Cloake Hill Colossus in the top 10

North Saanich man always knew a local Arbutus tree was big.

Ray Rogers stands with his dog Hugo at the base of the Cloake Hill Colossus

Ray Rogers of North Saanich nominated a large Arbutus tree, which he calls the Cloake Hill Colossus, and it recently placed in the top 10 of largest Arbutus trees in B.C.

“I’ve been looking at it for 30 years and thinking, that’s the biggest arbutus I’ve ever seen,” he told the PNR.

The tree, a 10 minute walk from Rogers’ home, was determined one of the largest Arbutus trees on not only the Island, but in the province. The determination was based on three measurements: the height of the tree, its circumference and the crown. All are then totalled in a final score which determines the overall largest Arbutus — that title officially held by an Arbutus on Thetis Island.

Rogers said all of the measurements had to be verified by a registered forester and he happened to know a retired forester by the name of Gordon Joyce, who agreed to help Rogers in measuring the tree.

The result came out to a score of 388, based on the three factors. The tree’s height and its crown spread placed first among all Arbutus trees in the province. The Colossus placed fifth in the circumference measurement. Overall, it made the top 10 list.

Information on the tree or other trees in the province can be found on the BC Big Tree Registry site at bigtrees.forestry.ubc.ca.