VANCOUVER, Wash. -

One of the oldest and tallest ponderosa pines in the Pacific Northwest has died with little fanfare after hundreds of years.

The Columbian says the so-called "Big Tree" was a well-known attraction for tourists driving through the Columbia River Gorge.

The 213-foot-tall ponderosa near Trout Lake in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southwest Washington died last year but its demise was not made public.

The Big Tree contained about 22,000 board feet of lumber -- enough wood to frame almost one and a half 2,400-square-foot homes.

No one knows exactly how old it was, but guesses range from 370 years old to more than 500 years old.

Experts say the tree was already in its twilight years when an attack by Western pine beetle finally finished it off.