You can still smell the scorched landscape and the blackened Garry Oaks, from the August 23rd wild fire in Uplands Park. The resilience of these Garry Oaks, to sprout new green leaves and to send up new shoots, is inspiring. A month of drizzle and rain has turned a once blackened landscape into green, as grass and moss return. Photos below taken were Oct 28, 2012.
On Oct 20 & 21, 2012, Friends of Uplands Park volunteers started the task of removing European Ash seedlings from Uplands Park. European Ash was apparently planted as part of the planning for the Uplands Development, back in the 1930’s, along what was intended to be the future route of “Essex Road”. Essex Road was never built, nor the houses planned for that road, and the Essex Road area is now part of Uplands Park.
Several years ago, in response to a report prepared by Richard Collier, Oak Bay Parks removed most of the mature European Ash from Uplands Park. Today, there are still 1000’s of seedlings and saplings that derive from the mature trees that were removed. We only managed to remove a few hundred European Ash seedlings and saplings last weekend. Problematic are the mature European Ash trees, on properties adjacent to Uplands Park, that continue to seed Uplands Park with new Ash trees.
We need to make a choice. Is Uplands Park to transition to a European Ash ecosystem? OR Can we sustain and preserve Uplands Park as a Garry Oak Ecosystem? These photos reveal the size of a mature European Ash and a maturing European Ash. (The bright green trees are the European Ash. The autumnal brown trees are our native Garry Oak).