BBY001 :: Sorbus scopulina

The first species on my observation list from Burnaby Lake is the mountain-ash tree. This is one of my favourite trees as I have had one in my backyard since I was young. Every fall it attracts all kinds of birds with its red berries.

I first wrote down the species of this specimen as S. scopulina, the local native “western” or “Greene’s” mountain-ash, but looking further makes me think it might one of several species or even a cross. Similar trees include S. sitchensis (Sitka mountain-ash) or S. aucuparia (European mountain-ash). More info from E-Flora BC, UBC.

A member of the rose family, Rosaceae, this is the first of many plants we will see in that distinction. It’s funny, knowing so little about taxonomy, I didn’t realize so many plants were of that family. I came across a Robert Frost:

The rose is a rose,

And was always a rose.

But now the theory goes

That the apple’s a rose,

And the pear is, and so’s

The plum, I suppose.

The dear only knows

What will next prove a rose.

You, of course, are a rose,

But were always a rose.

Robert Frost, “The Rose Family” Public Domain Poetry

I’ve seen this tree everywhere around the lake, but more often in the southern area between the sports centre and the wildlife rescue.

Specimen recorded July 24, 2020, 17:50 at the all-weather field trailhead. About 8’ (2.4 m) tall, with several trunk stalks from the ground.

Art by Nelson Spies, August 20, 2020. Watercolour pencil on paper.


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