The world’s smallest park has, once again, lost its only tree.
A stump is all that remains in Portland’s 2-foot-wide Mill Ends Park. On Thursday afternoon, holiday tourists, many of whom had put the pint-sized park on their things-to-see list, settled instead for selfies with a barren concrete planter.
Mill Ends, deemed the world’s smallest park by Guinness World Records, drew national attention six years ago when someone swiped the park’s lone sapling — only to drop it back off a few days later. The Douglas Fir was later replanted in Mount Tabor Park.
The same will not be said for the 2019 sapling, whose roots have been left in the concrete bed in the median of downtown’s SW Naito Parkway.
How long the stump has been there — and who sawed it — remains a mystery. The parks bureau’s spokesperson was on Christmas vacation Thursday and unavailable to answer questions. KOIN last documented the sapling, decked out in garland and ornaments, on Dec. 16.
When OPB stopped by the parks bureau — a few blocks from the felled tree — to find out more, head of customer services Shawn Rogers said he did not know what happened to the tree.
Rogers said in his 20 years on the job it was much more common for passersby to drop things off at the park than remove them. Within the park’s 452 square inches, the bureau has discovered a miniature carousel, a diving board for butterflies — and the occasional Christmas tree.
On Thursday, some visitors speculated it might have been the park’s turn to provide the tree.
“It looks like it’s fresh cut,” said Sandy Christoforou, who had traveled from New York for the holidays to visit family in Eugene, Oregon.
His daughter Angela agreed.
“Somebody, somewhere has a beautiful little Christmas tree.”