Hidden deep in the Seymour Valley for more than a millennia—near the city of Vancouver, British Columbia—this Douglas Fir (pseudotsuga menziesii) is one of about five of the last remaining firs of its size left in the world. The tree survived centuries of logging in the area because of its location high on a mountainside. So-called super stumps like the one shown below mark the legacy of giant trees that were cut down but live again by sprouting clonal offspring. When we visited the tree in late 2019, the forest air was thick with late-fall moisture. The fir’s micro-climate fosters an array of organisms from dew-covered mosses to countless varieties of mushrooms. It takes just a little imagination to see the wood-wide-web at work here in real-time. Indigenous peoples used the fir for food, medicines, and for numerous practical applications like insecticides and boat-building. (Order a print)
One of the many “super-stumps” in the Seymour Valley. The new growth rising from the stump is the genetic offspring of the cut tree which, in effect, never truly died. See the TED talk by Canadian researcher Suzanne Simard for insights into the complex life of trees like this one.