Forests Ontario

Heritage Tree

Recognition Number
HT-2017-188-191, HT-2017-189-192, HT-2017-190-194 & HT-2017-191-195
Age
180 to 200 years
Height
29 (average) m
Circumference
326 (average) cm
Location
Ottawa

Known as the Champlain Oaks, these 4 mature, healthy bur oak are remnants of an old-growth forest, and direct descendants of the oak forest noted by Captain Pierre Chevalier de Troyes in his 1686 journal. The forest in which this trees were originally found had great importance to First Nations, who called it “the place where the oaks grow”, and would have been seen by Samuel de Champlain during his travels up the Ottawa River.

The magnificent Champlain Oaks are between 180 and 200 years old. The larger lot to which the area once belonged was not suitable for farming due to very thin soils known as an Alvar. Ownership was in legal limbo for long periods between 1839 and about 1900, which accounts for limited development despite proximity to the City of Ottawa. These trees predate all residential development in the neighbourhood and former residents nearby recall walking “through the forest” from Keyworth Avenue to Island Park Drive to see the carriage of King George V during a Royal Visit to Ottawa in 1939.

The genetic resources embodied in these trees are adapted to the climate of the National Capital and have important design value for urban environments affected by pollution, periods of drought and storm water runoff.