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The nature of a tree

June 5, 2013
Bridge - church - tree

This photo of the Fraser River Bridge at New Westminster shows off well the upper deck that was used by pedestrians, horse-drawn wagons and later, automobiles.  At the south end, shown here, the deck ramped down to a road that looped under the bridge approach to the right. It would be a walkers’ and cyclists’ dream to see such a way restored, as the superstructure remains as built.

However, this post is not about the bridge walkway, but the tree in the background.  It was very large and shows up in many early photos of the south side of the river, including the one used as the header of this blog.

An old survey map indicates it was located in Lot 2, just outside the boundary of Lot 1, on the riverbank.  It is identified as a “cottonwood,” but we would like to know for sure, and to know if anyone can determine the age of the tree and its height and girth.

The following photo shows the tree with the Fraser River at flood-stage  before the bridge was completed.

Indian church and landmark tree

The tree is positioned on the GoogleMap of Lot 1 in the recent post.

Perhaps the best photo, for showing the kind of leaves and the scale of the tree is the one below, taken as a blast is set off during construction of the second pier from shore on the south side.

Landmark tree  - 1902

A man is taking shelter behind the tree – perhaps the photographer himself?

(Photos from Vancouver Archives.)

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