Pacific Forestry Centre grounds and greenhouse keeper Erich Moerman stands with a freshly planted 14-year-old Douglas fir

A tree grows in Saanich

Pacific Forestry Centre opens its doors during National Tree Day; new walking trail opened to public use

Erich Moerman loves his trees.

So when the grounds and greenhouse keeper planted a 14-year-old Douglas fir on Wednesday at the Pacific Forestry Centre, he was beaming.

“It should reach about 90 feet tall, not that we’ll ever be around to see it,” Moerman said on Wednesday during celebrations for National Tree Day at the centre on Burnside Road West.

The Douglas fir isn’t just any tree: it’s one of seven saplings Moerman has nurtured from seeds he ordered from U.K.-based Chiltern Seeds the same year he started working at the centre.

The bluish tint to the tree is part of Chiltern’s selective breeding process, he said.

“This little fella’s the only one left of seven that I started at home. It’s been in a pot all its life and it’s survived despite being subjected to draught, being blown over by wind (it spent quite a few years in a blustery Metchosin yard), and yet it planted with healthy roots,” Moerman said proudly.

(Photo inset: University of Victoria biology co-up student and insectary assistant Eleanor Stewart displays a variety of insects harmful to trees at the Pacific Forestry Centre. The centre, which monitors such insects year-round as part of its mandate, hosted an open house Wednesday to celebrate National Tree Day.)

The Douglas fir’s namesake is commonly mistaken as being connected to James Douglas, but it was first officially identified by visiting Scottish botanist David Douglas in 1824. He included the common Western species with hundreds of species he took back to the United Kingdom.

On Wednesday, the Pacific Forestry Centre relaunched the property’s David Douglas Trail, which was built in 1999. Employees led participants on guilded nature walks through the trail.

“The trail winds through all 18 acres and the Colquitz River, and the public are welcome to use it,” said Brad Stennes, director policy, planning and operations at the centre. “We hope more will now that we’ve cleaned it up.”

The trail is now outfitted with “stations” along the route, with each including signage that detail the area’s ecosystem and trees, Stennes added.

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Playful pooches take over Bullen Park for free event Saturday, Sunday

Ninth annual Pet-A-Palooza featured a mud run, weiner dog races, puppy stampede and more

Victoria’s Other Secret not so secret anymore

How six Mount Doug teachers turned a lunch jam into $11,000 raised for charity

PHOTOS: Inside the opening of the expanded Westhills Stadium

The grand opening of the expanded stadium in Langford is on schedule for Aug. 24

Take your opportunity to sing at the Royal Theatre

Great Canadian Sing debuts Sept. 8 with inspirational music, talented performers, singalong format

Award-nominated Snotty Nose Rez Kids headline Indigifest 2019 coming to Victoria

Scheduled for Aug. 24, the event is a showcase of Indigenous musicians from around B.C.

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Most Read