Free to good home: 1 huge piece of driftwood

  • Fri Aug 29th, 2014 8:05pm
  • News

By Rikki King Herald Writer

EVERETT — Three miles from the mouth of the Snohomish River, debris washes up from time to time at Dagmars Marina in Everett.

A few months ago, high tides brought in a striking piece of driftwood — a tree stump and root system, about 12 feet wide and 9 feet around.

It’s also free to a good home.

The stump showed up in the boat ramp area near the front office, where the water depth ranges from shallow to deep, depending on the tides, said Kernan “Kerney” Manley, the manager at Dagmars, a 35-acre marina and moorage lot.

“We didn’t know what to do with it,” he said.

The crews moved the stump with an 80,000-pound forklift, the same piece of machinery they use for yachts. They set the stump out by the freeway, where it has become a bit of a curiosity for commuters on southbound I-5.

They figured it might make someone a nice yard decoration, said Manley, who has worked there for nearly 36 years.

At first, they watched the stump teeter, then added small pallets in places to keep it stable.

The “For Sale” sign was added this week, but that’s just to catch someone’s attention.

“I was hoping somebody would think, ‘Oh, I’ve got to have it,’ ” Manley said.

Stumps, branches and other debris play a key role in the ecosystems of rivers, streams and flood plains, said Bob Bilby, chief environmental scientist for the Weyerhaeuser Company and a University of Washington affiliate professor of environmental and forest sciences.

“It’s incredibly important,” he said.

In small streams, stumps and logs help shape the morphology of stream channels — where water pools and forms deep habitats for fish.

Wood also fixes gravel in place, which salmon use for spawning. It also catches pine needles and leaves that feed the insects that feed the fish.

The marina’s location at the nexus of the river and the freeway does attract the occasional oddity.

About a decade ago, a construction company that specialized in moving and demolishing buildings stored a two-story house near where the stump is now.

Traffic slowed as drivers stopped to look at the house, Manley said.

“People got mad about that,” he said. “We got phone calls for three days.”

A lot washes up from the river. They’ve seen tires and dead animals, including a llama once, Manley said.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

It can be yours

Anyone interested in owning the stump should call 425-259-6124.