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Old 01-18-2016, 04:16 PM   #1
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The West Coast Madrona (Arbutus) Tree

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Originally Posted by Marin
...arbutus which I understand are in some danger environmentally along the coast.
What has been happening to the Madrona is interesting.

Around 2006 it was believed the West Coast Madrona was under siege and very much threatened. By what, they had no idea but were leaning towards Abiotic stresses brought on by;
Urbanization; including reduced growing space, vehicular and marine traffic
Pollutants
Climate change
Possible suppression of wildfires
Root disturbance and damage
Competition for resources
Shading and drought stress

It was first brought to my attention 6 or 7 years ago by a friend in Secret Cove who had several on their property, was concerned and knew my daughter in-law was a Horticulturist by degree. She actually specializes in BC indigenous and invasive species.

She was aware of the issue and told me many studies were done and many papers written with little or no conclusions, other than the Madrona is host to large numbers of fungi and insect species so...so...

Fast forward to now; she and my friend are cautiously reporting that the Madrona seems to be waking up and revitalizing on its own.

DIL reports, there are evergreens on our coast, some Cedars in particular, that do actually hibernate, sometimes for many years, when stressed. The thought now is, because the Madrona is also an evergreen it may well have been dozing off also.

The jury is still out and the Madronas stressed cousin in Hawaii, the Rainbow Eucalyptus, is being looked at similarly.

I bet some of Murray's friends in Kitimat, will have more knowledge than the degrees on this.
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Old 01-18-2016, 04:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawgwash View Post

I bet some of Murray's friends in Kitimat, will have more knowledge than the degrees on this.

I thought the Arbutus/Madrona tree ends at 51N. Kitimat at is at 54N.
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Old 01-18-2016, 04:48 PM   #3
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Very interesting read. I know absolutely nothing about trees, plants or any other horticulture or agriculture items. Nature amazes me sometimes. The survival of so many things when the odds would appear against them.
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Old 01-18-2016, 05:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spy
I thought the Arbutus/Madrona tree ends at 51N. Kitimat at is at 54N.
But Murray's friends get around far more than he does and many of them have pot latched under the Madrona.
Indigenous wisdom and long boats know not parallels of latitude.
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Old 01-18-2016, 05:34 PM   #5
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The arbutus is my favorite tree. To me and my wife it has come to be one of the defining symbols of the Puget Sound and BC coastlines. Interesting to read that they may be "recovering" on their own. I hope it's true.
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Old 01-22-2016, 07:15 PM   #6
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Nope...no experience with Arbutus other than appreciating it's foreign, Australia-esque looking, what the heck are you doing on this coastline beauty.

I'm waiting for Douglas Fir to show up in the Kitimat Valley...its current northern range is the Kitlope, which isn't so far away.
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Old 01-22-2016, 07:54 PM   #7
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Makes great firewood!
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Old 01-24-2016, 01:06 PM   #8
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What Rebel said. Back in the last big California drought I was going thru my homesteading phase on some land on the western slope in Amador County. As the fires raged around us, Midwestern farm boy decides to start cutting fire breaks in the fir, cedar, and that weird red skinned tree. Locals called them madrone, at that elevation tended to run 4-8" dia and generally 10-15' tall. Very dense wood that cured made a great hot fire. Would surely dull a chainsaw faster than any wood I ever cut. Madrone surely didn't seem on the wane in those days - ubiquitous in that part of the world. Loved the free form shapes it grew into.
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Old 01-24-2016, 01:25 PM   #9
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The first I noticed this summer coming south were on the east side of Read Island about 50N. They looked to be in good condition.

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Old 01-25-2016, 01:34 AM   #10
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The West Coast Madrona (Arbutus) Tree

The best part of the madrona is what you can't see - there deep rooting, almost like a taproot. They are the most important plant to anchoring an eroding bluff.


Keith
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