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Forests Ontario to honour bur oaks as heritage trees

Updated: Apr 19, 2020

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 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.”

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 heritage bur oak in Champlain Park. Read more about its history here.

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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