, and we’ll see you for next year’s hug!

See KOIN News 6 coverage of the event.

Below is a slideshow, courtesy of Lucia DeLisa: