12/31/2013

Phillips Road Big Trees, Sooke

The tiny vehicle gives scale to this tall line of trees marching down Phillips Rd in Sooke.
The column consists of older Douglas fir and Sitka spruce.

Only eight years ago when I first moved to Sooke, upper Phillips Road (which runs along the west side of the Sooke River) was still like an entrance to the old forest. Here were some of the largest trees remaining within the municipal boundary.

At that time two massive Douglas fir elders stood on either side of the road creating a narrow bottle neck that I knew would need to go some day when development came farther up the road.

The centuries old trees were so close on either side of the pavement that they had large scars on their bark from multiple contacts with vehicles trying to squeeze through.

There has been development in this area since the earliest days of European settlement, but it was mostly limited to small farms along the Sooke River.


I was happy when these trees were spared during roadway upgrading in this developing area.
The empty field in the foreground is now a thriving community garden.
Now the Sunriver neighbourhood has added hundreds of new homes and the treescape has been dramatically and permanently altered. Eventually the two large trees guarding the entrance to the old forest on upper Phillips Rd. became impediments to development, and were taken down. The stumps were pulled and an upgraded roadway was put in.

Other spectacular trees survived the on-going transformation of this part of Sooke, including the tall row of trees across Phillips Rd. from the community garden. There are others to be found here and there along the Sooke River that runs along the eastern edge of this new neighbourhood.

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