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Ottawa’s Champlain oaks withstand the test of time

September 28, 2017

By: The Working Forest Staff

OTTAWA — Forests Ontario is working with community members and TD Bank Group in celebration of Ontario’s living landmarks – heritage trees. The Ontario Heritage Tree Program has already recognized 65 heritage trees. The group’s latest heritage trees are four Bur Oak trees in the Champlain Park neighbourhood of Ottawa.

The Champlain Oaks are a community of healthy, pre-settlement Bur Oak trees descended directly from the open forest of the Ottawa River shoreline. They were named after Samuel de Champlain who explored the area in the 1600s and would have wandered past some of the parents of these current oaks.

According to Forests Ontario, it is very rare for urban trees of this age to be healthy, surrounded by increased residential development. These trees likely survived due to a common practice of leaving clumps of trees on farmland as boundary markers and windbreaks.

“In this milestone year, we are pleased to add four more trees to our growing roster of Ontario heritage trees,” says Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario. “Canada has a rich culture of biological monuments.”

Forests Ontario’s Heritage Tree Program collects and tells the stories of Ontario’s diverse and unique trees and brings awareness to the social, cultural, historical, and ecological value of trees. To see a full map of Heritage trees across Ontario visit: https://www.forestsontario.ca/community/in-the-spotlight/heritage-trees/.

Photo shows Dennis Van Staalduinen (left) and Elliott, his son, in front of one of four Bur Oak trees recognized by Forests Ontario’s Heritage Tree Program in the Champlain Park neighbourhood of Ottawa. 

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