Oaks from acorns on Tree Appreciation Day

The impact of trees on community life honoured during Tree Appreciation Day in Oak Bay on Nov. 4.

Arborists Darryl Clark

Arborists Darryl Clark

Keep an acorn in your pocket and you’ll always have a youthful appearance.

That’s a bit of folk wisdom Chris Hyde-Lay  has picked up over his  years on the job as manager of parks services for Oak Bay.

Another legend traces back to the First Nations peoples who believed that the Gary oak was the only tree strong enough to hold the spirit of the thunderbird.

It’s easy to see how these legends have taken root.

Gary oaks live long. The oldest one that Hyde-Lay knows of, in the 500-block of Falkland Road, is thought to be more than 400 years old.

The trees are also strong and resilient, and a vital part of an ecosystem that sustains what Hyde-Lay calls “the most remarkable assemblage of plants anywhere in Canada.”

He says Uplands Park is home to 31 rare plant species and that the “vernal pools” within the park are a national treasure.

Only about one per cent of the original Gary oak ecosystem that once dominated the South Island still remains and Uplands Park is home to much of that remaining resource.

“These are great old trees and we’d like for people to learn about them and the ecosystem that they’re a part of,” says Hyde-Lay.

“They need to know that these trees have real value. For example, they’re great at taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and for storm water retention.”

But the old trees have a less measurable, but equally as important, benefit, says Hyde-Lay.

“They have an effect on the social and psychological well-being of a community. They make you feel good. We want people to know that.”

That’s the goal behind Tree Appreciation Day. The event takes place at the main gate of Uplands Park between 10 a.m. and noon on Nov. 4, and features not just an educational component but a chance for active participation as well.

“There’s going to be a park walk, and we’ll be giving people information on things like winter moth banding,” says Hayes-Lay. That’s a system designed to protect the oaks from pests that can injure or even kill the trees.

Staff and volunteers will also teach participants how everyone can help turn those tiny acorns into mighty oaks.

“We’ll be potting up acorns and showing people how and when to transplant the seedlings for the best results,” says Hayes-Lay.

Participants of all ages are welcome to the event. Refreshments will be served.

The public is urged to wear comfortable clothes and asked to bring gloves and shovels if possible. Parking is available at Cattle Point.

More information on Tree Appreciation Day can be found at recreation.oakbay.org.

Just Posted

The District of Sooke is looking to revamp its business licence bylaw. Council agreed recently that all businesses must hold a business licence to operate in the community. (Kevin Laird – Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke pushes ahead with new business licence bylaw

Proposal calls for all forms of business to require licensing, but bylaw can stil be tweaked

Winter breakfasts at the Willows Tea Room traditionally fund projects and programs for the Kiwanis Pavilion through the Oak Bay Kiwanis Pavilion Foundation. (Black Press Media file photo)
Family comes through for Oak Bay Kiwanis dementia care home

Residents at Victoria care home get new bus, programs

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Stanley Fischer, right, died while in a Victoria police jail cell hours after he was arrested on Nov. 15, 1981. (Photo courtesy of Mark Fischer)
Victoria police not reopening investigation into man’s 1981 death while in custody

Stanley Fischer’s death was ruled a suicide after he was found in his jail cell

A multi-building residential development on Erskine Lane in View Royal was approved by council on June 15. (Courtesy Town of View Royal)
Dire shortage of three-bedroom apartments, says View Royal mayor

New development to feature wide range of rental units, amenities for tenants

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Seth Rogen’s vibrant orange sculpture was sold for $7,000 above Vancouver Art Gallery’s initial estimation at auction Tuesday. June 15. (Heffel Fine Arts)
Vase made by Seth Rogen sells for $12,000 at Vancouver auction

The B.C.-born comedian has a new pot habit and it’s paying off

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

Most Read