7/01/2011

Beacon Hill Park Black Cottonwood Grove

Large buttressed trunk of an old Black cottonwood in Beacon Hill Park
There is a Black cottonwood (Populus balsamifera trichocarpa) grove in Beacon Hill Park that drew me in during a walk through the park this spring. The fragrance was strong even hundreds of meters away. Entranced, I followed my nose until I stood at the base of some very impressive, old trees that form a beautiful grove.


Some of the larger trees are buttressed at the base forming a broad trunk of deeply furrowed grey bark.


Furrowed, aged trunk




The grove is filled with long grass with wild flowers scattered through it. This area is wetter than others in the park, as the cottonwoods enjoy soils that are occasionally partially waterlogged.











Not only are these these trees large at the base, but they are very tall as well. The large canopies filter the light that reaches the grassy meadow below.


The grove's large trees are tall as well as fat

Another interesting feature is more difficult to see. Way up high in the canopy of one of these giant deciduous trees is an eagle nest. There is no such thing as a small eagle nest.

Eagle nest in one of the grove's cottonwoods, photo by Friends of Beacon Hill Park
Eagles are large birds, and their nests must be large to raise the young. Nests can often weigh over a ton. Such a home requires a large, sturdy tree. The cottonwoods provide such a scaffold for these majestic birds homes.

Wet, grassy area good for the thirsty cottonwoods





Getting There

Beacon Hill Park is conveniently located south of downtown Victoria. The Black cottonwood grove is south of Goodacre Lake along Douglas Street.


View Beacon Hill Park Black Cottonwood Grove in a larger map

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