Royal Oak Trees, King George Highway
King George Highway, Surrey, British Columbia, V3S, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Royal Oak Trees are a row of ceremonial trees set along the wide side boulevards of the King George Highway, from the Nicomekl River near Crescent Road to the convergence with Highway 99 at 8 Avenue in South Surrey.
The Royal Oak Trees are valued for their symbolic ties to the British Empire and monarchy. These trees were planted as a commemoration of the 1937 coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and symbolize the British origins of many of Surrey's first settlers. Countries throughout the Empire were sent English Oak seedlings from the royal forest at Windsor Great Park to act as a lasting commemoration of the Coronation.
The King George VI Highway, part of an international highway system that connected Canada from the Fraser River, south to the Peace Arch at Blaine, Washington, was officially opened on October 16, 1940. The naming of the highway for the King was also a demonstration of loyalty to the Mother Country at a time of war. The trees were planted to define the highway as a formal processional.
The Royal Oak Trees are also valued because they provide a transition between a major public transportation corridor and private property. Creating a visual and symbolic break, the trees have become an important part of the landscape along King George Highway, from the Nicomekl River to 8 Avenue. The protection and maintenance of these trees also demonstrates the commitment of the City of Surrey in recognizing and preserving its natural heritage.
Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Royal Oak Trees include their:
- prominence and visibility along the King George Highway from the Nicomekl River to 8 Avenue;
- large spreading crowns, lobed leaves, deeply furrowed grey-black bark, lush dark green foliage in the spring/summer and autumn acorns;
- height (approximately fifteen metres), species (Quercus robur) and full seasonal canopy; and
- punctuation of the wide side boulevards, created by equal spacing on a straight line.
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
Theme - Category and Type
- Governing Canada
- Canada and the World
Function - Category and Type
- Nature Element
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey
Cross-Reference to Collection