Nature Photo Challenge #12: Trees

Another week, another photo challenge from Denzil. This time, it’s big life forms, i.e. trees.

Vancouver Island is famous for its coniferous rainforests (what’s left of them), but all three of these trees are deciduous types. The oak and maple are native to the region; I’m not sure about the birch. The first photo was taken in spring, the other two in autumn.

An ancient Garry Oak (Quercus garryana) at the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve
Top of birch tree in back garden with a few remaining leaves
A birch tree at the back of my garden
Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) at McKenzie Bight yellow leaves fall 2021
Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) on the McKenzie Bight trail near Victoria, BC


  1. Beautiful photographs, Audrey. How can you not love trees?! We may only have lived for eighteen months in Toronto, but we travelled many thousands of miles during that time as my husband loves driving. We were amazed by the sheer volume of trees we passed as the wheels turned…A further trip to Vancouver and Vancouver Island, left us in awe!

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        1. It’s probably over 100 years old. The house next to us was built in 1914. There were two birches taller and older than ours in front of it until one was blown down a few years ago and the other was also removed at the time. Ours is about 80 feet tall so would cause damage if it fell!

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              1. It is impressive. Norway maples (Acer platanoides) are large deciduous trees with aggressive root systems. They are an invasive alien species all over North America. As trees, they are attractive enough, but the shade they cast and those roots make them inappropriate for a small garden. And I have three of them at my place, plus a huge specimen on the property next door. That’s why I don’t have a vegetable garden and struggle to grow a lot of common perennials.
                Sorry for running on; I have too much to say about Norway maples! 🙂

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              2. lmao – go right ahead! I assume it’s not easy to get rid of them once they’re established?
                We have clay soil so bought corrugated iron ‘raised beds’ in which to grow our veggies. They have been so productive we have more produce than we know what to do with. Freezer is groaning from all the passata!

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              3. What do the corrugated iron things look like? Are they sort of like giant pots? Here raised beds are made with wooden boards held together at the corners. They don’t have bottoms, so would be invaded by tree roots in short order.

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  2. I don’t know if birches are native either, Audrey. I associate them with drier pine forests and high elevations. If they are, I’d love to plant some. We have a lot of alders, which are white-ish in color, but they don’t have those beautiful quaking leaves.

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    1. They look a lot like the oaks I see in photos of the English countryside. I think they reminded the people who colonized this area in the 1800s of home. Too bad they introduced invasive species and didn’t recognize that one reason the garry oak meadows looked the way they did was because they were managed by the indigenous peoples using fire and other techniques. Plants such as camas were a valuable food source for those folks, for example.


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