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NATURE: Ontario's tallest tree discovered in Arnprior

An Eastern white pine tree located within Gillies Grove in Arnprior, by the shores of the Ottawa River, was recently discovered to be the tallest tree in Ontario. The tree is pictured within the clump of white pines on the left side of this photo. It stands a magnificient 47 metres, or 154 feet, high

An Eastern white pine tree located within Gillies Grove in Arnprior, by the shores of the Ottawa River, was recently discovered to be the tallest tree in Ontario. The tree is pictured within the clump of white pines on the left side of this photo. It stands a magnificient 47 metres, or 154 feet, high

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in conjunction with Forests Ontario have announced the discovery of Ontario's tallest tree.

At Ontario's Biodiversity Summit, the groups marked International Day of Biodiversity in May with the discovery of Ontario's tallest eastern white pine.

It is a magnificent 47 metres, or 154 feet, high and located along the Ottawa River at the Nature

Conservancy of Canada's Gillies Grove Nature Reserve. The finding has been confirmed by Forests Ontario's Honour Roll recognition program. To give some perspective, this tree is taller than a 13-story condominium and Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada and forests specialists recently discovered the hidden gem within the protected forest. Visitors have ultimately been walking by this giant tree for generations.

The Grove pine now joins the many white pine all-stars of Ontario's forests. These include ancient white pine of Temagami, old-growth pine reserves in Algonquin Park, impressive protected pines in Greenwood Lake Conservation Reserve west of Thunder Bay, and the many great stands and outstanding individual pines that adorn our landscape.

In spring 2015, Steve D'Eon, a registered professional forester working for the Canadian Forest Service confirmed that Ontario's tallest eastern white pine is located in the middle of Gillies Grove. D'Eon was invited by NCC to follow up on hunches and cursory measurements made a decade earlier. He brought state-of-the-art measuring devices, and another forester as a witness, and measured the magnificent tree to be a whopping 47 metres or 154 feet. By all accounts this is the tallest white pine, and the tallest tree, in the province.

"Arnprior is a Town which offers many wonderful natural attributes to explore and enjoy. The

Gillies Grove is one of our beautiful assets; where residents and visitors alike can enjoy the

allure of spending time exploring an incredible old growth forest in the town 'Where the Rivers

Meet.' We are very proud be able to welcome all our guests to home of Ontario's tallest pine

tree. Please take the time to come see what the Gillies Grove and the Town of Arnprior have to

offer," said Mayor David Reid of the Town of Arnprior.

Gillies Grove is a 22-hectare (56-acre) old growth forest that is a beloved natural feature of the Town of Arnprior and adjacent Township of McNab-Braeside. The Grove was once owned by Daniel McLachlin and later by David Gillies, both great figures in the history of logging in the Ottawa Valley. They spared this stately forest of hardwood and pine and it became the wooded promenade for their families and local townspeople for generations. The trees also shaded the magnificent Gillies mansion, itself built from pine from the Grove. Together the woods and home are designated as a National Historic Site.

Forests Ontario's Honour Roll program is dedicated to keeping record of the largest living trees of each species in the province. Criteria is based on the tree's height and diameter. Throughout its history, Ontario's Honour Roll has spurred long-term and growing interest in trees throughout the province. This interest even led to the naming of eastern white pine as Ontario's arboreal emblem in 1984's Ontario Bicentennial.