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Fort Langley family loses 200-year-old Douglas fir to windstorm

Smith family returned from vacation after Saturday's storm to discover the giant tree had been uprooted by high winds

A Douglas fir more than 200 years old was blown down in the windstorm, leaving one Fort Langley family with new landscaping on their property.

Karen Smith and her family returned from vacation to find one of their largest and oldest trees had come down — its root ball reaching more than 20 feet in the air, they estimated.

Smith’s son Harry was shocked by the sight. His “eyes were huge looking at it,” she said.

Her oldest daughter remarked that it looks like an asteroid hit the ground where the tree once stood.

“We weren’t home when it happened, but we were home during the 2006 Stanley Park windstorm,” said Smith.

A bunch of our trees went down that year and the whole ground shook.”

The Smiths live on an acreage near Trinity Western University.

An arborist estimated the tree to be more than 200 years old. Another tree on the property is estimated to be 300 to 500 years old, but without counting its rings, the arborist couldn’t give an exact age.

The Smith family is sad to lose such an impressive old tree.

“But nobody was hurt and that’s the most important thing,” said Smith.

The tree is much too big to do anything with so they are leaving it to decompose naturally.

The trees that have fallen before offered homes and life, she said. Birds have made nests in the fallen trees.