Saturday, 7 April 2018

G is for (Canadian) Garry Oaks ...




Garry Oaks were here before the Europeans settled and are therefore a special species ... being the only native oak tree in western Canada (they also occur south of the border).


Gnarly Garry Oak


Nicholas Garry who was deputy governor of the Hudson's Bay Company from 1822 to 1835 was the inspiration for their name.






Garry Oaks in flowering meadow
c/o Garry oak, Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve, BC
(Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

They have a striking, gnarly shape with unique adaptions to the Mediterranean-like climate found in the rain-shadow of Vancouver Island, Coastal and Olympic (USA) mountains ... they have become emblematic of the ecosystems in which they are found.




Fresh Garry Oak leaves

These ecosystems have a rich mosaic of plant, animal and insect life ... and highlight changes that occur in our natural surroundings.





Cattle Point, Oak Bay - an early
settlement ... on the southern tip
of Vancouver Island


The Garry Oak ecosystem is therefore an essential to our understanding of our environment and are protected under a By-Law as they are a rare and declining habitat.





That is G for the gnarly Garry Oak ... from Aspects by a British 'girl' in Canada ...

More information can be found here Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT)

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

45 comments:

Leslie Moon said...

I love how an oak tree can be tall and stately or gnarled and stout (or somewhere in-between.)
Another awesome and informative post.

Cheers

Lenny Lee said...

those trees must be really old. neat that guy had them named after him. nice legacy. for sure it would be cool to discover something and have it named after you.

i like gnarly trees. gives them lots of character. oaks are good for climbing. the branches aren't spaced too far apart, they're the right size for holing onto and have good footing.

thanks for teaching me more about your new (temporary) home

Elephant's Child said...

Fascinating. This tree-hugger is very glad to her of a species which is new to her, and even happier to learn they are protected.

quietspirit said...

Hilary: This is interesting to me. When our son lived in Kansas, on our first visit, we noticed what we called "scrub 'oaks.'" We thought the wind blowing across the plains did this. I find it amazing what God can do.

Jz said...

I've seen those trees but hadn't realized they were oaks! (Clearly, my view was from inside the car - if I'd been close enough to see the leaves, the cat would have been out of the bag!)

Botanist said...

I love Garry Oaks. There's quite a few of them up in Dean Park, near where I live. Lovely walks there in the summer sun.

Bob Scotney said...

Oaks are among my favourite trees - yours match me, an old and gnarly man.

sage said...

Western oaks are not nearly as majestic as eastern ones, but they are still nice to see. They kind of look like Gamble Oaks that are in the inner-mountain region of the West.

Jo said...

Interesting that they only occur in Western Canada/US. What a pity they are declining. So many things are due to our neglect and overuse of land and sea.

Chatty Crone said...

Beautiful tree - I did not know any tree was named after a person. Interesting.

Emily Bloomquist said...

That is a fine looking gnarly Gerry Oak tree, Hilary. I love how it goes every which way. I would have never guessed it was an oak from a distance. Hopefully they make a full comeback from their protected status. We humans sure do mess with other living things' ability to live and reproduce as they have for many, many years.

Emily In Ecuador

Shirley Corder said...

Hillary, I seem to have missed your posts for a while. So glad to spot your blog link on another A to Z post! I love your tree pictures. Stunning. Genetics - a Death Sentence, or a Wake-up Call?

Sarah Zama said...

These trees look so beautiful. I'll admit I have an inclination for gnarly trees ;-)

keithsramblings.net said...

Trees with character! They deserve to be protected.

My Friend Rosey - G is for Grannie

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Gorgeous Garrys! Not the same might stature of their British cousins - yet with all the same gravitas and importance! YAM xx

Joanne said...

Pretty tree. Oaks are so impressive....gnarly or not

Sue Bursztynski said...

Goodness, you really are learning a lot about your new country! And I have to admit, I've never heard of Garry Oaks. I wonder what the indigenous folk called them?

Aussie Childsen's writers; G is for Gleitzman and Griffiths

https://suebursztynski.blogspot.com.au/2018/04/a-to-z-blogging-challenge-2018-g-is-for.html

Kim Blades said...

Hi Hilary. What an interesting tree. I love trees and the fact that they are an ecosystem, and a vital one at that, all on their own. Kim

Lynda Dietz said...

I love trees that are interestingly shaped. These Garry Oaks have a lot of character!

Liza said...

Gnarly is surely the right word for these trees. We have lots of oaks here, but the tall, straight, million-brown-leaves-in-Autumn kinds. By the shore, they get a bit more gnarly...

Deborah Weber said...

These amazing trees make my heart happy in all their wild angular growings. I'm so glad they're protected and hope they once again flourish.

Elsie Amata said...

Two G's! Gnarly and Gary! So...I feel like I've seen these in NY. I may be wrong but they look way too familiar. Perhaps upstate? I'm not sure but I feel like I've seen them in their natural setting. They also have the same growth pattern as some pecan trees I've seen...but I could be wrong here. I'm no tree expert. Either way, I love their shape. It's a perfect climbing tree!

Elsie

Jacqui Murray said...

I've never seen a gnarly oak before. They are the poster child for strong, sturdy, stalwart. But not this one. I leave your blog smarter as usual.

Out on the prairie said...

I really like those trees. Amazing how similar they are to the mighty Burr Oaks here in the Midwest.Each has its own personality with all the twists and turns.

DMS said...

I am a lover of trees and these are gorgeous. I love the gnarled trunk and branches. So glad they are protected! Thanks for sharing. :)
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Leslie - there are quite a few species ... but this oak is particularly special for its ecosystem ...

@ Lenny - it'd be an honour to have something named after us wouldn't it ... and the moss and lichen on the trees out here give them an eerie ancient feel. As you say good for climbing ... but perhaps slippery with the moss etc - so glad you enjoyed learning a bit more ...

@ EC - delighted the tree hugger is happy!

@ Cecelia - thank you ... the different species of oaks in the States have been interesting to come across ...

@ Jz - yes I guess the leaves would have told you ... I must go down to the shore and look at the meadows now that it's Spring ...

@ Ian - sounds a lovely place to walk ... and I must check out a couple of places here - when it stops raining!

@ Bob - never ... you're not a gnarly old man ... an oak of a man amongst us slightly younger bods!! They are gorgeous trees ...

@ Sage - these are a different species - hence the gnarliness - while I guess your oaks are similar to our British ones ... the Gambel is one of the Scrub Oaks found in various specific areas in the States ...

@ Jo - yes their ecosystem has been messed up - which of course messes them up ... but it was interesting to learn about them ...

@ Sandie - I'm sure there are others ... just checked the 'Douglas Fir' is named after David Douglas a Scottish Botanist ...

@ Emily - isn't that photo a great example for us to see here. It's sad that the human species needs to live in houses and move around in the landscape - we do ... but, like you, I hope we can protect and maintain nature ...

@ Shirley - good to see you - and thank you for coming by ... trees are wonderful to see ...

@ Sarah - yes me too ... love the thought of gnarliness!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Keith - as you say trees with character and they do deserve to be protected ... which I hope they will be ...

@ Yamini - not quite the stature of our British Oaks ... yet as you say with the gravitas and importance of a native oak in the area ...

@ Joanne - it's a special tree ... and I hadn't realised quite how many species of oak there are ...

@ Sue - well I like to post different things ... makes it unexpected for anyone who follows ... I too hadn't heard of Garry Oaks. I'm afraid I haven't gone into the broad life of the indigenous peoples, or First Nations ... I feel exceedingly unqualified to do so ... it's a huge subject ... I'll post odd things such as the Arctic Games ... but probably not discuss very much ...

@ Kim - it was interesting to learn about the Garry Oak system and the fact it's been recognised that they're so important and must be protected ...

@ Lynda - they do look entrancing don't they ... the stuff of fairy tales ... now the meadows are flowering I must go down and take some photos ...

@ Liza - they are delightfully gnarly aren't they. I expect your oaks are the Scrub Oaks that seem to proliferate in different areas of the States ...

@ Deborah - yes their habitat is so special ... and it's interesting to know they are protected and I hope will be allowed to flourish for years to come ...

@ Elsie - yes two Gs ... seemed to fit. I think you've probably seen another species ... these are only on the west coast. Their shape is wonderful isn't it - and a good climbing tree as you say ...

@ Jacqui - yes an oak in England is that stalwart ... representing our country in its self ... as a special tree; but these gnarly oaks are rather special too ...

@ Steve - another species of oak - the mighty Burr Oak - there are quite a few species ... and as you say they have their own twists and turns ...

@ Jess - trees are wonderful ... and finding out about these Garry Oaks has been delightful - I'm looking forward now to seeing the meadow stands ... and seeing them when they're in full leaf ...

Thanks so much for your comment and for being here - cheers Hilary

Susan Scott said...

I've never seen a gnarly oak Hilary ... amazing! I see them as standing tall and lush - these gnarly ones are Great! Thank you!

Kristin said...

They do look Mediterranean.

Rhodesia said...

Love this post. I wonder what kind of oak ours is in the garden here! Cheers Diane

Claire Noland said...

Beautiful oaks! Where I live was once filled with oaks. Now, not so many and they are protected in many area but sadly people cut them down anyway. A 200 year old oak fell and took out the whole side of the house one year.

Liz A. said...

Kind of gnarly trees. But very pretty in pictures.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Such a pretty oak, gnarly or not. Wonder what colours the leaves are in autumn?

Sherry Ellis said...

Those look like great trees to climb.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Another awesome and interesting post

Trudy said...

What interesting trees! I especially like the ones shown in the flowering meadow. Thanks for sharing about them.

Patsy said...

I love the look of the gnarly Garry oaks. They're trees with character.

Lynn said...

Love those twisted trunks. Such a beautiful coastline there.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan - it's interesting there are quite a few species of the oak ... these are the ones that are here: to my surprise I think ...

@ Kristin - yes that photo of the tree hanging on to the side of the cliff - certainly evokes the Med doesn't it ...

@ Diane - I guess you could find out ... there are any number of species ... lovely that you have an oak in the garden ...

@ Claire - yes our oaks here are protected ... and isn't it sad when neighbourhoods remove their trees for development. Oh gosh ... losing half your home to a fallen oak - to both of you: poor things!!

@ Liz - yes gnarly and they do look good ...

@ Nila - oh well - you have six months to wait before I can answer that!! But I'll try and remember ... I guess brown ...

@ Sherry - they do look good to climb, but with the mossy covering I suspect they'd be very damp and gungy ...

@ Jo-Anne - thank you ... glad you enjoyed the read ...

@ Trudy - the oak in its meadow is obviously in its perfect habitat and ecosystem ...

@ Patsy - they are certainly trees with character ... tenacious trees ...

@ Lynn - I suspect that coastline is down the coast in the States - a little ... but the trees are a delight to see

Thanks everyone - good to see you and your love for my gnarly oak trees ... cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

This is from Janice Hunter ... who wanted me to post for her:

"Wow, girl - you're a phenomenon! I blinked and you're on G already! Still, it's made for a wonderful Sunday sofa expedition catching up. Thank you so much for widening my world in snippets that are just the right size for my toe-dip back into blogland. The structured randomness of your A to Z's suits my curious butterfy brain. Arctic Games - who knew!?! And that waterfall gobsmacked me... I had no idea of the scale of the place! I hope there are lots of stunning places you're getting the time and opportunity to see by car while you're out there. Big hugs. Power to your alphabet! Jx"

So many thanks Janice - so glad you enjoyed the A - G snippets ... my brain is definitely butterfly oriented too. I am getting out and about locally - and will see a bit of British Columbia - I'll have to check in re the rest as the time passes. Wonderful to see you and to have your comment - cheers Hilary

Silvia Villalobos said...

Interesting background and shape, Hilary. There is a city here in SoCal called Thousand Oaks, named from the large number of oaks all around (at some point, not sure if still the case today). The one you show here sure looks gnarly and beautiful. Thank you.

Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

Glad to hear the ecosystem is protected, sounds like it is very important for many reasons. Love that image of the shore line.
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings - Movie Monsters

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

OK, Hilary, I'll fess up and say that until I read this I thought Gary Oaks was in a band :-)

Yolanda Renée said...

Hi, Hilary,

I love trees. Taking pictures of them, planting them. And oaks are a favorite, the more unique the branches the better!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Silvia - the trees are lovely aren't they ... I hadn't heard of your city - but can believe its name ... we had Seven Oaks in the UK - til the storm of 1987 blew six down - they've been replaced.

@ Tasha - yes ... thankfully they are looking after the ecosystem and scientists are recording the trees and local areas ... oh the shore lines are wonderful.

@ Mike - nope ... I don't do music - definitely out of my range of knowledge ... I keep thinking of one of our blogging friends - whose messed up his shoulder ... but he's improving ... so my mind was not on trees either! I just noted the G for Garry ...

@ Yolanda - trees are so special ... and I love them ... a zillion of 'dem straight ones here! Oaks are the English tree I think of ... love them -

Thanks for visiting - cheers Hilary