What is a Heritage Tree?
Heritage Trees collect and tell the stories of Ontario’s diverse and unique trees and brings awareness to the social, cultural, historical and ecological value of trees. For a tree to qualify, Heritage Trees have to be associated with a historic person or event, or may be growing on land that is historically significant. Candidate Heritage Trees are also assessed for form, shape, beauty, age, colour, size, rarity, genetic constitution or other distinctive features and/or as a prominent community landmark, however its historical or cultural significance is of most importance.
Mention the Three Tenors or The Three Musketeers and one immediately is forecast with visual imagery to a fine degree. But mention the Three Amigos of Long Branch and questions abound.
Yet these stately three have already been acclaimed with provincial heritage status and have become celebrities of sorts in the Toronto Star. City-TV, CBC and local Etobicoke media.
Accumulatively the Three Amigos combine the growing and harsh climatic survival experience to well over 600 hundred years.
Still puzzled? how about the fact that these three ecosystems work extremely hard every day producing fresh oxygen and filtering out the dirty carbon dioxide air for at least 16-20 people!
BIG RED was Long Branch’s first Heritage Tree (Park Blvd. and Long Branch Ave). It escaped the great Long Branch Hotel fire of 1958 and has majestically beaconed in living tribute the Legions 101 Long Branch Cenotaph ever since.
A 200 year old Red Oak, Big Red instantly received fame and affection with front page, radio and TV media coverage during its heritage tree designation in the of Spring 2018.
Based on the 12.5 foot circumference it dates the tree to the late 1810’s.
Post War of 1812 and in 1818 when George Brown ( Father of Confederation) was just an infant rocking in his cradle , a single red oak acorn took root in the richly treed forests of southern Etobicoke, what is now known as Long Branch Toronto.
Long Branch Grove Resort
Years later and already deeply rooted, the red oak became a cooling canopy over one of the two ambient entrance water fountains at Long Branch Grove and Resort of 1884.
Just steps away the Red Oak was in full view of the Famous Japanese Pagoda styled Long Branch Hotel, the Carousel, Ball Park and Dance Pavilions and heard the delight of kids sliding down the water flume into Lake Ontario.
In the late 1890’s Long Branch Grove was a only a 40 minute journey on the ‘Rupert’ or ‘Star Line’ steamboats from Toronto’s Habour. Yes, Long Branch was very much the vacation spot for Toronto’s gentry elite.
STOP 26 at 42 Ash Cr. was recently featured as the Toronto Star’s Tree of the Week column by Megan Ogilvie.
A beautiful Silver Maple, STOP 26 is at the former location of Colonel Fredrick B. Robins gates to The Pines of 1910 at Lakeshore Blvd. Stop 26 was the Mimico Port Credit Rail-tram stop number 26.
If size matters Titan, a 275 year old Red Oak and still growing, is no contest.
‘TITAN’ was featured in the inaugural issue of the Toronto Star favourite trees.