Garry Oaks threatened

Discussion in 'Plants: Conservation' started by Garryoak meadows, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. Garryoak meadows

    Garryoak meadows New Member

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    Hi am new to this. I wondered if conservation includes education?
    Seems direct action by well meaning,though misplaced actions are destroying the precious treasure on Vancouver Island. I give you a new tree house built over the fence from a new subdivision.
    It can be seen with the fresh acorn that the Garry oak is just reaching its productive stage.
    Educate the family that is killing the threatened Garry oak with their misguided love of the oak?
    Of note,in the city bylaws, the Garry oak, our only native oak is to be replaced by the invasive, weedy English oak.
    Comments?
     
  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @Garryoak meadows, having read your post I am shocked that city bylaws are now stating that the Garry oak is to be replaced by the English oak. Now don't get me wrong, I'm an Englishman who loves the English oak, but to replace a native species with a non native is wrong.
    I have just read this and am shocked that in this day and age of knowledge of biodiversity that anybody will allow a native species to be replaced.
    Vancouver Island Big Trees: Garry Oak Habitat Threatened

    What reason has been given for this policy change?

    A good thread to highlight yours and hopefully others concern.

    As far as the tree house is concerned, if the tree is on their property and the construction does not break any bylaws, then that is the end of the matter I'm afraid. That is IMO from British law point of view.
     
  3. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    Could you please provide more detail about the problems you mention here?

    If it is true that Garry Oaks needing to be replaced are being replaced with Quercus robur, I suspect that the reason may be that Quercus garryana of a suitable size are not available. They are slow growing and, on average, reach only about 3 feet in 10 years. Older trees grow about a foot a year. It would be worth finding out if many or any Canadian growers are producing them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    3 ft. in 10 years is only 3 1/2 in. per year which is not correct. As with other species of trees I have seen faster growth on young specimens of Garry oak that are still forming the main branch structure than among the twigs of mature veterans. Last time I looked 20 something sources had used the Oregon Association of Nurserymen online Buyer's Guide to indicate them having Garry oak for sale. So there could perfectly well be more than one Lower Mainland source generating this species at the wholesale level also, including in customary sizes for landscape planting. There have been above the head sized ones at a retail operation in Skagit County in later years, that may even have come from BC as this operator does bring various plants down from there. (Discussion of these particular Garry oak specimens with one of my associates in the Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society resulted in my learning that they had looked into them - the Society has a history of planting replacement Garry oaks in Oak Harbor, where there used to be thousands of them but not anymore - and found out that they were grafted onto English oak. And deemed them therefore undesirable for conservation planting. Indeed any time two different tree species are grafted together there is a possibility of failures due to delayed graft incompatibility, unless it has already been reliably demonstrated that this issue does not occur with a specific combination).
     
  5. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    When I said that Garry Oak trees may only be 3 feet tall after 10 years, I was quoting a well-respected naturalist but it's true I could not find any corroboration online. However, I have noticed acorns I have planted in pots over the years grow very slowly so the 3+ inches a year made sense to me. Also, it's hard to observe the growth of wild trees in this area because the deer eat all the acorns within reach and you almost never see young specimens.

    As for wholesale availability, I noticed that there are many growers south of the border but I couldn't find any in Canada except for one in Ontario. That doesn't mean there aren't any of course or that trees could be imported but it supports my thought that it may be difficult to find a Garry Oak the size a city like Nanaimo would want to replace one that had to be removed. At some point, cost would become a factor too.

    It would be good to know more about why Garry Oaks sometimes must been taken out in Nanaimo and why English Oak would be chosen to plant instead. It would be shocking to think that healthy GOs are taken out for no good reason.
     
  6. Garryoak meadows

    Garryoak meadows New Member

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    It was hard enough to get native trees into the first bylaws. We are a slow to change in the colony!Prefer heritage ornamentals.
    The first list,1992,preferred lists from established societies,horticultural,gardening, arborists such groups enjoy their tradition status and exist to uphold the old order!
    Now it has been 30 years,still the city managers default to the accepted species as recommended by arborists.
    Urban trees must still conform!
    The European order prevails in nursery stock.
    So our Englishness will continue, This city celebrates a day called Empire day!
    Sad,I have little status as an activist. I do not hold any professional status. Merely a geographer who belives in honoring our local biodiversity.
    The Garryoak Meadow was a very fortunate meeting of circumstances. Which will not come again. The UN RIO Conference simutaneous with my announcement of the Garryoak Meadow Preservation Society,other conservation societies celebrating events all in 1992, culmulating with heightened press coverage.
    Oak did retain government interest in that there is a move to approve trees called oak no matter what! There even a recently planted Q cerris!
    Gardeners happily plant any acorn. Which English oak being a weedy specids provides much gardener pride.
    In that one can grow a foot or more in a year.So a Garry oak by contrast might do 6 inches if in a sunny rapidly drained,alkaline spot.
    Yet given longevity,Q garryana has history,9,000 years, post glacial disturbance conditions!
    Often, our oak prefers to grow laterally rather than a tree stature,as a shrub.
    Along coastal bluffs and mountain serpentine this is quite unique, sprawling,creeping along over acidic substrates! In N California it becomes a full species,while in Oregon, it is a subspecies!
    Thanks for your shock,life is so different in our culture. Forests, water, streams,land are still virgin,.
    We have the luxury of waste.
    Development is enshrined in law not so our only oak.
    Unfortunately,there are well meaning folks who champion big trees, this then is simplified. The only good tree is a big tree. Oft times an English oak will be spared and the scattered small
    Garry oaks will be bulldozed into a heap along with meadow grasses, wildflowers, mosses,ferns and vernal pools. Again, well meaning policies give protection to the wrong tree.
    Completely ignoring the ecosystems supports the soil and the tree, we are ignorant.
    So very nice of you to think about my posting. Most complicated,yes it was not in the yard of the family. They have a grove?3 trees, Garryoaks often grow in a tight group,hence,the name Oregon post oak.
    No the tree with the new treehouse is over the fence. Yet,it is only a matter of time,10 years for the last Garryoak meadow to be houses of more families.
    Ah, we can say the ecosystem is threatened but the truth is in the $$.
    Legislation,politicians, government
    responds to economic issues. Biodiversity receives less funds than a botanical garden! The ecosystem does not charge a fee for service.
    Yes,I spent time with the horticultural sorts down south,it runs on fast turnover in the nursery business.
    Now Washington has a oak growing research program. Twenty five years ago, a member of the International Oak Society, and a forester with California Forests showed me his trails on all 22 oak species. We already had the information in California,but politics! The federal forest scientists in Washington had to run their own program.
    It is much the same here.
    We have growing knowledge yet only accepted scientists can receive grants to run growing trials.
    And the trees that are locally grown can not be purchased! They have to be certified. Even when the disease that affected California oaks was imported to BC on Oregon nursery stock.
    Oh my, a reputable naturalist who must know all?
    A veritable expert? Ask how many trials, I know we can continue to quote mistruth without real knowledge.
    My sources of knowledge demur indicating that we have not enough growing trials over time or space.
    Yes, I have seen the Oak Harbor Society activities,kudos.
    The best trees were grown in oak compost in Central Saanich,but he past away. And the best oaks also are gone. Oaks mast when then reach maturity with the best acorns. Generally, the best acorns are consumed by invasive squirrels and weevils.
    When I reached south of the border,1992,Audubon replied.
    Washington state had an act for Oregon white oak,then it was a weed tree,this,allowed the girdling of Garry oak to provide better growth for Douglas firs. It is call a treatment program!
    Thanks to Audubon the legislature turned it around and gave Oregon White Oak special status. This was done by the Olympia chapter,their interest was bluebird habitat.
    We exterpated bluebirds in BC in 1960's and meadowlarks before that in Garry Oak habitat.
    Thank you all for your posts I apoligize that I do not have a computer.
    So if my response is disjointed it is due to not being able to see the whole screen.
    If you care enough about giving our Garry oak landscape a future, input is currently sought to plan the urban future. Look at the website for the region or city government,OCP,Official Community Plan.
    I have upoaded a file?this is an oak from mountainous Guatemala, this is a threatened oak, home of the fabulous Quetzal. Oaks are losing habitat around the globe. There is a Global Oak Conservation Group working with the UN they are hosted at the Morton Arboretum.
     
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  7. Acerholic

    Acerholic Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @Garryoak meadows, if everybody in your society has the same passion that you show, then the Garry oak will survive. Never give up the fight!!!
    Please do keep the thread updated, it is a very important topic.
     
  8. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    I do not believe the survival of Quercus garryana (Garry Oak) depends much on decisions made by the Nanaimo City council to replace dead trees with other Quercus garryana or Quercus robur (or something else entirely). Of course I would prefer and would advocate for the former but the numbers are insignificant. What is required to increase the number of trees in the City is for individuals or groups to advocate for them to be more widely planted. Good on @Garryoak meadows for trying to do that.

    I think the document @Garryoak meadows is referring to is https://www.nanaimo.ca/docs/services/home-and-property/tree-protection-bylaw-7126.pdf Page 22.

    I would seem the City of Victoria has a more proactive stance regarding Garry Oaks than does the City of Nanaimo. As far as I know, they impose a fine on anyone who takes down a healthy tree without a legitimate reason or permit.
    https://www.victoria.ca/assets/Depa.../Documents/Tree Preservation Bylaw 05-106.pdf

    As a native plant enthusiast for many years, I would support any initiative that promoted the planting of our native Garry Oaks wherever and whenever possible. It is not easy though because the young trees need to be protected until they are tall enough to fend off predation from deer. A friend of mine has gone to considerable trouble to plant young trees on Notch Hill in Nanoose Bay but has run into difficulties with people (or animals) removing the cages she constructs.

    This is particularly galling for me who also loves Garry Oaks. There are probably 2 dozen mature trees on my one-acre property . . . last year they produced a bumper crop of acorns . . . literally thousands . . . so that now I am pulling up dozens of young trees like they are weeds. It really hurts.
     
  9. Acerholic

    Acerholic Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @Margot seed distribution ???? Just a thought. The Maple Society does this and I wonder if @Garryoak meadows Society should consider this approach!!?
     
  10. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    In Victoria (about a 2-hour drive south of Nanaimo), there is a Garry Oak Meadow Preservation Society dedicated to "to the preservation, protection and restoration of Garry oak stands and their natural habitats." Garry Oak Meadow Preservation Society (GOMPS) I offered acorns to them several years ago but they declined since they wanted only those from local trees. In any case, the problem isn't a lack of acorns so much as it is a lack of sites to plant new trees (together with the removal of existing trees). As I mentioned earlier, GOs are quite slow-growing so need to be nurtured for a number of years before being planted out and, even then, may be set upon by deer if not protected by wire cages.

    What is needed here is for a dedicated group such as Victoria's Garry Oak Meadow Preservation Society to promote the planting of Garry Oaks. I don't know if @Garryoak meadows is in a position to do that - it would be a huge undertaking. A group called GOERT (Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team) does a good job raising awareness but I don't think they are physically involved in propagating or planting.
     
  11. Acerholic

    Acerholic Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @Margot, understood Margot, I think this is being seen everywhere these days; Land is being used for development, so nature is squeezed out more and more.
    As @Garryoak meadows says the $ rules.
     

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