It’s no secret that the temperate rainforests of BC are home to some of the largest trees on Earth – both the tallest and the widest. Between the high amount of rainfall and the region’s 12-month growing season, a range of old-growth species have been able to prosper.

According to the Ancient Forest Alliance, Sitka spruces, Douglas-firs, and western redcedars can grow to staggering heights in BC, living to be more than a thousand years old.

What’s more, the world’s largest-known Douglas Fir (Red Creek Fir), Redcedar (The Cheewhat Giant), and Canada’s largest spruce (San Jo’s Smiley) are all found on Vancouver Island. So if you’re a big tree enthusiast like we are, it might be time to plan a weekend trip!

Related Posts:
This Ontario town is home to the tallest tree in the province
Canada’s most photographed tree is in Alberta & it’s older than the entire country

largest trees in canada bc
Old-growth spruces at Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park via Shutterstock

Largest-known trees in Canada

According to the Ancient Forest Alliance, the tallest known tree in Canada is a Sitka Spruce standing at 96 metres high (315 feet), known as the Carmanah Giant.

However, the widest tree is a Redcedar called the Cheewhat Giant, which is situated near the town of Youbou and measures nearly 6 metres (20 feet) in diameter – well, 5.84 metres wide, to be exact, according to the┬áBC BigTree Registry.

What’s more, the Cheewhat Giant is listed as the highest-scoring tree in the registry, with a ‘Tree Score’ of 917.

largest trees in canada vancouver island
Photo of Carmanah Giant via BC BigTree Registry

Compiled by UBC’s Faculty of Forestry, the registry lists all of the record-breaking trees in the province, scoring trees for each species based on height (Ht.), diameter at breast height (DBH), and crown spread (Cr.)

The overall ‘Tree Score’ is used to rank the trees, calculated using tree height, circumference, and crown spread.┬áSince tree species can vary greatly in potential size, this score is the most meaningful when compared within and not between species.

Fortunately, the Cheewhat Giant is protected in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Ready to explore some of the world’s largest trees? The Ancient Forest Alliance has mapped out those growing in the Port Renfrew area.

Happy exploring!