A broadleaf evergreen tree, that grows up
to 30 m tall, usually with a crooked trunk that divides into several
twisting upright branches that form an irregularly top. This tree is usually
quite gnarled and impressive to look upon.
leaves are dark, beautiful and glossy
but is quite pale underneath, the leaves are from 7 to 12 cm long, thick, with a
real feeling leathery texture.
The Flowers bloom in
clusters of white flowers drooping at the ends of the branches, they
bloom in April and May.
The fruit is berry like, 7 mm across, and bright reddish to orange color.
The bark is smooth, and reddish brown, peeling in thin flakes or strips to
expose fresher bark underneath, the bark can be greenish brown to cinnamon red
Arbutus tree grows in a narrow band that runs along the south
coast and the South East section of Vancouver Island from
Victoria to Campbell River, along with a small pocket growing
around Gold River. It is often found on rocky
bluffs above the ocean.
The Arbutus Tree likes to grow
where there is little moisture and no shade at all. It can be found growing on
dry rocky bluffs and open lands
with other tree species like Garry oak and Douglas fir.
have a sweet honey smell and this attracts bees and fruit
eating birds such as robins and cedar waxwings.
Arbutus bark is very rich
in a substance used for tanning hides. The wood is heavy and hard, tends to be
brittle, and cracks when drying. It is used only for woodworking in British
Columbia. When l was a cedar shaker, i would make my mallets from arbutus trees.
they would outlast any mallet.
The Arbutus is the only
native broadleaf evergreen tree in Canada.