This map is interactive - click on the tree icons and get more information about specific sequoias. View a larger version of the map here: "Giant Sequoias In Victoria".
The same mild climate that grows the fattest, tallest native trees in Canada, also nurtures some amazing exotic trees on south Vancouver Island. A case in point are the Giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum), many of which were transported here as seedlings over 100 years ago by settlers from California.
So loved were these California native trees that many made the journey north, and many were successfully planted. In just over a century some of these seedlings have reached, well, giant proportions.
The tallest and widest trees in Victoria are both sequoias which is not surprising considering this tree species is the largest in the world. Also not surprising is the fact that people are still loving these trees after 150 years of occupying their new home.
They are among the most photographed single trees in the area. My post on The Giant Sequoias Of Beacon Hill Park is the most viewed of all time on this blog. They are unique in this region and are far from their traditional range, making them of special interest.
|The native range of the Giant sequoia is very restricted,|
but they do grow successfully in Victoria, BC.
Giant sequoia occurs naturally only in California in a narrow band of mixed conifer forest, between 5,000-8,000 ft. elevation on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada. Climatically, the Giant sequoia prefers the "Cool Summer Mediterranean" (Csb) climate.
|Giant sequoia in its natural California Sierra Nevada range.|
Victoria has a Mediterranean climate, and although we are north of their northern limits, the sequoias have done well here.
|This Giant sequoia at the residential intersection of Moss and Richardson is the|
tallest sequoia in the Victoria area at about 50 meters tall.
I am in the process of mapping the sequoias in the Victoria area that I am familiar with from wandering about town. Many I have found simply by driving around and looking for the tallest trees on the horizon, then navigating to their base for photos. But there are always more trees to be found.
Lately I have been cruising around town using Google Maps instead of my truck to see if I can find more of these big trees. I figure that Google has the cash - let them pay for the gas. I can also get reasonable photos by taking screenshots while on Street View.
|A large sequoia on Douglas Street across from Beacon Hill Park.|
Using the above map one could set up a walking, cycling, rolling, or driving tour of interesting sequoias in the downtown area.
Not downtown? Chances are there is a Giant sequoia in a neighbourhood near you. Check the map.
|This beauty is at the intersection of Jutland and Burnside Rds - I added it to the map|
after a reader mentioned it in a comment below.
There is even a small sequoia down the street from where I live in Sooke. It is a mere baby only a few decades old and stands at a tiny 10m (30ft) in height. Eventually it could outlive civilization, and end up the tallest, fattest tree in the new coastal wilderness.
It is a treat to get a feel for the mighty California sequoia forests right here on the south island. If you can't make the 15 hour drive to the Sierra Nevada, this is the next best thing.
Do you know of a Victoria area sequoia that you don't see on the map? Please leave a comment below, like Bernard did, and describe the location of any notable sequoia that you know of. I would like to continue including new trees in this mapping project, and your participation can go a long way to filling in much needed information.
Thank you. Now go enjoy the trees, even if it is on Street View on the map above.