Forests Ontario

News & Events

Ottawa’s Champlain Oaks Withstand the Test of Time

Four trees recognized as Heritage Trees on National Tree Day

Ottawa, Ontario, September 27, 2017 – 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. Throughout the sesquicentennial, the program seeks to recognize 150 Heritage Trees, sharing these Trees’ unique stories and deep connections to our history. Our 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.

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. Over the centuries, the property was visited by many historical people, including Lord Dufferin, the third Governor General of Canada, in 1874. These oaks continue to stand as prominent landmarks in the community and are defining features that connect the neighbourhood.

“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. We encourage all Ontarians to nominate a Heritage Tree today and help us celebrate the social, cultural and historic legacy of these important Trees in our communities.”

Trees are not just beautiful landmarks and the heart of healthy ecosystems, but characters in the stories that form our history. In celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial, Forests Ontario and the TD Bank Group invite Ontarians to help us collect and tell the stories of 150 heritage trees across the province. Recognition is based on a tree’s historical, cultural or social significance as well as consideration given for distinctness in size, form, age and rarity. We encourage Ontarians to continue to share their Heritage Tree stories with us; Forests Ontario will accept nominations until December 31, 2017.

To see a full map of Heritage trees across Ontario visit: