Conservationists with the Ancient Forest Alliance have located, climbed, and measured the largest spruce tree in the Carmanah Valley. The record-sized tree — whose mammoth trunk forks into multiple stems reminiscent of the multi-headed hydra of Greek mythology — grows protected within the Carmanah-Walbran Provincial Park in Ditidaht territory on Vancouver Island.

The tree was identified by AFA’s TJ Watt and Ian Thomas while exploring the Carmanah Valley in the spring of 2022 and climbed later in the fall with the help of professional arborists with Bartlett Tree Experts. The images are being released for the first time today to celebrate Earth Week. See an incredible video of the climb here.

The monumental spruce measures 12.9 ft (3.89 m) wide near its base, 233 ft (71 m) tall, and has an average crown spread of 72 ft (22 m). This makes it the largest tree in the Carmanah Valley overall (despite the famed Carmanah Giant being taller) and the fourth-largest spruce tree on record in BC, according to the BC Big Tree Registry.

This climbing project was part of Watt’s work as a National Geographic Explorer with support from the Trebek Initiative. We extend our greatest thanks to the team at Bartlett Tree Experts as well for donating their skills and expertise to make this climb possible.

See our media release for the full story, and send a message calling for the protection of old-growth forests.