Celebrating Biodiversity


(Above: the distinctive acorn of the Burr Oak)

Preservation of the urban forest in Ottawa is part of the official policy for the City of Ottawa, and for good reason. For example, the Champlain Oak forest is an area of biological significance with original mature oaks adjacent to the Ottawa River. There are only about 24 mature oaks remaining in the neighbourhood, which are remnants of the original riparian forest. Further losses of the trees making up this forest would disturb the local environment. These heritage old growth trees are well over 100 years old and provide important ecosystem services in providing shade, cleansing of the air of carbon dioxide and pollutants and biological corridors along the river for native songbirds. As a specialist in plant biodiversity, and resident of Cowley Avenue, I encourage all neighbours to celebrate this heritage and biological wealth, and to continue efforts to preserve native trees in the neighbourhood.


  John Thor Arnason, PhD
Professor of Biology
University of Ottawa

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One Response

  1. Debra Huron
    Debra Huron November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am | | Reply

    It’s so exciting to know that our neighbourhood contains the grandfather and grandmother trees from a time past. They are a legacy we must strive to preserve. Our family lives on Daniel Ave. and one of the things that attracted us to this street were the lovely trees lining front yards. I’ve since learned that the real treasures, especially when it comes to burr oaks, seem to be in people’s backyards. While large trees in front yards add beauty and grace to those walking, cycling, or jogging down those streets, each grandmother backyard tree has an impact on 3 other properties, as well as the one where it is rooted.

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