Transition of a Tofino Rainforest

The Journey of the Tofino Rainforest Landscape: From Hardwoods to Conifers

Old Growth Conifers From Forests Past

This landscape has not always been dominated by giant conifers. A journey through time reveals past forests.

August 1, 40 million years ago

It’s hot and sticky. You’re strolling through a leafy forest of over 40 different types of hardwood trees. The air is heavy with the scent of magnolia blossoms and thick with buzzing insects. You see no conifers, except as small patches on distant mountain slopes.

August 1, 10 million years ago

A cool breeze blows. Although you’re leaning against a sycamore tree, hardwoods are difficult to find. Instead, conifers have moved down and grown into giants. You wonder….why has the forest changed?

About 15 million years ago

About 15 million years ago the climate cooled. This was partly due to world-wide volcanic eruptions that blocked the sun with clouds of ash. Also, the slow rise of the coastal mountains changed local weather patterns. Cooler summers and wet, mild winters favoured conifers and gradually they edged out the one-flourishing hardwoods.