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Arbutus Tree

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Arbutus Tree, Photo By Bud

   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.Arbutus Tree

The 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 thick 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 in color.

The 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 Arbutus Tree, Photo By Budrocky 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 along with other tree species like Garry oak and Douglas fir.

The flowers 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. 

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