A big Douglas fir tree undercut by flood waters the day before it topples into the Englishman River.

River claims ‘matriarch’ estimated to be 200 years old in Parksville

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, says Parksville resident on loss of Douglas fir

  • Dec. 31, 2015 5:00 a.m.

A Parksville man is highlighting the power and devastation of erosion through the death of a “200-year-old matriarch.”

High-water events in early December on the Englishman River helped bring down one of the few remaining old-growth Douglas fir trees in the upper reaches of the estuary, said Rory Glennie.

“This magnificent tree was once living well back in the forest, firmly rooted in the rich alluvial soil of the river-bottom land,” Glennie wrote to The NEWS. “Over time and successive riverbank eroding floods, the forest giant crept ever closer to the stream bed, or more accurately, the stream bed came closer to it.”

The tree had a diameter of more than five feet at its butt and is estimated to be 200 years old. Glennie said it came down in the early hours of Dec. 8 during a flood backed up by a high tide.

Glennie also said this isn’t necessarily bad news.

“If it stays lodged there it will help create good fish habitat and will contribute to the overall wellbeing of the river,” he wrote. “And it may help reduce further localized stream bank erosion.”

“Over time many other lesser trees have succumbed to the ravages of flood waters in this area and have ultimately been washed away to the ocean. Perhaps this big one is heavy enough to withstand future high waters and will be there for us and the fish to appreciate for some time to come.”

A trail leads right to the tree through the Nature Trust of B.C. estuary park land at the end of Shelly Road.

NEWS Staff/Submitted by Rory Glennie

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach volunteer Mark Watson honoured for 30 years of service at fire hall

‘He has such a good spirit in everything that he does’

MLAs say Parksville will better prepared for flooding emergencies

RDN receives $150K in funding for Englishman River Flood Hazard Mapping project

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Minivan driver’s speed a factor in fatal 2018 Malahat crash

Driver was travelling at 110 km/h in a construction zone

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Most Read