Conifers haven’t been receiving many entries lately on BPotD, so time to change that.
These photographs were taken in early summer near Port Renfrew, British Columbia. Both are of the same species, Picea sitchensis or Sitka spruce, previously featured on BPotD several years ago: Picea sitchensis.
The dwarfed spruce, growing on the end of the submerged log, is subject to fairly harsh conditions beyond the obvious one of trying to extract much of the needed nutrients from decaying wood. If I recall correctly from the conversation I had with one of the locals, Fairy Lake (where this is located) is occasionally subject to an influx of salt water from the ocean. The same local also commented that this tree is at least 40-50 years old, as he remembers it growing there — and of a similar size — when he was a child over twenty years ago. I plan on revisiting this particular plant in the future, to hopefully photograph it with a still lake surface.
The other spruce, growing about 15 or so km away, is known as the San Juan Sitka spruce. It is claimed by some to be Canada’s largest spruce tree and the second largest in the world (another photograph of it shared in that link). I’m not so sure about that claim, as British Columbia’s Big Tree Registry (PDF) suggests that BC has Sitka spruce trees that are larger in circumference, taller, more spreading, and (when combining all three of these measures in a points system), “bigger”. The only measure I could see where it may earn the title of Canada’s largest spruce tree is in volume of wood. Whatever status it may or may not be entitled to, it is still an impressive individual, measuring 62.5m high (205 feet), 11.66m circumference (36 feet, 3 inches), and a spread of 23m (75 feet). Still, it was only the second-largest tree I encountered that day.