The Red Creek Fir, located just 30 minutes from Port Renfrew BC, is truly a feast for a big tree hunters eyes. Growing on a slope alongside the San Juan River Valley, the monolithic column of wood was recognized by early timber cruisers as being of considerably noteworthy size. As it stands, it is the largest known living tree of its kind on earth!
The giant tree has some impressive measurements. It reaches 73.8m (242ft) tall, stretches 13.8m (43'7ft) around, and is 4.4m (14.4ft) across its base. The tree would have stood at least 90m (300ft) tall at one time before its top was blown off due to exposure to strong winds after much of the surrounding forest was logged. Most of its larger branches have suffered the same fate and lie scattered about the ground. Estimates of its age place the tree anywhere from 750 to 1000+ years old.
The BC government has virtually ignored the tree's significance as a world class eco-tourism destination. Recently with the Ancient Forest Alliance I erected a new sign that I made showing the tree's stats to replace the old government made sign which has laid rusted, broken, and ignored at the base of the tree for years. Local tourism operators have also now put up road direction signs leading you to the trail head. GPS co-ordinates for the Red Creek Fir are: lat=48.5790450649, lon=-124.22084
The trail leading up to the famous fir passes at one point a cluster of spectacular old-growth western red cedars. Three of these monsters sit inline with eachother and offer an impressive place to take a break.
The giant burls on the side of this cedar seem straight out of a fairytale fantasy land. Unfortunately, the ones on the lower right have had large chunks cut off of them in the past.
The Red Creek Fir has managed to survive century upon century throughout all conditions but it is still under threat from human activity. Logging company Timber West has recently laid out a cut-block within a few hundred meters of the record sized tree and includes in it some large old-growth cedars. The BC government also deems the site a Forest Recreation Area which actually offers no legislated protection. Finding a cut-block so near the tree also proves its ineffectiveness at protecting this world wonder.
If you feel strongly about this issue, please contact the following people and let them know what you think about a logging cut-block being placed so close by and if you would like to see legislated protection of the tree and surrounding forest buffer zone.
BC Forest Minister Pat Bell: firstname.lastname@example.org