The Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society preserves existing Garry oak trees by removing invasive species that threaten existing trees, by planting Garry oaks in new areas, and by advocating for the preservation of existing oaks that may be threatened by development or land use. Our preservation efforts are crucial to the survival of the Garry oak in our community. Oaks are slow growing and have lost as much as 99% of their original habitat. Continual preservation efforts will ensure that our city’s namesake lives on in our community for future generations.

Planting Garry Oak Trees on Whidbey Island


Planting Garry oaks on Whidbey Island is one of the primary objectives of the Society. We aspire to continue the living legacy of the Garry oak so that future generations can enjoy the many benefits these unique trees provide. In just a few short years, we have formed valuable partnerships and planted Garry oaks in numerous of locations. You’ll find newly planted along Regatta Drive, at the School District Headquarters, near the marina, at the Navy Lodge, and Oak Harbor’s Centennial Oak Grove; that’s just the short list! We are thankful for the many wonderful people who have welcomed the idea of planting Garry oaks – the legacy of the Garry oak continues because of you.    



Invasive English Ivy Removal

Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society Ivy Removal Brad

Duncan and Kathy remove english ivy from a Garry oak.

English ivy is one of the leading causes of death for mature Garry oaks in Oak Harbor. Not only does the ivy rob oak trees of light and nutrients, it also impairs crucial gas exchange by wrapping itself tightly to the tree bark. Over time, the tree is weakened and will strangle and die, unable to compete with the fast growing ivy. 

The Garry Oak Society works to educate landowners about the risks of ivy-related tree mortality. To do this we have an active outreach campaign and have helped homeowners remove ivy from their mature Garry oaks. 

If you have a Garry oak with an ivy problem, the first step is to cut the ivy at the base of the tree, and then cut again 7 feet up the tree. Remove the ivy from around the tree as far up as you safely can, taking care not to damage the tree bark. The ivy in the soil can then be pulled by hand or killed using an herbicide.  

Heritage Tree Program

This program is one of our future projects.  Stay tuned for updates!

Hilltop Garry oak in winter, photo credit L. Renninger 2015.

Hilltop Garry oak in winter.