Islands Trust Fund and GaLTT to further protect Elder Cedar

Jenni Gehlbach

Gabriola Land and Trails Trust (GaLTT)

Tuesday, January 2 2018

Our beloved Elder Cedar tree is getting needed care …

Our beautiful old cedar with hollowed-out trunk in Elder Cedar (S’ul-hween X’pey) Nature Reserve is in danger of being loved to death, and it needs our help. Generations of Gabriolans have approached the tree to touch it, and even staged their weddings under it, but in the process, the cedar’s roots have become exposed and trampled. Sadly there is much evidence that if this root damage continues, it will, eventually, kill this big, old beloved tree.

In the last few years, the Islands Trust Fund (ITF), who owns the Nature Reserve, has worked with Gabriola Land and Trails Trust (GaLTT) to gently deter people from trampling the earth around the cedar and compacting the tree’s roots, by placing an interpretive sign to explain the situation and by surrounding the damaged area with a low split-rail fence. To our dismay the sign and fence have been repeatedly vandalized and removed. Another solution is needed to protect the tree’s roots.

With the aid of a TD Friends of the Environment Foundation grant to the Islands Trust Fund, a boardwalk will be constructed up to and around the tree trunk and a thick layer of mulch spread over the surrounding area to help rehabilitate the compacted earth. This will allow visitors to approach the tree to admire its beauty, touch its bark, and gaze up into the immense branches without trampling its roots. Construction of the boardwalk, designed by Gabriola’s Topographics Landscape Architecture, Laura-Jean Kelly and Cameron Murray, will begin in January. 

We urge the community to support this initiative and help us to preserve this lovely old tree for the enjoyment of many more generations of Gabriolans.