In one of Canada’s fastest growing and ever changing cities, one thing has been constant for about 300 years. It’s a red oak tree. In fact it’s been recognised as a heritage tree by Forest Ontario’s Heritage Tree Programme.
The old oak is estimated to be anywhere from 250 to 350 years old, far older than Canada itself, and is thought to be the city’s oldest tree.
The impressive tree is some 24 metres tall and its branches spread out from 9 to 12 metres
Located on a quiet and well-treed residential street in the heart of the city in North York, the tree’s roots which have grown under and around the foundation of the house which was built in front of it. The roots are said to compromise the structural integrity of the house and it’s been threatened with being cut down as it lowers the house resale value by up to $70,000 according to the realtor representing the owner.
The city had planned to buy the property in 2015, and again with the new owners 2018 and remove the house in order to save the tree, but that fell through when the city and owner couldn’t agree.
Now there’s a plea for the public to donate towards helping towards the purchase price estimated to be around $750.000 when last discussed. It’s hoped private donations can reach over $400,000 by the end of this year in order to save the tree.