Coming across an enormous tree near Tofino is the highlight of a nature and conservation photographer’ life.
TJ Watt, campaigner and photographer with the Ancient Forest Alliance says he was looking over satellite images and maps in the search of the biggest trees he could find.
He and a team went to Flores Island up the coast from Tofino and after seeing some medium-sized cedars in the forest, they found the tree, which had stopped Watt in his tracks.
“It’s literally like a living fortress. What makes the tree so unique is that it’s not only over 17 feet or over five metres wide in its base, but unlike most other trees, it gets wider as it grows taller,” said Watt.
“It’s just such an imposing view, it takes up so much of your vision in the forest. It’s hard to believe this is one tree, but it is indeed.”
He added along with the sheer volume of the tree, it has a host of diverse life with dozens of other trees and plants growing on it, with suspended moss maps and canopy soils that develop over many centuries.
The exact location of the tree is being kept secret to avoid having too many visitors going out to a sensitive area.
Watt also said that there are still other forests you can visit, including the Wild Side Trail on Flores Island, and the Big Tree trail on Meares Island.
“Coming across this tree has really been a highlight of my life as a nature and conservation photographer. It’s my job to look for the grandest old-growth forests and giant trees, and this one, compared to all others, stopped me in my tracks,” he said.”