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(Above: A magnificent oak used to grace the back of this property. Sadly, housing development in the neighbourhood is filling lots corner to corner to corner and leaving little room to plant new trees.
Champlain Park is blessed with many examples of mature trees – the magnificent bur oaks, sugar maples, red maples, small and large leaf linden’s, butternuts and even a Ginkgo, the world’s oldest tree species (a living fossil, dating back 270 million years). They matter to me because time unfolds for trees on a scale different from ours – something the Environmental Historian Joanna Dean of Carleton University drew my attention to. Imagine this. The longest living tree on earth is the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Methuselah) Pinus longaeva. It is some 4,844 years old! While it might take us a week to get over a cold, a shock to a big tree can take years, even as long as 40 years, to become visible. Grounded in the earth, and living to a timeframe that overarches my own, the trees connect me to the past and the future, in the present. Why do trees matter to you?