8/04/2013

Mapping The Giant Sequoias Of Victoria, BC


This map is interactive - click on the tree icons and get more information about specific sequoias. View a larger version of the map here: "Giant Sequoias In Victoria".


The same mild climate that grows the fattest, tallest native trees in Canada, also nurtures some amazing exotic trees on south Vancouver Island. A case in point are the Giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum), many of which were transported here as seedlings over 100 years ago by settlers from California.

So loved were these California native trees that many made the journey north, and many were successfully planted. In just over a century some of these seedlings have reached, well, giant proportions.

The tallest and widest trees in Victoria are both sequoias which is not surprising considering this tree species is the largest in the world. Also not surprising is the fact that people are still loving these trees after 150 years of occupying their new home.

They are among the most photographed single trees in the area. My post on The Giant Sequoias Of Beacon Hill Park is the most viewed of all time on this blog. They are unique in this region and are far from their traditional range, making them of special interest.

The native range of the Giant sequoia is very restricted,
but they do grow successfully in Victoria, BC.

Giant sequoia occurs naturally only in California in a narrow band of mixed conifer forest, between 5,000-8,000 ft. elevation on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada. Climatically, the Giant sequoia prefers the "Cool Summer Mediterranean" (Csb) climate.

Giant sequoia in its natural California Sierra Nevada range.


Victoria has a Mediterranean climate, and although we are north of their northern limits, the sequoias have done well here.



This Giant sequoia at the residential intersection of Moss and Richardson is the
tallest sequoia in the Victoria area at about 50 meters tall.

I am in the process of mapping the sequoias in the Victoria area that I am familiar with from wandering about town. Many I have found simply by driving around and looking for the tallest trees on the horizon, then navigating to their base for photos. But there are always more trees to be found.

Lately I have been cruising around town using Google Maps instead of my truck to see if I can find more of these big trees. I figure that Google has the cash - let them pay for the gas. I can also get reasonable photos by taking screenshots while on Street View.


A large sequoia on Douglas Street across from Beacon Hill Park.


Using the above map one could set up a walking, cycling, rolling, or driving tour of interesting sequoias in the downtown area.

Not downtown? Chances are there is a Giant sequoia in a neighbourhood near you. Check the map.

This beauty is at the intersection of Jutland and Burnside Rds - I added it to the map
after a reader mentioned it in a comment below.

There is even a small sequoia down the street from where I live in Sooke. It is a mere baby only a few decades old and stands at a tiny 10m (30ft) in height. Eventually it could outlive civilization, and end up the tallest, fattest tree in the new coastal wilderness.

It is a treat to get a feel for the mighty California sequoia forests right here on the south island. If you can't make the 15 hour drive to the Sierra Nevada, this is the next best thing.

Do you know of a Victoria area sequoia that you don't see on the map? Please leave a comment below, like Bernard did, and describe the location of any notable sequoia that you know of. I would like to continue including new trees in this mapping project, and your participation can go a long way to filling in much needed information.

Thank you. Now go enjoy the trees, even if it is on Street View on the map above.

20 comments:

  1. The corner of Burnside and Jutland/Finlayson has a very tall one that is light with Xmas lights each year

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bernard, Thank you for commenting and reminding me of this tree. I will add it to the map.

      Cheers

      Delete
    2. Hey Greg, how about those beauties on the East side of St. Charles
      between Rockland and Fort St.

      Delete
  2. Hi Greg. Thanks for posting this. A couple of years ago I started to count the Sequoia's in and around Victoria, thinking there were only a handful. I stopped after seeing more and more of them all over and lost count. There are several along Beach Drive near the Oak Bay Marina, a few near Arbutus Road, and up at UVic. There are a few in Esquimalt as well; a grove along Wilkinson Road, a few in the Colwood area, and even a few up near Sidney. In town there a bunch of robust beauties on Rockland you're missing from your map; a weak one on the corner of Hillside and Blanshard, and one in front of the Central Park field on Quadra - to name a few. I'd be happy to help map some of these out with you if you're interested.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hugh,

      Looking for Sequoia's on the south island is a fun pastime - they are hidden everywhere. There was even one smaller one that I found on Kaltasin Road in Sooke.

      I am very interested in having you help out with mapping more of these beautiful trees in the area. I think I can make the map public so you can add trees. I will check it out.

      Thank you, and please do contact me so we can work this out.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous17/2/15

    There is a Sequoia near the northeast corner of Hillside and Blanchard. It isn't in great condition, many of the upper branches are dead but the bottom is very lush.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous13/4/15

    Robin Hood Motel right in the parking lot.. and across the street from us in the gorge apts. The motel one is gigantic and old. the gorge apt one is less tall but still pretty!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous27/5/15

    There are two across from Cordova Bay United Church.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous14/11/15

    I'm pretty sure the big red-wood looking trees on the grounds of Government House are sequoias? Anyone know for sure?

    ReplyDelete
  7. There's a Sequoia in Butchart Gardens near the Japanese section, by the fountain with the 3 fish sculpture, possibly 2 trees, but one for sure, I have many pictures of it. I wish we had more around here, I will plant some on my 5 acres near the ocean north of Bellingham, WA, if can find seedlings. Avenue of the Giants is the most awesome drive I can think of. R.L. Hamm

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  8. This is to bring to your attention the intent of City of Saanich to cut down several trees along Wilkinson Road to make way for the changes needed for the bridge over Colquitz Creek, and the widening for the bike lane and sidewalks.

    The City feels a need to make a circuitous route from Quick's Bottom round to Mann (which further circuit is already in place). Nature-lovers who wish to do this route, it needs to be thought, will find themselves walking beside a busy (15,000 cars per day, City counted) polluted street; will they want to do that? Will they be happy to see the Sequoias sacrificed for that purpose, or do they value those trees?

    It will mean that 2 grand Sequoia trees will be cut down. Are you aware of all this?
    Are you in agreement that these beauties will be gone forever? Is the sacrifice worth it? Can an alternate plan be found to save the trees?
    The trees in question are on Wilkinson, by Miller Avenue, and the one on the corner of Mann Avenue. They don't look as good as once before, but are approximately 100 years old, have survived much in that time, and are good at recovering. The City claims to have 'unbiased' arborists who say “the trees are in decline” and falling branches will be a hazard to pedestrians. Have you ever seen (or ask long-time residents) any branches that have fallen from those 2 trees? Cones, yes. Branches from other trees, yes. Not the Sequoias, right? Even thru the harsh wind storms we experienced recently, no branches. They are tough, resilient trees, bringing pleasure to this neighbourhood, and the 15,000 plus travellers along this road daily

    The City has put up yellow 8 1/2 X 11 signs, dated January 8th, giving neighbours “10 days” to respond to or ask the City questions. Please note: the signs were not put up til January 13th, morning, thereby cutting the time in half. There are now only 4 days left to speak.

    There is a romantic history to the Sequoia tree by Miller Ave: Mr Layritz took his young bride to California for their honeymoon. He brought back a seedling Sequoia, planting it for his bride -same tree 100 years hence. I love that tree, do you? It is magnificent and a joy to behold every day, not to mention the birds loving it, and the enhancement to the neighbourhood. Aren't the trees one of the things that brighten up your journeys along that busy road? Too, the Layritz's planted many trees in this area, especially the Sequoias.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Please support the effort to save the Wilkinson sequoias and maples! posted here Jan. 19, 2016


    https://www.facebook.com/Save-The-Wilkinson-Trees-161023800934731/timeline

    ReplyDelete
  10. There is a magnificent Sequoia on Humboldt Street at Vancouver Street.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Are there any in the Royal Roads/Esquimalt Lagoon area?
    I saw an unusual tree at the new PacificLanding.ca development near Pendray House on the Esquimalt Lagoon.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Please consider your map of trees in the Fort st Rockland area not complete.There are two large trees here and the property has just been sold. A unit for selling real estate has just been dropped there.let's not let these be cut down as the one at Fairfield and Foul Bay was a year or so
    Address: 1201 Fort St, Victoria, BC V8V 4R2
    John

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  13. Anonymous4/10/16

    Royal Roads University has big ones.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous9/1/17

    There's a Giant Sequoia at the foot of a garden on Cadboro Bay Road, just on the North corner of Gyro Park. The property is awaiting development so the tree might be lost soon.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Good stuff, thanks. Shame the images aren't very sharp, though.

    ReplyDelete
  16. There are majestic sequoias in James Bay in the park at the corner of Menzies and Michigan.

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  17. There are three sequoia on Madrona Drive in Deep Cove, North Saanich, in my back yard. One is very large, and the other two a bit smaller. Beautiful trees.

    ReplyDelete

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