British Columbia

Ancient cedar falls in Vancouver's Stanley Park

A red cedar tree believed to be almost 1,000 years old and reputedly the largest of its kind in the world uprooted and toppled from natural causes in Vancouver's Stanley Park.

A red cedar tree believed to be almost 1,000 years old and reputedly the largestof its kindin the world uprooted and toppled from natural causes in Vancouver's Stanley Park.

The red cedar tree in Stanley Park is believed to be almost 1,000 years old. ((CBC))

On Thursday, a part of the tree's root was exposed and clearly saturated with water and rotten. The top of the tree lies so deep in the forest it can't be seen.

Eric Meagher, a Stanley Park maintenance supervisor, saida combination ofheavy rain and strong winds on Sunday likely knocked the towering giant over.

"Sure it's sad when you lose it, but that's the cycle of life," Meagher told CBC News Thursday.

"The first photographs we have of it in our archives are 1890 so people were taking photographs of it way back then, and that tree at that time was already hundreds and hundreds of years old," he said.

Eric Meagher, a Stanley Park maintenance supervisor, says the uprooting of the red cedar is part of the cycle of life. ((CBC) )

Before it fell, the mighty tree near Third Beach was 13 metres around at the base and 40 metres tall. It became famous after it was featured in a 1978 National Geographic article, with scores of touristscoming to see it each day.

"It's hard to get your head around the immensity and the enormity of it," said Campbell Miller, who wasvisiting theareafrom Ottawa.

Sheri Stewart and her boys, who arevisiting from Atlanta, came to the park to look for the giant tree.

"It's sort of a piece of history. A thousand years is a long time," she said.

"I used to live in California and it makes me think of the California redwoods, you know. And the coincidence of having it happen this week when we were here to see it is so odd," Stewart said.

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