Trees That Make You Smile


A smile can brighten anyone’s day. Drivers along an Oregon highway will be soon greeted with a giant smiley face made of trees. This phenomenon happens every fall as the trees’ needles change color and is visible near mile-marker 25, between Grand Ronde and Willamina on Oregon 18.

The face is located on Hampton Lumber timberland. Apparently, the smiley face was designed and planted in 2011 by Hampton Lumber co-owner David Hampton and the company’s then-timberland manager, Dennis Creel.

“After every harvest, our foresters start planning the reforestation process. They typically plant a variety of native species depending on the elevation and soil conditions, including Douglas fir, western hemlock, noble fir and western red cedar,” a spokeperson for the company wrote.

The eyes and mouth were planted using Douglas fir trees but the “yellow” of the face was created by planting larch trees. Larch is a conifer and its needles turn yellow and drop off during the fall. Crews used a rope to plot the circle for the face and triangulated the location for the eyes and mouth.

No worries if you can’t see the grinning face this year. For the next 30 to 50 years, this smily face will make its appearance every fall. Eventually, the trees will be ready to be harvested and processed into lumber at Hampton’s sawmills in Willamina and Tillamook.

A tweet has recently gone viral bringing attention back to this stunning creation that is sure to make everyone smile.


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