Jul
13
2012

Big trees by the numbers

Trees of Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island is home to some of the largest trees on the planet. From the well-known towering giants of Cathedral Grove to those newly discovered near Port Renfrew, ancient forests have been wowing visitors to Canada’s West Coast for centuries.   

1778

The year Captain James Cook set foot on Vancouver Island. Even then, the Red Creek Fir, the world’s largest Coast Douglas fir near Port Renfrew, would have been an 800-year-old sentinel.

2009

The year Ancient Forest Alliance photographer T.J. Watt discovered a rare stand of ancient red cedars just outside Port Renfrew. In a clever marketing move, the group dubbed the trees “Avatar Grove” after the popular movie, helping spark a big tree tourism boom in the former logging town.

333

The number of cubic metres of wood in the San Juan Spruce, Canada’s largest spruce, near Port Renfrew. That’s like rolling 333 telephone poles into one tree.

3,671 mm

The amount of rain that falls annually in Port Renfrew, more than twice what Vancouver gets in a year.

96 metres

The height of the tallest tree in Canada, the Carmanah Giant, located in Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park. The giant is as tall as London’s Big Ben.

12,000

The number of protesters who blocked logging in Clayoquot Sound in the summer of 1993, the largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history. Meares Island, the site of Canada’s first logging blockade, now draws upward of 5,000 visitors a year to its Big Tree Trail, accessible via a 10-minute water taxi ride from Tofino.

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