Back Print

Mr. Answer Person: A really big tree grows in Decorah!

Posted: Sun, Oct 1, 2017 4:17 PM
(Photo by's Sara Peterson)

Ben e-mails Mr. Answer Person: "I noticed on the Iowa DNR's official list of largest trees in Iowa that the largest listing for the European Larch (Larix decidua) is located in Decorah.  That is all the information given, and I was just wondering if you know the location and if there is any information on its history?"

Mr. Answer Person says, "The European Larch is one of four trees in Winneshiek County that have been placed on the Iowa DNR's list of largest trees in Iowa--although it's the only tree in Decorah.

The tree can be found at 409 East Main Street, in the side yard along William Street.  The Iowa DNR estimates it is 88 feet tall.

Midge Kjome from the Decorah Genealogy Association says, "This tree was planted in 1875 by Knudt Thompson on his property on East Main Street...He was a Norwegian by birth and planted the tree as a memorial to his homeland."

Other notable trees in Winneshiek County include a 72 foot tall Norway Spruce in the Washington Prairie Lutheran Church Cemetery; a 61 foot tall Paper Birch in Castalia and a 64 foot tall Peachleaf Willow near the county border with Allamakee County.