How Old is that Douglas Fir Tree?

Today Free the Fern member, and UBC student, Damian Assadi, went for a walk with me in neighbouring Champlain Heights Park. This is a park just north of the Champlain Heights Community Centre. It is an oasis of native plants – beds of salal, oregon grape and sword fern – and towering Douglas Fir trees.

Damian wanted to show me how he estimates the age of Douglas Fir Trees. He demonstrated how he uses a tape measure to measure the circumference of the trunk, at approximately 5 feet up from the base. He then used an online calculator that is specific to the growth factor for Douglas Fir trees This can give us an approximate age of the tree.

After measuring, Damian estimated that the three trees he measured in Champlain Heights park range in age from 116-154 years old. Amazing!

I was inspired to return to Doug’s Garden on the Champlain Heights Trail behind Kinross Creek Co-op and measure the largest Douglas Fir tree we have there. It’s circumference was 103 inches and its estimated age was 163 years old! Amazing!! This trail is truly an old, second growth forest worthy of protecting and preserving!

Damian demonstrating how to measure a Douglas Fir Tree in Champlain Heights Park
The estimated 163 year old Douglas Fir tree in Doug’s Garden, Champlain Heights Trail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *