We had some nasty spring storms last week on Vancouver Island and around Vancouver generally. Winds were reported at around 145 klicks (that’s around 90mph for you folks in Yanquistan) and a lot of trees fell. Power outages hit a lot of people including us.
One of the casualties locally was this huge Douglas Fir in the Little Qualicum River Falls provincial park. Just a couple of days before we had walked past it and admired the sheer scale of the monster. Yesterday we walked the park again and almost literally stumbled over it strewn across the path. It’s quite weird to find something like that because it simply doesn’t fit with what you expect to see. The path was simply covered with trunk disappearing into the distance and I kept trying to see where my route went.
One of the first things I noticed was the way the impact had shattered the main trunk
I peered into the cracks and the grain seemed incredibly tight. It feels just wrong that such beautiful wood should be left to rot away. I know it is part of the normal cycle of the forest but I’d prefer to see all that carbon remain sequestered for a couple of hundred years in a piece of furniture. Part of the problem in this area is that the soil is incredibly shallow and very rocky. It’s only a few thousand years since the glaciers retreated and on these mountain slopes there simply hasn’t been much soil created. Combine poor soil depth, rocks and insects with a tall tree and you get this
I estimate that this 150ft tall tree with a roughly 4ft diameter base had less than 1ft diameter equivalent of root holding it down. Or up.
So, when this tree fell in forest with no man there to hear it, was he still wrong?