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Protecting big trees – eligibility

Protecting big trees required analysis of the University of British Columbia Big Tree Registry in order to identify which trees were appropriate for protection.

To be considered, a tree needed to meet a set of criteria, including still being alive, not being already protected in a park or protected area, on provincial Crown land (excluding private property or federal land), having verified geographical co-ordinates for accurate location and meeting the diameter requirements by species type.

Size thresholds for protection were determined using a percentage of the largest tree by species in the registry. Minimum diameter threshold for Douglas fir, Sitka spruce, western red cedar and yellow cedar were set at 50% of the largest tree on record for those species. The minimum diameter threshold for all other species was set at 75% of the largest tree on record for those species. For example, the largest known coastal Douglas fir has a diameter of 4.23 metres measured at diameter breast height (DBH). The protection threshold for coastal Douglas fir is 50% of this size – at least 2.12 meters DBH.

A permanent approach to protecting big trees will occur later this year when regulation changes under the Forest and Range Practices Act are amended. This will protect big trees that meet the thresholds, as they are discovered.

A list of the 54 trees being protected is available: