Heritage trees

Heritage trees

Province’s heritage trees worth protecting

B.C.'s trees are at risk of being cut down for development.

British Columbia has long been renowned for the quality and size of its trees, and the Lower Mainland once had some of the greatest.

The tallest conifer ever measured by a B.C. forester was a 1,100-year-old Douglas fir felled in 1881 near Hall’s Prairie in South Surrey; its fallen trunk was 109.1 metres long and the stump was 3.5 metres across.

Although the early days of logging soon cleared most of the upland forests, an old-growth stump at Surrey Centre, measured in 1947, was three metres in diameter.

Forests grow quickly in our moist, coastal climate, and even as second-growth, the remaining cedars, hemlocks and Douglas firs are magnificent trees, enormously tall by global standards. They will need to be allowed to grow for a few hundred years more to approach the maturity and richness of the forest they replaced.

Some beautiful trees can still be found locally, although many are still cut down to make way for developments.

Summer is a good time to explore our cool, dark forests, and thanks to the efforts of early conservationists, many local parks have magnificent trees, including Elgin, Tynehead, Redwood, Sunnyside Acres and Green Timbers Park and Urban Forest.

Efforts were made to protect Green Timbers as early as 1860, yet despite the fame of its giant trees and their attraction to tourists, the last virgin stand of timber was felled by 1930.

How short-sighted that was!

The park was replanted with native conifers and the work of restoration continues today with the work of the Green Timbers Heritage Society.

Besides native conifers, Surrey and White Rock have a rich selection of heritage trees from around the world. A heritage tree can be defined as one that is old, large and/or has important cultural significance.

Redwood Park has the largest stand of giant sequoias north of the international border, as well as English walnut, sweet chestnut, English oak, golden elm and other unusual trees planted by the Brown Brothers from 1893 onwards.

Darts Hill Garden  is a designated Heritage Tree Site with fine specimens of many interesting trees, including Antarctic beech, bigleaf magnolia and white mulberry.

A great source of information on local heritage trees is Our Sylvan Heritage – A Guide to the Magnificent Trees of the South Fraser by Susan Murray (no relation). Susan is a third-generation horticulturist and founder of the Fraser Valley Heritage Tree Society.

Anne Murray, the author of two nature books available in local book stores, writes monthly in the Peace Arch News – www.natureguidesbc.com

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

One of the Choices Lottery grand prize packages includes a home located at 16730 19 Ave., Surrey. (Contributed photo)
Two South Surrey homes featured in Choices Lottery

Tickets on sale now for BC Children’s Hospital lottery

Sources team members (left to right) Carrie Belanger, Abby Gemino, Tatiana Belyaeva, Yasmin de Joya-Pagal cheer during the 2020 Coldest Night of the Year event. This year’s event will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Sources photo)
White Rock’s Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser goes virtual

Annual walk raises funds for variety of Sources programs and services

An Amica White Rock resident receives the COVID-19 vaccine during a Jan. 15, 2021 clinic. (Tracy Holmes photo)
PHOTOS: South Surrey seniors grateful for ‘freedom’ of COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination clinics at Fraser Health long-term and assisted-living sites were to wrap up Jan. 15

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a Surrey high-intensity rehabilitation unit, Laurel Place. On Dec. 22, 2020, Fraser Health said four patients and two staff members have tested positive for the virus. (Image: Google Street View)
Fraser Health says COVID-19 outbreak over at Laurel Place in Surrey

Health authority declared outbreak over Jan. 16

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Scott Ackles

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

sdf
Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Most Read