11/18/2012

Devonian Park Ancient Douglas-fir

A gentle trail leads to this fine specimen in Devonian Regional Park, Metchosin

Devonian Regional Park in Metchosin contains one tree in particular that makes me think of the primordial forest. Standing next to its wrinkly girth my mind is spring-boarded into the past.

During the Devonian period (417-354 million years ago), the North American and European land masses were situated at the equator. It is fitting that during the 'age of fish' that these land areas were mostly covered in a shallow sea.

However, by the end of the Devonian, the land was populated by ferns, horsetails, and the first seed plants appeared which produced the first trees and forests. In 2005 the world's oldest known tree species was identified as Wattieza

Gilboa, New York has the distinction of having fossils that represent the world's earliest forest. It was the "Devonian Explosion" and trees began to dominate the landscape.


The trail continues to a cobble beach on Parry Bay

Devonian Regional Park is a nature sanctuary situated in an area that eventually became covered in one of the planet's greatest forests.

While the tree featured in this post may 'only' be 500 - 800 years old, it is a link to the beginning of the Pacific Coastal Forest which started 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age.

Looking even further back, the forest in Devonian Park is the result of millions of years of evolution linking it to the Devonian Period and the initial colonization of the land by plants.

Visit and feel millions of years of nature's tinkering evidenced in every fern, horsetail, seed plant, and tree. 

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