"Big Lonely Doug", Port Renfrew, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, shown being scaled to get an accurate measurement of its height. At 66 metres it's the 2nd tallest Douglas Fir in Canada..... BigTree ID#386
Photo Credit: TJ Watt

Identifying Canada’s biggest trees.

They are often huge. They are always majestic and awe-inspiring. Some have been around for a thousand years or even more.  Now a renewed effort is underway to document these giants.

It’s called the BC Big Tree Registry

Sally Aitken is a professor in the Department of Forest and Conservations Sciences at the University of British Columbia where the registry is now based. She is also the Director of the Centre for Forest Conservation Genetics

Listen
null
University of British Columbia professor Sally Aitken of the Department of Forest and Conservations Sciences at the University of British Columbia. She is also the Director of the Centre for Forest Conservation Genetics © Martin Dee

Canada of course has lots of big trees, really big trees, but the biggest trees in Canada and some of the world’s biggest are found in the west coast province of British Columbia.

It’s believed that it’s due to the generally mild and wet climate. The registry has many huge trees listed at over 40 metres. Even some at 80 and 90 metres.  Big Lonely Doug, a Douglas Fir,  at 66 metres is the second tallest of its species in Canada.

It was taller but when the rest of the forest was clear cut around it,  it was left completely exposed to the elements and a storm has since broken off the main top branch.

null
Sitka Spruce: Port Renfrew, BC… BigTree ID#175 This tree is 82m tall, There is a bigger Sitka Spruce, also on Vancouver Island, tree # 87 which is 96m tall. © TJ Watt

Although the original registry started back in the mid 1980’s counted only the biggest trees, the new version seeks big trees of all of the 50 or so species in the province. Thus a champion of one species might only be 20 metres high, while the champion of another species could be three of four times bigger.

The new big tree registry doesn’t only go strictly by height, rather by a formula counting height, circumference and crown size.

null
Western Redcedar “Cheewhat Giant”, Pacific Rim NP Reserve, BC ..55m tall, 18.29m circumference… BigTree ID# 84 © TJ Watt

Professor Aitken says the big old trees are important contributors to the forest ecosystem, but due to combined plant and animal life in their crowns, each creates its own individual ecosystem.

She says it appears that the mortality rates of old trees are increasing with climate change and that the registry helps us and citizens monitor the health of these giants over time.

Once people know of a registered big tree, they can advise of changes  such as if it blows over, loses its top, or dies. The registry also produces data on the type of ecosystems that these trees are found in, and this information can guide certain research.

The registry seeks to locate these big trees are so we can conserve them, as a biological legacy of the past, as important members of forest ecosystems today, and for future generations.

BC Big Tree Registry

Climbing Big Lonely Doug

Posted in Environment, Science and Technology

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*