baumzaehlen - Primeval Forests & Their Trees

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Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada


Opens internal link in current windowPicea sitchensis (Sitka spruce) achieves its best growth on the alluvial sites of river valleys along the Pacific Coast of North America1. The fourth tallest measured specimen - ”Carmanah Giant”, 95.7 metres - is located in Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park (165 km2) on the western side of Vancouver Island2. The trail leading to the Giant is closed and is already lost in the undergrowth but magnificent cathedral-like P. sitchensis groves can be seen along the open trails. The noble trunks are tall, smooth pillars, with dense crowns. Besides P. sitchensis the most important species are Opens internal link in current windowTsuga heterophylla (western hemlock), Opens internal link in current windowAbies amabilis (Pacific silver fir) and Opens internal link in current windowThuja plicata (western redcedar). Tree species diversity is low and most species are easy to identify.


In the west the park adjoins Opens internal link in current windowPacific Rim National Park Reserve. To reach Carmanah Walbran, there is a long drive on gravel roads through huge clearcuts. Camping is allowed only in designated areas and on Carmanah Creek´s exposed gravel bars.




1       Peterson, Peterson, Weetman & Martin (1997): Ecology and Management of Sitka Spruce, Emphasizing Its Natural Range in British Columbia. Univ. of British Columbia Pr.



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Giant Picea sitchensis (Sitka spruce) in the Carmanah Valley, with Abies amabilis (Pacific silver fir, paler bark) and Tsuga heterophylla (western hemlock, left foreground). On forest floor mainly Polystichum munitum (western swordfern). Elev. 140 m.
Picea sitchensis (Sitka spruce).
Carmanah Creek at 130 m. Picea sitchensis (Sitka spruce) and Alnus rubra (red alder, with light green foliage).