Forests Ontario to honour bur oaks as heritage trees

Bur oaks in Champlain Park will be named as heritage trees by Forests Ontario on National Tree Day 2017.

Among the approximately 60 bur oaks in Champlain Park neighbourhood, at least 40 are more than 50 cm Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) and thus deemed “distinctive” under Ottawa’s tree protection bylaw for private property.  Of these, 18 are over 120 years old (estimate based on size) and predate Post-World War 2 residential development in the neighbourhood.

Four of these large bur oaks will receive a small metal plaque identifying them as heritage trees on National Tree Day. This comes from Forests Ontario, not the City of Ottawa.

Provincial heritage status opens the door for Ottawa to both recognize and protect heritage trees, as does the City’s recently approved Urban Forest Management Plan. Recommendation #9 in the Plan calls for a review of the existing tree conservation by-law. This review is underway, and the Plan directs staff to consider “options for incorporating a heritage tree component into this by-law.”

Click to see larger image: Bur oak at 124 Cowley Ave.

Join the celebration on National Tree Day

The honouring event begins at 10 a.m. September 27 with opening words from the CEO of Forests Ontario, Rob Keen. The Kot family property, at 124 Cowley Ave., will be our gathering site, under the branches of the second-oldest bur oak in Champlain Park. Read more about its history here.

Click to see larger image: grove of bur oaks

By 10:45 a.m., the entourage of guests, residents and media will walk to Daniel and Keyworth Avenues where three more bur oaks, which are part of a grove, will have plaques affixed to their bark. They are located at 205 Daniel Ave, 211 Daniel Ave and 218 Keyworth Ave. Click on each address to read a profile of the tree, and of families that care about them.

Baby bur oaks for sale

For the last 5 years, Daniel Buckles of the Champlain Oaks project has tended a backyard nursery of bur oaks. The saplings he nurtures are grown from acorns of heritage trees, such as the one on the Kot property. He will be selling bur oak saplings for $10 per pot on National Tree Day. Money collected will fund supplies for tree planting in the neighbourhood.

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8 Responses

  1. Andy Macdonald
    Andy Macdonald September 17, 2017 at 11:26 am | | Reply

    There is a large burr oak at 219 Royal Ave that is slated for destruction. A building permit was issues, although it is not clear whether the forestry Dept approved its removal. The builder is Holtzner (spelling!) Is it possible to ask them to reconsider their plan?

  2. Barb Heidenrreich
    Barb Heidenrreich September 22, 2017 at 5:11 pm | | Reply

    Congratulations to all who have worked so hard to protect these incredible trees They are finally getting the respect and recognition they deserve….thank you Daniel Buckles and all those involved! ♥

  3. Karen Thompson
    Karen Thompson September 24, 2017 at 4:03 pm | | Reply

    Where were you when a pre-Confederation burr oak was allowed to be taken down on private property on Northwestern Ave.? A police officer was there to make sure there were no issues with those who were against the tree removal. The developer was issued a permit by the City when they changed their building permit from a double to a single family dwelling. The lot still stands empty filled with debris and weeds which is only trimmed when we contact by-law every summer. I grew up with those magnificent trees which the city and NCC have allowed to be destroyed even when there are by-laws in place to protect them. Congratulations on finally having some of these trees designated Heritage. There is also one at the bottom of Northwestern on NCC property.

  4. Jane K.
    Jane K. September 30, 2017 at 10:02 pm | | Reply

    I’m very grateful for your committed work, and the maps and pictures of the tree locations– I’ve wondered where they are.

Please comment with your real name using good manners.

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