Conservationists with the Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) have identified what may very well be Canada’s most impressive tree. This gargantuan redcedar measures over 17 feet (5 metres) wide near its base and 151 feet (46 metres) tall. However, unlike most other trees, its trunk gets wider going upwards, culminating in a sprawling fortress-like crown of wooden spires akin to a massive wooden wall of an ancient castle.
This giant could possibly have the largest or near largest timber volume of any tree in Canada for about the first 50 feet of its trunk – the part you see and experience from the ground. This would make it, experientially, perhaps the most impressive tree in Canada, despite other cedars being taller or ranking higher overall.
It grows in a remote region of Flores Island in Ahousaht territory in Clayoquot Sound, BC, and so far has been referred to as ‘The Wall’, or ‘ʔiiḥaq ḥumiis’, meaning ‘big redcedar’ in the Nuu-chah-nulth language.
AFA photographer & campaigner TJ Watt first located and photographed the tree in 2022 before returning in the spring of 2023 with Tyson Atleo, Hereditary Representative of the Ahousaht Nation and the Natural Climate Solutions Program Director of Nature United, and members of the Maaqutusiis Hahoutlhee Stewardship Society.
Thankfully, the incredible Land Use Vision from the Ahousaht Nation, currently in the late stages of negotiations with the BC government, calls for the protection of 80% of Ahousaht territory, including the ancient forest where this tree is found. This would happen through the creation of new Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) to be legislated as Provincial Conservancies by the province.
The BC government must fully fund and support Indigenous-led old-growth protection initiatives across BC to help safeguard endangered ecosystems.
Take action!! Help us call for conservation funding by sending an instant message to the BC government today.