The Pender Islands Big Tree Blitz

A successful day of big tree hunting.

On August 13th, Raincoast hosted the third Pender Islands Big Tree Blitz since 2019 in partnership with the Pender Islands Conservancy with the aim of bringing community members together to find, measure, and register as many big trees as possible in one afternoon. 

On August 13th, a small but intrepid group of big tree hunters gathered at Woodpecker Forest, a privately-owned property on North Pender Island recently protected by a conservation covenant by Peter Pare and Lisa Baile. Participants were enthusiastic and dedicated to our cause–even a disrupted wasp nest could not stop us! We measured four species, one cedar, one big leaf maple, three Douglas-fir, and an arbutus, registering six trees in total. A standard practice for the Pender Islands Big Tree Registry is to assign a name to registered trees, and each tree measured during the blitz was named for one of the volunteers present. The largest tree of the day, by both height and diameter at breast (DBH) height, now known as “Chris”, is a coastal Douglas-fir with a DBH of 147.5cm and height of 49.1m. The afternoon ended with some awesome prizes (thanks to Patagonia, Ecologyst, Munro’s Books, Hoyne Brewery, and SunBum) and refreshments at Peter and Lisa’s. Thank you again to Peter and Lisa for hosting us!

7 people stand on a paved road with tall trees on both sides.
Photo by Shauna Doll / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

It was inspiring to witness the spontaneous, makeshift community that formed in the forest. It reminds us how powerful small movements like this can be. An event does not have to be big or wide reaching to be integrative and transformative. Thank you big tree hunters for your commitment and enthusiasm.

Person standing at the base of a tall tree.
Photo by Shauna Doll / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

We encourage you to continue to look for big trees on Pender Islands and nominate them to the Registry. Any nominations can be submitted by email to bigtree [at] raincoast [dot] org. If you’d like to keep up with Raincoast and any future Big Tree events, please sign up for our newsletter here

We hope to see you in the forest soon!

You can help

Raincoast’s in-house scientists, collaborating graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and professors make us unique among conservation groups. We work with First Nations, academic institutions, government, and other NGOs to build support and inform decisions that protect aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and the wildlife that depend on them. We conduct ethically applied, process-oriented, and hypothesis-driven research that has immediate and relevant utility for conservation deliberations and the collective body of scientific knowledge.

We investigate to understand coastal species and processes. We inform by bringing science to decision-makers and communities. We inspire action to protect wildlife and wildlife habitats.

Coastal wolf with a salmon in its month.
Photo by Dene Rossouw.