Thursday 21 November 2019

Southern Vancouver Island Trees

Vancouver Island is home to a number of different eco systems. Some of the most distinctive on Vancouver Island (and the Gulf Islands) are the Garry Oak and Arbutus forests on southern Vancouver Island.

A Garry Oak in Beacon Hill Park, Victoria

Garry Oak eco-systems are becoming quite rare, and are protected in many places on the southern islands. The system likes dry, partially meadowed areas, often along the seashore or on rocky hillsides. There are a few pockets of this eco-system on some of the more northern gulf islands, for example Hornby Island. The southern gulf islands have many of these meadow systems.

Arbutus trees are very common south of Nanaimo but they too have had stress, and in recent years have suffered from diseases that threaten to do serious damage. In smaller quantities arbutus are found in small pockets as far north as along the cliffs of Buttle Lake in Strathcona Park and on some residential properties in Campbell River and Courtenay/Comox.
Garry Oaks and Arbutus sharing space along the Westway walkway in Esquimalt

Both of these trees and their respective eco-systems are part of the magic that is the natural beauty on Vancouver Island.

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