De Omni Scribili

Scribblings Of Ed Wiebe

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UVic Garry Oak

Renovations to the transit hub at UVic led to the removal of a healthy, mature Garry Oak, on 7 June, 2022. Looking through old photos of the area it seems most likely that the oak was planted along Finnerty Road while the area was a military base in the 1940s. It was perhaps 70 years old or so. Garry Oak is a protected species in Greater Victoria. They can only be cut by permission of the municipality where they stand. This oak, with a trunk diameter of about one metre, stood in the part of UVic in Saanich. UVic is replacing each removed tree with three newly planted replacement trees, though I am not sure where they will be. Several large pine pine trees were removed as well. More information is available from UVic about this project (the link may disappear at some point).

The wedge removed from the tree by the fallers as they made their first cuts found its way to me via colleagues at UVic. I pledged to use the wood to make some handmade objects that could become part of the history of the tree.

The first piece I turned from the wedge is a fairly delicate hollow vessel. After making this, I realised that I wanted to preserve something of the origin of this wood in as many of the pieces as I could. For the remaining pieces I tried to keep some evidence of the chainsaw that cut the tree apart.

All of these objects were turned from green (wet) wood and have become distorted as they've dried.

If you would like to become the guardian of a very small part of this oak, please contact me on Twitter (@edwiebe) or by email (bottom of this page). I am asking for donations ($40 or more) to the Garry Oak Meadow Preservation Society (GOMPS) who work in Greater Victoria to preserve, protect, and restore the Garry Oak and its natural habitat. These objects are available on a first come first served basis. GOMPS is still in the mail-us-a-cheque era. I am happy to collect donations (electronically) and details and forward them to GOMPS who will issue a tax receipt for you.

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