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Discovering Ottawa’s old growth giants

Updated: Apr 18, 2020


When we first considered buying the house, it was just a big tree in the back yard. A magnificent, beautiful tree and we wanted to live in a neighbourhood of mature trees. But it was just a tree. Or so I thought.

And a problem. No scratch that, a whole LOT of problems.

That massive, 7-story behemoth with the 1.5 metre-wide trunk refuses to just sit still and be a pretty landscape element.

  1. I can’t have a proper vegetable garden in the deep shape of its branches.

  2. That corner of our lot will always be grassless and the ground bumpy.

  3. My garage – built next to the tree in 1950 – has been in a long term fight with the tree, and the garage is losing badly.

  4. Trimming a tree like that is expensive.

  5. Any future renovations will have to work around its massive bulk.

But when we realized how OLD this thing was, we realized: wait, the tree isn’t the intruder here: we are.

It was here long before we, our parents, or even our great-grandparents were born and will hopefully be there for our grandchildren some day. It’s a living thing that deserves our respect. But more than that, it deserves to be celebrated.

Which is what this site is all about. Please take some time to read the stories, and please contact us if you’d like to share your own.

And photos. Please share those – particularly if you have shots of trees that are now gone or photos of our neighbourhood before the houses came. -- Dennis Van Staalduinen

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