One tree, the Red Creek Fir is the world's largest Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), measuring 43.7 ft (14) in circumference with a height of 242 ft.! Estimated at between 700-1000 years old, it is the only tree in the world besides coast redwoods and giant sequoias to be 7 feet thick 144 ft off the ground!
Another tree, an ancient Western Redcedar (Thuja plicata) known as The Avatar Tree, "Canada's gnarliest tree" has massive burl 12ft in diameter. Another gnarly tree worth seeing is in a nearby grove. (below)
Tragically, people are not connecting our everyday modern consumptive lifestyle with the true cost we are paying for our wood and paper products: habitat destruction and fragmentation, soil erosion, hydrologic disruption, water siltation, wildfire hazards, and extermination of thousands of forest and riparian plant, animal and fungi species. Clear-cutted forests are notorious for not being able to recover to their original structure and composition. This all equals what I call the "uglification" and death of life. We must change our modern value system and our forestry practices worldwide to be more regeneratively focused on the integrity of ecological systems.
Serendipitously, both the AFA and TreeGirl was interviewed by the Vancouver Island newspaper, the Times–Colonist that day. Read it here: http://www.timescolonist.com/the-naked-tree-hugger-makes-her-way-to-port-renfrew-1.105165
Alas, a scarcity of time combined with the abundance rain of the Pacific Northwest coast kept us away from taking the 4 wheel drive excursion and hike to find the monumental Red Creek Fir. I am anxious for my next visit, perhaps when it is a little warmer!
Note: If you plan on taking the journey to the Sooke – Port Renfrew area, also well known for it's tide pool biodiversity, whale watching, fishing, kayaking and coastal hiking, I highly recommend staying at the beautiful The Soule Creek Lodge in Port Renfrew. www.soulecreeklodge.com (photo by T.J. Watts).
These towns have been working successfully at changing the economies of their region from logging to sustainable tourism, and the Soule Creek Lodge and AFA's education and activism about these giant trees is helping. You can support the trees by supporting their tourism industry.