Fagus sylvatica, the European beech or common beech, is a deciduous tree belonging to the beech family Fagacaea. It has a natural range extending from southern Sweden though to central Italy, west to France, northern Portugal and central Spain. Although oft regarded as a native in southern England, recent evidence suggests it did not reach here after until after the English Channel was formed in the ice ages.
It is a large tree, capable of reaching heights of up to 49 m and 3 m trunk diameter. It has a typical lifespan of 150 to 200 years, though sometimes up to 300 years. The appearance varies according to its habitat and forest conditions; it tends to have a long, slender light-gray trunk with a narrow crown and erect branches; in isolation with good side light, the trunk is short with a large and widely spreading crown with very long branches.
The leaves of beech are often not dropped in the autumn and instead remain on the tree until the spring. This particularly occurs when trees are are clipped as a hedge (as commonly seen in Denmark).
A Communal Resident
It’s a given that my mission, when on holidays, is to take tree and/or wood-related pictures for our newsletter…and what an opportunity Strathcona Park gave us. This past September, found us on our annual tenting holiday; just before the park closed its gates for the winter. We came prepared, both mentally and physically, for full-day hikes of 5-6 hours; weather permitting. And thus we made a 6-hour round trip trek to Bedwell Lake; bringing us into the sub-alpine; home to the yellow cedar tree.
Although comfortable at lower elevations especially in the mid or north coastal regions, the yellow cedar is most common at higher elevations.
As we walk along, I’m constantly asking what tree is this or that. Of course, I never remember and why should I? I have my handy-dandy walking reference………..better than an IPAD or smart phone; don’t have to worry Wi-Fi hot-spots!
A Journey into Journeymanship.
Do you know what a Joiner is? A Joiner will layout, machine, assemble, install and finish products that are fabricated from wood, plastics and other materials. Many of these processes will combine conventional techniques with automated (CNC/CAD/CAM) procedures.
As an example, joiners work in these areas:
- Architectural Woodwork (Millwork)
- Commercial furnishings
- Residential furnishings
- Yacht interiors
- Specialty items
To become a certified journeyperson, you need to complete four years of apprenticeship training. Apprenticeship is a time-proven method of acquiring skills in the trade by combining technical in-school instruction with practical on-the-job training. Apprenticeship training is the best method for passing along trade skills from one generation to the next.
From the mouth of Danny:
“I’m looking forward to learning something new and spending time in the big city!”
Beyond acing his exams to date, Danny’s taken time to explore the Sloquet hot springs. Here are his thoughts:
We had the privilege of having some photos sent to us from the Solomon Islands of some locals harvesting a Narra tree. These guys sure are good at what they do, as the photos prove!
Danny’s philosophy must be ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’.
The Tahsish River in Kyuquot Sound is one of those wild places I’ve always dreamed of visiting. This place is truly wild and untouched. Life goes on here as it has for thousands of years. The Tahsish River estuary was the site of a historic first nations village; used only during the salmon season. We spent a week exploring Kyuquot Sound, Tahsish & Kwois Rvers by canoe; in my opinion, the best way of seeing the area. The canoe allowed us to get ridiculously close to all kinds of wildlife. In fact, you name it and we saw it; even the most elusive of creatures, the cougar! Having encountered one of the most seldom seen beasts of the continent face to face is an experience that will remain with me for life.