Old Growth Forests


The southern section of Cypress Provincial Park contains the most easily accessible and diverse Mountain Hemlock Zone old-growth in the Lower Mainland. The park also contains some of the largest recorded trees for their species in BC.

Cypress Park’s old-growth forests are dominated by western and mountain hemlock, amabilis fir, and yellow-cedar (also called yellow-cypress, for which the park is named). Research in the late 1980s by Dr. Ken Lertzman, Simon Fraser University, on forest stands on Hollyburn and Strachan mountains showed that these “snow forests” have been in continuous existence without major fires for 1500-2000 years and possibly for over 4000 years. See “The Old Growth Forests of Cypress Provincial Park” for more information.

While the trees themselves are not as old as the forest, many of the park’s yellow-cedars are 1000 years of age, and some may be considerably older. The “Roadside” or “Cypress Park” Yellow-Cedar, adjacent to the road by the turn-off to the Hollyburn Ridge cross-country ski area, is known to be 1200 years old. This tree is also one of the largest known yellow-cedars in BC, and clearly the most easily accessible. The volume of its huge, slow-tapering trunk makes it the largest tree overall in the park. The Cabin Lake Fir, on Black Mountain’s north slope, is the largest known amabilis fir in the world. For details on these and other record trees, see “Cypress Park’s Giant Trees.” Also see BC’s Register of Big Trees here and listings in REPORTS/ARTICLES.


Cabin Lake Amabilis Fir,

Randy Stoltmann photo

Click here to download file "Cypress Park’s giant Trees (PDF - 476kb)

Download file "Old Growth Forests" (PDF - 732kb)

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