The Carmanah Giant

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The "giant" in 1993
Park sign, 2009
The Sitka spruce group known as the Three Sisters

The Carmanah Giant , a Sitka spruce ( Picea sitchensis ), was named the tallest tree in Canada in 2011 , and a 1997 University of British Columbia publication named it the tallest Sitka spruce in the world.

The Sitka spruce is found on Vancouver Island , about 20 km north of Port Renfrew in the southwestern part of the Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park . It is over 96 m high and has a circumference of more than 9.5 m at chest height. However, the altitude information mentioned again and again comes from the year 1989. Their age is estimated at 700 to 1000 years, but comparable specimens indicate significantly faster growth in this region with favorable growth conditions, and thus a lower age. Sitka spruces only grow near the coast - hardly any are more than 80 km away from the Pacific - and rarely at higher than 30 m above sea level. For the ditidaht , on whose traditional territory the tree giant stands, the trees have a considerable cultural meaning.

To public unrest occurred in 1988, when lumberjacks "accidentally" in the field of large and thus particularly profitable trees clearcuts conducted. Two years later, the area was placed under the name Carmanah / Walbran and made a provincial park. The trigger was the discovery of the giant tree by Randy Stoltmann in 1988. The park name therefore goes back to the tree name. The part of the name 'Carmanah' goes back to the most important stream in the park, whose name is rendered in the language of the Ditidaht as "canoe landing in front", which in turn meant a (former) village at the mouth of the river, 'Walbran 'goes back to John Thomas Walbran , a Canadian hydrologist and author of an etymological book on the Canadian west coast. The park facility was made possible by campaigns against large-scale felling of trees (logging), so-called anti-logging campaigns , during which protesters chained themselves to the threatened trees, as in the Carmanah Valley north of Port Renfrew. In 1990, the province compensated British Columbia the timber company MacMillan Bloedel with 83.75 million dollars for the end of logging in an area from the same year the Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park emerged. Similar protests took place at Tofino , which was about to be felled in Clayoquot Sound , an argument known in Canada as War in the Woods . In the course of this, 800 arrests were made. In 1995 the sound was placed under protection. It has been a biosphere reserve since 2000 . The activist for the protection of giant trees Al Carder (* 1910 - † 2014) received an award from the Ancient Forest Alliance at the age of 104 .

Port Renfrew, which has been dependent on logging for decades, has been calling itself "Canada's Tall Tree Capital" since the late 1990s, to which the Carmanah Giant made a significant contribution. The site presents a map of the largest trees in the area, next to the Carmanah Giant the San Juan Spruce , which is also claimed to be Canada's tallest Sitka spruce, as well as the Red Creek Fir , or the world's tallest Douglas fir at 74 m 66 m tall Douglas fir Big Lonely Doug . Tourism enabled a quick economic recovery of the place. In May 2012, the BC Chamber of Commerce , which represents 36,000 companies in the province, called for the remaining old trees to be protected (old growth) in order to make greater use of the tourist resource. The Ancient Forest Alliance began in February 2012, the protection of a 40 ha large Old Growth Management Area through, known as Avatar Grove . Since then, wooden path constructions have been built to reduce the impact of thousands of tourists visiting. The logging in the neighboring regions continued, however. There are two hiking routes. The northern route reaches the park boundary after 7.5 km and extends beyond it, while the southern route was closed after 2.6 km for safety reasons, but also to protect the sensitive environment. However, this closed path has since blocked the way to the Carmanah Giant, which is another 7 km further south. There is also no longer any connection to the West Coast Trail .

Web links


  1. ^ The Carmanah Giant , Vancouver Island Big Trees, October 19, 2011.
  2. N. Merle Peterson, Patrick Martin: Ecology and Management of Sitka Spruce. Emphasizing its Natural Range in British Columbia , University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver 1997, p. 243.
  3. EB Person, N. Merle Peterson, GF Weetman, Patrick Martin: Ecology and Management of Sitka Spruce. Emphasizing Its Natural Range in British Columbia , UBC Press, 1997, pp. 35-37.
  4. ^ Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park , BC Parks.
  5. ^ Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park ,
  6. Jan Peterson: Port Alberni. More Than Just a Mill Town , Heritage House Publishing, 2014, p. 240.
  7. Obituary. January 16, 2015, accessed December 30, 2018 .
  8. Pedro Arrais: Our Community: A love of big trees rewarded , in: Times Colonist , December 6, 2014.
  9. The San Juan Spruce: Canada's Largest Sitka Spruce , Vancouver Island Big Trees, October 17, 2010.
  10. ^ Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park ,
  11. Tim Leadem: Hiking the West Coast of Vancouver Iceland. An Updated and Comprehensive Trail Guide , Greystone Books, Vancouver 2015, p. 87.

Coordinates: 48 ° 36'56 "  N , 124 ° 43'5"  W.