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Towering Arnprior white pine is Ontario's tallest tree

Doug Hempstead, Multimedia Journalist
Ottawa Sun

By Doug Hempstead, Ottawa Sun

<p>What's believed to be Ontario's tallest tree was recently discovered in Gillies Grove forest in Arnprior, about 40 minutes west of Ottawa. The white pine stands 154 feet high and will be the centrepiece of a ceremony Friday morning at 11 a.m.</p><p>DOUG HEMPSTEAD/Ottawa Sun

What's believed to be Ontario's tallest tree was recently discovered in Gillies Grove forest in Arnprior, about 40 minutes west of Ottawa. The white pine stands 154 feet high and will be the centrepiece of a ceremony Friday morning at 11 a.m.

DOUG HEMPSTEAD/Ottawa Sun

Dog walkers in Gillies Grove aren't shocked to discover their treasured Arnprior forest is home to Ontario's tallest tree.

They may even drop by Friday morning at 11 a.m. to see all the hoopla.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony takes place at the site to mark International Day of Biodiversity.

The property is owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, who in conjunction with Forests Ontario have announced the recent discovery of Ontario's tallest tree. It's a 154-foot white pine, about halfway up the main pathway.

Just past the barred owl who dog walker Claire Barton has learned to communicate with.

"If you call out 'who cooks for you?' it will answer you," she says, pulling back against her anxious Scottish terrier.

She says she's thrilled to hear the familiar trail has some provincial bragging rights.

"I's so glad it's been preserved," she says. "There were many who wanted to develop this area and build homes."

A bench will be placed next to the tree, which -- for perspective's sake -- is taller than a 13-story condominium.

Another dog walker, Earl, is impressed, but plans to avid Friday's ribbon-cutting ceremony.

"I wonder how many cords of wood you'd get from it," he says, pulling out tiny dog treats from his fanny pack for his yellow lab and Yorkshire terrier companions. "There certainly have been a few people around looking at it."

The tree -- likely between 150-200 years old -- has been added to Forests Ontario's Honour Roll, dedicated to keeping a record of the largest living trees of each species in the province.

Gillies Grove is at the end of Ottawa St. in Arnprior.

Twitter: @DougHempstead


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