I’m willing to bet that all of you have gone past a little park on Vedder Road at the southeast corner of Manuel Road and Vedder Road, across from Sardis Elementary School, named Manuel Park. You might have stopped to let some geese walk across the road or you may remember that there was once a family home on that property. But, have you ever stopped and checked it out? It’s a much larger park than you would think with pleasant walking paths, a bridge across a shady stream, and some huge trees! It is definitely worth a visit.
One of the most impressive trees in the park is in the linden family. It is a Silver Lime (Tilia tomentosa) and is absolutely huge, as you can see in the photograph. The leaves are sharply pointed, dark green on top and velvety white on the bottom (hence the common name ‘Silver’). The yellowish flowers are among the last tree flowers to bloom and are very attractive to bees. The fruit is a ribbed nutlet with a sharp point. Alexis Nikole (@blackforager) teaches how and what to eat from nature, and she makes chocolate from linden fruits!
Did you know that Chilliwack does not have a tree protection bylaw? Even rare specimens like this can be removed by landowners without any requirements for a permit or even an assessment by a qualified professional. (Most municipalities in the Fraser Valley require an assessment or permit to remove trees with diameters of only 10 centimetres.)
There are many important trees in Chilliwack. They may be significant because they are very old, or unusual, or large, or all the above! Over the next few months, Heritage Chilliwack will be featuring some important trees in our community. Is there a particular tree that you think should be protected because of its size or appearance? Please let me know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author‘s Note: Kyle MacGregor, a local arborist and tree enthusiast, believes this tree to actually be a Tilia cordata or Littleleaf Linden/Small-leaved Lime. He measured the girths of the multiple trunks and determined the age to be approximately 153 years! That means it was one of the first ornamentals to be planted by a pioneer!