How much do you know about the trees that cloak the iconic mountains surrounding Whistler? Learn more on Saturday, May 21 from local nature experts at the Environmental Expo, happening in Town Plaza from Noon-5 p.m. Or spot the trees yourself with help from a local naturalist on the GO Green Nature Scavenger Hunt in Florence Peterson Park from 1-3 p.m!
Until then, here’s a teaser on a few of Whistler’s green gold giants:
Easily identifiable due to the drooping new growth found at its top or what many refer to as the “Hemlock’s hanging head”. Coming down with a cold? The tender needles can be chewed or made into a vitamin C rich tea to help boost your immune system.
Western Red Cedar
A large tree with grey, stringy bark and a wide spread trunk. The Ancient Cedars Grove on Cougar Mountain boasts Western Red Cedar trees over 900 years in age – now that’s a Whistler local! These trees have historically been used to make dugout canoes, clothing, tools, rope, baskets and medicine. British Columbia adopted the Western Red Cedar as its official tree in 1988. An Adventure Leader from the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre will guide Nature Scavenger Hunt participants through some of the nutritional, medicinal and spiritual uses of Whistler’s diverse flora on May 21.
Although not a true fir, hence the hyphen, this tree is currently the second-tallest conifer species in the world. After scraping off the bark, bears will eat the sap layer of the tree and many small mammals rely on this tree’s seeds as an important food source. Will you be able to spot the bear-scraped bark on the Nature Scavenger Hunt?
A hybrid species unique to this region, which adopts the characteristics of both the coastal Sitka Spruce and interior Engelmann Spruce. Whistler’s got the best of both worlds!
Whether your viewpoint is sitting on a chairlift looking down at the endless sea of coniferous trees or feeling small staring up at the multi-layered canopies from the rich forest floor, Whistler’s forests inspire awe. Get outside to experience and explore Whistler’s great outdoors!