Niagara Escarpment’s Ancient Cedars

High on the Escarpment overlooking the Bay and Collingwood is a collection of crevices, flora and fauna, rare native plants and ferns, and the oldest tree East of British Columbia, the Ancient White Cedar.

Clinging implausibly to the cliffs, bent and twisted with age, these bonsai-like trees are worth a hike in the woods to view their rare age and spiky branches that seem to be suspended in space.

In 1988, just a few years ago, a Guelph researcher and author, Doug Larson, decided to take home a few slices from these dead trees only to discover 500 rings and later, trees exceeding 1000 years. He also found a slice from a tree that was 1800 years old! (The Last Stand: a Journey through the Ancient Cliff-Face Forest of the Niagara Escarpment by Peter Kelly & Douglas Larson).

Nothing short of miraculous, the Ancient Cedar thrives in cold environments where they were spared when early settlers cleared the land because of their growth on unreachable cliff faces. Their distorted shapes also made them less desirable for lumber. The vertical cliffs that encompass the Georgian Triangle home the most ancient and least disturbed forest ecosystem in eastern North America!

Just another amazing element of the picturesque area we live in - “To live, work and play!” Interested in seeing an Ancient Cedar? Explore the cliffs and valleys of the Duncan Crevice Caves Nature Reserve as well as Metcalfe Rock by Kolapore, home to ancient dwarfed cedar trees that grow incredibly from limestone cliffs. Be adventurous this fall before the snow hits the ground and discover this oddly shaped tree for yourself!

New provided by Century 21 Millennium.

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