If you’re into genealogy you might have traced your family tree (sorry!) back for a few generations and feel pretty special if you can go back 200 or 300 years. But this human record-keeping pales into insignificance when compared with the legacy of the natural world.
Point in case is an “enormous old-growth cedar tree [has been] identified in Vancouver Island’s Clayoquot Sound, possibly dating back over a millennium. The western redcedar reaches a towering height of 46 metres and stands five metres wide at its base”. Although the Ahousaht Nation has been aware of the tree it has only been revealed more widely through the publication of a photo of the tree by photographer TJ Watt who is with the Ancient Forest Alliance.
“Many comparable old-growth cedars in B.C. are widest at the base, gradually tapering off as they grow larger. Watt was shocked when this tree inverted the structure of comparable trees. ‘The trunk expands ever wider as it goes up into this sprawling, fortress-like canopy,’ he said, going on to describe it as ‘the most impressive tree in Canada given its size.’”
From tiny seedlings poking through the earth in spring to massive trees like this one nature is full of wonder. It is easy to become depressed and despondent in the face of climate change but long-lived trees like this one give us hope. They have persisted while generations of humans have come and gone and you can choose to see that as positive and reassuring news when you come upon yet another news item about the frenetic pace of human-caused climate change.