|Stanley Park's National Geographic Tree 30 years before it fell in a 2007 wind storm.|
Photo credit: Jim Wright
Today we are having gale force winds and driving rain on the coast that are making the big trees dance and shake. Such winds can be perilous for large trees, especially if their root area is saturated with rain.
It was the deadly combination of rain-soaked roots and wind that toppled Stanley Park's largest tree back in 2007. Dubbed "The National Geographic Tree" since the magazine visited the city of Vancouver to photograph the monumental Western red-cedar, the death was a blow to park and tree enthusiasts.
|The National Geo Tree had its top missing, probably from a lightening strike|
This magnificent tree was known to be the largest in Stanley Park, and many believed it was the largest in Canada. The cedar may have been the largest, oldest tree in the park, but it was not the largest or oldest in the country.
Let's see how Stanley Park's Nat. Geo Tree matches up to Vancouver Island's Cheewhat Cedar.
|The National Geographic Tree (pre-2007) while it was still standing|
|The Cheewhat Cedar - largest tree in Canada, and estimated to be 3000 years old|
The Cheewhat Cedar on the other hand, is estimated to be about 3000 years old. It is 18.5 meters (61 feet) in circumference, and 192 feet tall, making it the largest tree in Canada.
|National Geographic Tree on the ground after 2007 storm|
In the 1970s photographers from National Geographic Magazine visited the Stanley Park icon for an article. The tree gained its name, and thousands of visitors as a result of the publicity. The tree had been a pilgrimage destination for nature lovers since the 1890s.
|Roots of National Geo Tree|
After the National Geographic Tree fell, it could be seen that the roots and part of the trunk had been infected with rot, a common condition often responsible for weakening trees that eventually fall to the ground.
The fallen Stanley Park monument will be left to rot in place, and still makes for an interesting visit to witness this stage in the life and death of an old growth tree. It could lay on the forest floor for hundreds of years before being entirely incorporated into the soil.
|Stanley Park is in Vancouver, BC|
The now horizontal Nat. Geo Tree can be found near the Hollow Tree. To view it, go to the Hollow Tree parking lot and cross the road to the Third Beach Trail. It is located a short distance down the trail.