British Columbia: Garry oaks on Sumas Mountain

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwest Native Plants' started by jehman, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. jehman

    jehman Member

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    A year or so ago I read some threads posted on this site asking for information about where the grove of Garry oaks on Sumas mountain was located. There seemed to be a great deal of interest in this topic as was indicted by the number of various responses. However, no one knew for sure. I do know for sure and can give specific directions on how to get there. Acess is on private property but the grove is quite visible from the sumas river dike trail. A good pair of binoculars helps. Eagles and other wildlife are visible on the trail. It is a very pleasant hike along the trail which begins at MacDonald Park, a park catering to amateur astronomers. If anyone is interested in the exact location and/or specific directions on where to begin the hike they can respond to this thread or e-mail me at vehman@shaw.ca
     
  2. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I've hiked into the area where the Garry Oaks grow a couple of times and so far have only found about ten scattered small groups of trees, nothing with more than four or five trees. Have you seen a group of oaks that could be called a grove, with more than a dozen trees in close proximity?
     
  3. jehman

    jehman Member

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    I scanned the grove from about 250 metres through my binoculars since there was no way I could cross the Sumas river from my vantage point on the sumas dike trail about 1 km. East of MacDonald Park. There was one large and very noticeable tree on top of a cliff which I could see without binoculars. As I scanned the surrounding area around this tree which is probably the progenitor I counted about 7 or 8 trees growing in the vicinity amidst the Douglas firs. There appeared to be about 4 or 5 trees in close proximity to the progenitor. From what I have read about this grove it is very small and I believe there are about only thirty or forty trees. It is much smaller than the Garry oak grove that grows along the East bank of the Fraser north of the Yale tunnel. There is a pull out about 500m North of the tunnel. If you stop there and scan across the river, they are quite noticeable. One is enormous. Again binoculars are helpful. Access is by boat or at least a 10 km hike south along the CN RR line from the Alexander Bridge across the Fraser. I would be interested in visiting that site some day as would I in visiting the Sumas site which appears only accessible by crossing a farmer's field.

    Hope this helps,
    Jim Ehman Langley,BC
     
  4. jehman

    jehman Member

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    Dear vitog,
    Did you get my e-mail? I'm new to all this. I replied to your message about hiking to the Garry oak site on Sumas Mt. (obviously a reference to my earlier post) which appeared on my e-mail address. It did not appear on the various threads about this topic only my last response which was directed to a thread requesting directions to the site. I said I knew and to contact my e-mail address for specific directions. I don't know why some of my postings are recorded and some not. I must have done something wrong.

    jehman
     
  5. dt-van

    dt-van Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks for your nice offer, but to avoid spam you should never post your email on a public site like this. Instead I suggest that people use the "private message" function.
     
  6. jehman

    jehman Member

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    Thanks for the heads up. I am new to all this.

    Jim Ehman
     
  7. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Jehman, I'm not sure what you mean by getting your email; you don't have my email address. I'll send you a Private Message.

    The location that you mentioned above is the same area that I've found several groups of Garry Oaks, scattered over a horizontal extent of more than .5 km and at elevations from the top of the lowest cliffs to about 280 m. The area is very difficult to access. The easiest way would be to ask permission from the owners of the farm to the NE of the oaks. The farm is located at the SW end of Quadling Road. I don't know how cooperative the farm owners would be, since I bushwacked to the trees through the forest, which is quite steep and rough.
     
  8. Chris Morris

    Chris Morris Active Member

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    We visited Queen Alexandra Park today with the intention of hiking along the railroad tracks to the Garry Oak reserve, but the hike would be more like twenty kilometres or about a four hour walk each way which is not easy along rocky railroad tracks.

    We did look across the river though with binoculars and saw some trees.

    I think the best way to see them up close would be by boat.
     

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