Climbing Big Lonely Doug, Canada’s 2nd Largest Douglas-fir Tree


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See the NEW DRONE VIDEO of climbing Big Lonely Doug here:
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Raw video shot by TJ Watt and Will Koomjian (GoPro)
• Height: 66 m (216 ft) (broken top)
• Width: 4 m (12 ft)
• Circumference: 12 m (39 ft)
• Estimated age: ~1000 years old

Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island — “Big Lonely Doug”, the recently found, second-largest Douglas-fir tree in Canada, has been scaled by a team of professional tree-climbers. The climbers with the Arboreal Collective are collaborating with the Ancient Forest Alliance, a BC-based conservation organization, to highlight, research, and document the largest old-growth trees and grandest groves in British Columbia. Big Lonely Doug stands alone in a 2012 clearcut, hence its name.

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The Arboreal Collective’s Matthew Beatty, Tiger Devine, Dan Holliday, and the Ancient Forest Alliance’s TJ Watt, were also joined by Will Koomjian from Ascending the Giants, a similar research and awareness-raising organization of tree-climbers based in Portland, and by photographer James Frystak. The Arboreal Collective also collaborates on research with the BC Big Tree Registry, run by the University of British Columbia, a register of the largest measured trees in the province.

Big Lonely Doug grows in the Gordon River Valley near the coastal town of Port Renfrew on southern Vancouver Island, known as the “Tall Trees Capital” of Canada. It stands on Crown lands in Tree Farm Licence 46 held by the logging company Teal-Jones, in the unceded traditional territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation band. It was first measured and recognized as exceptionally large by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in March of this year.

Big Lonely Doug stands alone among dozens of giant stumps — some 3 meters wide – of old-growth western redcedars and Douglas-firs, in a roughly 20 hectare clearcut that was logged in 2012. One of its largest branches was recently torn off in a fierce wind/snow storm in February, with a 50 centimeter wide base (the size of most second-growth trees) and still fresh needles lying on the ground adjacent to the tree.

Government data from 2012 show that about 75% of the original, productive old-growth forests on BC’s southern coast (Vancouver Island and Southwest Mainland) have been logged, including over 90% of the highest productivity, valley bottom ancient stands where the largest trees grow. 99% of the old-growth Douglas-fir trees on BC’s coast have also been logged. The BC government often grossly overinflates the amount of remaining ancient forests in BC by releasing statistics that include vast tracts of bog and subalpine forests consisting of small, stunted old-growth trees of little to no commercial value, combined with the less extensive tracts of the large, old-growth trees growing on more productive sites at risk of being logged.

Read the full press release on the climb here:


39 thoughts on “Climbing Big Lonely Doug, Canada’s 2nd Largest Douglas-fir Tree”

  1. Why is there so much tree DEVASTATION around? I guess Man is a PEST and a Big DANGER to all Life on this once upon a time pristine Beautiful Planet. Most Anglo-Saxon White man is a vermin to the Environment.

  2. They harvested every single tree around it. I wonder why they didn't just process it along with the others. I also wonder if it might fall victim to its sudden high exposure to the elements with the others gone, or Fomes Annosus (Heterobasidion annosum) with all the stumps around it harboring fungus as they rot?.

  3. I once went to clayoquot sound in the 90's and flew above it, as far as I could see it was all clear cut, just a tiny patch was left alone, the patch that people could see from the water, horrible.

  4. En el paneo con la cámara se ve tristemente cuanta desforestacion se realizado alrededor de la secuoya

  5. It would be nice to brainstorm some wind abatement strategies to help protect this world class icon from its current biggest threat. What a tree!

  6. Earth needs Tree Beard from the Ents to come forth, it is a disgrace what mankind has wreaked on this small fragile Planet

  7. What a sad sight mans fucking destruction of the natural world greed greed fucking greed !!!!!😡😡😡😡😡

  8. F###ing wood butchers totally destroyed the ecosystem around this tree! It's now doomed to a slow death by exposure to high winds, lightning, rot from microbial and fungal attack from all the rotting leftovers from its neighbors! They would have been kinder to it if they just harvested it along with the rest of this forest!

  9. A magnificent tree but to look at the surrounding demolition, well its just plain disgusting! I feel sad to be human right now, even though the growth of the human specie's is paramount surely there could be a more visually pleasing way to harvest timber, maybe take one in three trees every 5-10 yrs so theres still an actual forest to walk and camp in, even though it would be sparcley populated with trees it still will purify the air and aid in animal regrowth!

  10. Keep writing the politicians and donating to the people/groups that are working to save the old growth forests…Money speaks and ecotourism creates money and pressure against the destruction of these forests.

  11. I`v got four of them on the property I just bought!!Just a tad shorter than this one.
    Now,ANY mother fucker showing up with axe,chainsaw or any sharp object WILL
    answer to me.
    Many regrets from Parksville,BC
    PS,petition signed.IF that helps???

  12. What sadness to see. Man's stupidity knows no boundary. At least they didn't have the heart for total devastation. Only 99% devastation. It will take a millennia for that place to look the same again.

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