Tree Identification Log
1. Abies grandis, Grand Fir
The Grand fir is a tall stately tree that can grow up to 80 metres when mature. The leaves are flat with rounded and notched ends and are dark green and grooved on top of two white bands underneath. The seed cones are barrel-shaped and yellowish-green, growing upright on the branches. The bark is a smooth and greyish brown with white spots and blisters filed with gummy resin when young. The bark becomes furrow and scaly with age. The Okanagon people built canoes with grand fir bark and rubbed its pitch on paddles to give them a good finish. They also applied pitch to the back of bows to provide a secure grip. Photo credits to Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park Group
2. Picea glauca, White Spruce
The White Spruce is a large tree with a narrow crown, it can grow to 40 metres tall and 1 metre in diameter when mature. The needles are four-sided, sharp, and stiff, and are arranged spirally on the twigs and are whitish-green and foul smelling when young, they become pleasant smelling with age. Its cones are light brown to purplish and hang from the upper branches. The cone scales have a smooth, rounded outer edge. The bark is loose, scaly, and greyish-brown. Aboriginal people living in the Interior used most parts of the white spruce tree. They made spruce saplings into snowshoe frames and sometimes into bows. They heated the gum to make a glue to fasten skins onto bows and arrowheads onto shafts. They used the decayed wood for tanning hides. Spruce bark was also used to make cooking pots and trays for gathering berries. Photo credits to David Blevins
3. Thuja plicata, Western Red Cedar
Photo credits to Wikipedia
The Western red cedar is a large tree that can grow up to 60 metres tall when mature, with drooping branches; trunk often spreading out widely at the base. Its leaves are scale-like, opposite pairs, in four rows, folded in one pair but not in the other and overlapping like shingles. The cones are egg-shaped, 1 centimetre long, with several pairs of scales. Pollen cones are small and reddish. The bark is grey, stringy, tearing offing off in long strips on mature trees. The wood is naturally durable and light in weight. It is used for house siding and interior paneling as well as outdoor furniture, decking and fencing. Because of its resistance to decay and insect damage, the wood of large, fallen trees remains sound for over 100 years. Even after 100 years, the wood can be salvaged and cut into shakes for roofs.
4. Gaultheria shallon, Salal
Photo credits to Mike Giffords
Salal can be upright or ground crawling, and grows from 0.2 to 5 metres in height. Salal can be sparse or form a dense barrier almost impossible to penetrate. Salal spreads by suckering layer upon layer and is probably the most dominant shrub in the British Columbia coastal forest area. Its shiny dark green and leathery leaves are spoon shaped and pointed, about 2 to 4 inches long. Its pinkish or white flowers are bell shaped hanging like necklace beads along the end of the twigs and all face downwards. They have black, reddish-blue or dark purple berries about 6-10 mm long that are somewhat hairy.
5. Polystichum munitum, Sword Fern
Photo credits to Paul Noll
Sword ferns form in massive clumps and in the back, spores will be released when the temperature is hot enough, allowing for the prime opportunity to reproduce. The sword fern is found in shaded locations ranging from east through the rocky mountains, Alaska, and California. This fern is quite long living, and is not easily damaged by deer. Natives have used these fronds as bedding, and the rhizome was eaten in emergency situations. A quick way to determine if the plant is poisonous or dangerous is by looking at the vine. If the vine is red, there is quite a high chance that the plant is poisonous.
6. Picea sitchensis, Sitka Spruce
Photo Credit to the Government of British Columbia
The Sitka Spruce is a large...
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