The Coronation Oak trees were planted in May, 1937
Oak seedlings were propagated from acorns gathered from trees at Windsor Great Park. They were distributed throughout the Commonwealth to commemorate the coronation of George VI and his wife Elizabeth – the parents of our current Queen Elizabeth II.
Windsor Forest still has some huge, ancient, solitary oaks standing in the Park. According to experts, the oldest,Offa’s Oak, might be 1500 years old! Offa was a Saxon king in the 8th century.
I know the location of three Coronation Oaks on Salt Spring. Many of them across the country were placed at Anglican churches and cemeteries and that is true of two of them on the island.
The first is located at St. Mary’s, across the street from Fulford Hall. It is an historic 1894 Anglican parish church. The beautiful English oak is planted at the front of the church – you can’t miss it.
The second is on the SW corner of Fulford-Ganges Road and Dean Road. This location was the home of St. Paul’s Anglican church, built in 1913. The church was destroyed by a fire in 1939 but the coronation oak has survived.
It is unfortunate that both of these trees are located adjacent to the overhead power and phone lines. Their shape has been altered by pruning over the years. I wonder if the trimming crews know anything about the history of these trees?
The third tree is lucky to have planted away from the road and has had the luxury of being able to grow to its natural shape. It is truly a magnificent tree and is located at what is now the Salt Spring Elementary School in Ganges.
I have heard that there was a fourth Coronation Oak but I do not know where it is. Do you know of others on Salt Spring or where you live?