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Towering Vancouver Island tree officially second-largest in the country

Hannah Carpendale stretches out a tape measure to help Andy MacKinnon measure the crown spread of Big Lonely Doug, in a photo released on April 18, 2014.

TJ Watt/THE CANADIAN PRESS

As trees go, it is one colossal conifer.

Tape measures confirm that a Douglas fir tree on Vancouver Island is officially the second-largest in Canada.

According to the B.C. Big Tree Registry run by the University of British Columbia, the tree stands 70.2 metres high, about as tall as an 18-storey building. It has a diameter of 3.91 metres — almost as long as a mid-sized car.

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Dubbed "Big Lonely Doug" by those who found it, it takes 11.91 metres of tape to wrap round the base of the enormous evergreen and at the top, the tree's canopy spreads 18.33 metres across.

Conservationists believe the tree near Port Renfrew, on southern Vancouver Island, could be as much as 1,000 years old.

The country's largest Douglas fir, located in the San Juan River Valley 20 kilometres east of Big Lonely Doug, stands 73.8 metres tall and has a circumference of 13.28 metres.

Environmentalists opposed to clear-cut logging are calling on the government to stop logging in old-growth forests like the ones where these towering trees are found.

See why this tree is special.

TJ Watt/The Canadian Press

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