4/05/2009

Urban Big Trees



A bike ride from home into Sooke along highway 14 is not a wilderness experience like biking through the Sooke Hills, but big trees are to be found here, too.

On a recent ride to the library I photographed one of my favorite urban trees. It grows along Anna Maria Road in front of Eagle Eye Outfitters. It is a Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and not in the "huge" category, but for an urban tree it is sizable. Click on the photo to enlarge. The small car parked to the left of the tree provides scale.

A couple more large Douglas fir grow a block away in front of the Evergreen shopping mall, and next to the Loggers Pole. The pole commemorates generations of locals that wrestled similar giants down so that San Fransico could have piers, ships could have masts, and we could have houses and thousands of other products.

"87% of the original productive old-growth forests on southern Vancouver Island, south of Barkley Sound/Alberni Canal, have been logged. ie.13% remains"

(http://www.wcwcvictoria.org/vipetition/)

The 13% that remains is breathing a little easier lately due to economic stagnation, trade disputes, and mismanagement.

"The BC Liberal government says that protecting our ancient forests will cost forestry jobs. Well, all I know is not a single park has been created on Vancouver Island by the BC Liberal government over the past 8 years, yet in that time theyve overseen and facilitated the largest loss of forestry jobs in BCs history – 20,000 BC forestry jobs lost over 2 years," states Ken Wu, Wilderness Committee campaign director in Victoria.

Will this be a short respite from inevitable doom ala Easter Island? Or will we take this opportunity to end the destruction of trees up to 2500 years old that still exist in forests that have existed since the last ice age?

And don't forget the urban trees. Nothing improves our living spaces like trees.


"For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver."

~Martin Luther

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