Main Interests

The Trees of Stone Tree Farm

Concolour Fir

The Concolour fir grows well in Nanoose as it can withstand the summer droughts and is not as preferred by the Deer for browsing during the spring flush. This tree has nice long needles of various shades including Blue/Green good needle retention when indoors and a pleasant circus scent. They take 6-8 years to reach maturity.

Pine Trees

The second largest group of trees on the Farm are called Pine trees. There are two main species are Scots Pine and Western White Pine. The Scots Pine were planted as they are drought resistant and resistant to deer browse, they hold their needles well and can also be a variety of shades of green and green/blue they mature in 5-7 years. Our White pine trees are 3-4 years away from maturity.

Grand Fir

We also grow a few Grand Fir on the Farm. These trees grow naturally in the lower elevations of the island and can make great Xmas Trees that have a wonderful scent. They are not doing well with the hotter, dryer, weather that Climate change is bringing us they are also preferred by the deer for both Browsing and Rubbing by the bucks in the fall.They mature in 7-9 years.

Normand Fir

The Nordman Fir is also from the Abies family who naturally grow in Eastern Europe. The beautiful trees are very dark green and grow in a very organized shape. They are slow to start but have a deep tap root and seem to do well with the dry summer conditions. They are preferred by the rabbits when small and during snow events. They will be ready for harvest starting in 3-4 years.

Shasta Fir

I have a field of Shasta Fir again from the Abies family and their natural range is from the mountains of California and Oregon. These make nice Xmas Trees with nice form and good Needle retention. These trees are about 3-4 years away from maturity.

Noble Fir

I did plant some Noble Fir on the farm however they were the favourite species for the Bucks to rub in the fall as they mark out their territory during the fall breading season. They do make great trees if I can keep them growing.

Lodge Pole Pine

This is a natural Lodge Pole Pine that has grown from seed the parents we planted in 1989.They can be used for Xmas trees and respond top running when their candles are actively growing period of about one month in the spring.

Western White Pine

This is a Western White Pine we have planted for Xmas trees on the Farm they do well in the dry sunny locations. These trees are not browsed by the deer and require Candle pruning in the spring to encourage a Xmas Tree form.

 

Ponderosa Pine

This is a second generation Ponderosa Pine seeding that started growing three years ago from it’s parents that we planted in 1990. these trees grow well in Nanoose but are often damaged by our heavy wet snow falls.

Red Alder

This is a Red Alder a common tree on the west coast. They are a deciduous hardwood with many uses and greatly help with forest productivity as they bring nitrogen to the forest ecosystem.

Western Red Cedar

This is a young Western Red Cedar growing at roadside. The trees are very useful and valuable they do grow through out Nanoose but are having trouble in dryer sites and will not do well with climate change.

Korean Fir

 I only have one example of this Korean Fir that we have on the Farm. It was given to me by, Paul Dag, a fellow Forester and neighbour now living in Wall Beach. This tree is also a True Fir (Abies Family) and are found natural growing in Asia.

Grand Fir

This is a Grand Fir a member of the True Fir’s (Abies) family like most of my Xmas trees. This tree was planted in 1990 and was part of my original Xmas tree farm. This planting was a seedlot that was selected to produce Xmas Trees good colour and form, we did harvest quite a few trees from this early planting. The grand Fir can do quite well if in wetter area and partial shade.

Sitka Spruce

 The is a Sitka Spruce that I brought back from some planting supervision I was doing near Fair Harbour on the North West side of Vancouver Island in 1990. Note the tree is over 30 years old and just slowly growing in the shadows of a Ponderosa Pine that I also planted 30 years ago.. Note the small Holly Tree that is also growing beside the Spruce. The Holly trees are grown from seeds spread by the birds they are an introduced species to Vancouver Island and are quite shade tolerant.

Yellow cedar

This is a Yellow Cedar that we planted throughout our lands in 1990. They were grown from clippings from an original donor mother tree, branch, by Sylvan Nursery of Black Creek. Most of our seedling have come from them over past 30 years or so. The Yellow Cedar is slow growing and is usually from higher wetter areas of Vancouver Island but are found at Sea level near Port Hardy.

Winds of STF

The farm’s location on top of a west facing hill gives us great viewscapes and exposure to some of the dominant winds of the Georgia Straight. There are two dominant wind directions.

The fair weather winds named the Westerlies associated with High Pressure areas bring  clear or clearing skies. These winds are often strong as air pressure builds and then easing to light or calm conditions for the following days or weeks.  These conditions are also required for our winter frosts.

The stormy wet weather is associated with our South East winds and low pressure systems.  Our strongest wind speeds are usually from this direction.  Some of the farm is protected from this wind by a small hill behind our house and a significant consideration for its placement

The South West winds are very unpredictable and short lived. They are transition winds associated with the passing of the low pressure SE storms into the building of the High Pressure Westerlies. The Sw winds can do significant damage and cause power outages with their tremendous variability in direction and down bursts. These winds tend to be located mostly in the valleys on Vancouver Island that have exits onto the east coast of Vancouver Island. We can see these winds but are not usually affected by them. The Qualicum winds are a great example of this wind direction.

The North Wind is also seen on the farm but this wind is usually just a light breeze originating from the cold outflows flowing down our coastal inlets from the high pressure systems often located in our interior. It can bring significant Sea Effect snow to our east coast of the Island mid winter if temperatures are cold enough.

We do have some very local breezes that develop around sunset flowing down the slope to the west and toward North  West  Bay. These breezes are created by cold air drainage moving toward the relatively warm waters of the Bay about 1 km away.   This change in wind direction can often be seen at the Firepit as the sunsets and smoke can be seen moving down through the Xmas trees.

The Flowers of Stone Tree Farm

These are the flowers of the Lodge Pole Pine

The Daisies from Walter

The Daffodils of the farm are best in March.

Not flowers but pollen from the Douglas Fir tree’s flowers settling on the Salal

The Poppies we have 4 types so far.

These beautiful fall perennials were a gift from the Garth and Marguerite of Yellow Point about 25 years ago. They mark the beginning of Fall every year since. 

STF Dogs & Cats

Stone tree farm is a great place to exercise your Dog. We enjoy well behaved dogs and their responsible owners. The farm has a nice walking track of close to a Kilometre and running around the Trees is a great exercise. We can arrange exclusive use as required.

Here is Hazel and I demonstrating proper on leach placement. 

Our famous cat “PB” passed away in 2020 and her final wishes were for dogs now to be Welcomed back to the Farm.  She did note that all dog poo was to be removed after each visit.  Quite a visionary for a 21 year old cat. 

Piper and Walter watching PB complete another loop. 

Birds of STF

Stone Tree Farm birds we often see are documented very well by our neighbour Mike Yip who has published wonderful  Birding books such as  Vancouver Island Birds http://vancouverislandbirds.com check them out.

Here are but a few of my favourites

Oregon Junko

Chestnut-Backed Chicka-dee

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Birds Overhead

Bald Eagles
Turkey Vultures
Red Tailed Hawk
Coopers Hawk
Violet-Green Swallow
Ravin Family 
Herring Gulls
Trumpeter Swans
Great blue Herron

Birds on the Ground

Western Flicker
Robins
Crows
Kill Deer
Blue Jay
California Quail
Purple Finch

Heard but Seldom Seen

Barred Owl
Sandhill Crane
Nighthawk
Rufous HUMMING bird
Anna’s HUMMING bird
In the Trees
Pileated Woodpecker
Downy Woodpeaker
Pine Siskins
House Wren

On the Pond

Mallard Duck