10/17/2015

Sooke River Bridge Candelabra Tree Now Gone

When some trees lose their tops they will grow multiple stems in a candelabra effect.

A reader of Vancouver Island Big Trees sent me an email recently. It reminded me of all the big trees that have been (and will be) sentenced to death for the crime of being in the way of progress.

Unless you live on the prairies, any kind of new development means trees and forests need to be cleared out of the way.

Ever since Europeans arrived in this part of the world "progress" has the ring of axes, chainsaws, and big trees hitting the dirt.

One such example was when the Sooke River Bridge was replaced in 1967. An interesting tree, it looks like it had been pruned or lost its top. The candelabra that results can be seen in a variety of tree species.

The email I received contained the short message that follows, and the photo shown above.

"Your pencil sketch of the Sooke River Bridge on your Vancouver Island Big Trees blog reminded me of a unique tree that was removed to make way for the building of that bridge. 
The bridge was built around 1965 to replace a wooden one that was a few feet downstream. The tree was on the east bank of the river, right in the way of  the project, and had to go. 
I don't know who owned the house in the photo but I suspect the tree artist lived there. Or maybe BC Hydro was responsible! 
Not sure what species of tree it was, maybe a true fir (Abies) of some kind. Photo taken by me in December, 1964."


Thank you, Art, for sharing your historical big tree photo with us.

2 comments:

  1. Neat tree. I would say Abies grandis because I often see this perfectly upright reiterations on the species, and the bark seems a little too grey for Abies amabilis. Almost certainly an Abies, though (mainly based on the foliage). Abies grandis are probably more common in Sooke (south end of Van Island) right at sea-level, but somebody familiar with Sooke's forests would know better than me.

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  2. That's a magnificent tree, thanks for sharing some of the history!

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