Canada's 2nd Biggest Douglas-fir Tree Identified in Recent Clear Cut

Big Lonely Doug, the second largest known Douglas-fir tree in Canada.
Photo by TJ Watt

The second largest known Douglas-fir tree in Canada was recently discovered by big tree defenders on Vancouver Island. Named "Big Lonely Doug" by the Ancient Forest Alliance members that found it, this magnificent tree has been left stranded in the middle of a 2012 clear cut by forest liquidators Teal-Jones.

But don't be distressed by the sad scenes depicted in TJ Watt's amazing photos of this notable tree that had a close brush with death in 2012, or its surroundings. Teal-Jones, the logging company that share the responsibility for this tragic mess with negligent MLAs in the BC Liberal Party, assure us on their website that

"There is virtually no waste in manufacturing wood products".

Thank goodness people like those at Ancient Forest Alliance are out doing the work in the woods to try and stop the waste, not to mention the extinction of the primal forests that remain on Vancouver Island.

If you want to help them help us, please consider donating to this worthy organization of hard-working big tree campaigners.

12 meters (39 feet) in circumference or 4 meters (13 feet) in diameter, and 69 meters(226 feet) tall.
Photo by TJ Watt

The following information is from the AFA Facebook page:

Port Renfrew - Conservationists with the Ancient Forest Alliance have found and measured what appears to be Canada’s second largest recorded Douglas-fir tree, nick-named “Big Lonely Doug”, standing by itself in an area clearcut in 2012. 
Preliminary measurements of the tree taken yesterday found it to be about 12 meters (39 feet) in circumference or 4 meters (13 feet) in diameter, and 69 meters(226 feet) tall. Big Lonely Doug is estimated to be about 1000 years old, judging by nearby 8 feet wide Douglas-fir stumps in the same clearcut with growth rings of 500-600 years. 
Big Lonely Doug’s total size comes in just behind the current champion Douglas-fir, the Red Creek Fir, the world’s largest, which grows just one valley over. 
Big Lonely Doug grows in the Gordon River Valley near the coastal town of Port Renfrew on southern Vancouver Island, known as the “Tall Trees Capital” of Canada. It stands on Crown lands in Tree Farm Licence 46 held by the logging company Teal-Jones, in the unceded traditional territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation band. 
The fact that all of the surrounding old-growth trees have been clearcut around such a globally exceptional tree, putting it at risk of being damaged or blown down by wind storms, underscores the urgency for new provincial laws to protect BC’s largest trees, monumental groves, and endangered old-growth ecosystems. 
The days of colossal trees like these are quickly coming to an end as the timber industry cherry-picks the last unprotected, valley-bottom, lower elevation ancient stands in southern BC where giants like this grow.

It will take a thousand years or more to replace this clear cut old growth forest.
Photo by TJ Watt

Vancouver Observer - Canada's 2nd Largest Douglas-fir Found: "The vast majority of BC's remaining old-growth forests are at higher elevations, on rocky sites, and in bogs where the trees are much smaller and in many cases have low to no commercial value. 
It's the valley-bottom, low elevation stands where trees like the Big Lonely Doug grow that are incredibly scarce now. 99 per cent of the old-growth Douglas-fir trees on BC's coast have already been logged. 
It's time for the BC government to stop being more enthusiastic about big stumps than big trees, and for them to enact forest policies that protect our last endangered ancient forest ecosystems." 

While trees are a renewable resource, with current logging practices and regulations,
 forests older than about 80 years are not. 
Photo by TJ Watt

"...while trees are harvested the effects are only short term as reforestation follows."
- from the Teal-Jones logging company website, that fails to realize that the destruction of thousand year old trees is not a "short term effect".

Witness to the on-going destruction of our ancient forests, with Canada's
 second largest known Douglas-fir in the background. What a magnificent, lonely tree…
Photo by TJ Watt


Beginner Bracket Fungus

I was fascinated by these fungal forms on a recent hike. It looks like the start of bracket fungus.

Yes, the big trees in the rainforest are of truly epic proportions. But just as fascinating are the smaller things that live among (and on) the giants. The varieties of fungal life in the forest provides an example of smaller life forms that make this ecosystem work.

Bracket fungus, or shelf fungus as it is also known, is a common sight in the Pacific rainforest.

Here the smears of fungus are developing the bracket seen in the more mature form.

Bracket fungus can be found on standing and fallen trees. If the tree is not already dead, bracket fungus can get so large as to kill the tree.

I have seen large specimens, but have never noticed small ones, or noticed how they start out.

Several small bracket fungus hiding in the moss growing on a dead red alder.

Fungus and other decomposers are important parts of the nutrient cycle in the rain forest, and act as Nature's recyclers. If they couldn't do their job (as is happening around the Chernobyl NPP), the system would cease to function properly.