White Oaks

Earlier this year I happened upon a story of a group of Gatineau citizens trying to convince the city to preserve a section of forest located in the Deschênes neighbourhood that was destined to be sold for development. One of the group’s compelling arguments, amongst many, was to preserve a rare stand of white oaks. Good news – they succeeded

Knowing little about white oaks or their status within the region I decided to track a few down. Here is a route linking three specimens that are relatively easy to access by bike. 

We begin in the Dominion Arboretum where sits this white oak planted in 1996. This one was easy to identify as it has an aluminum plaque attached to it with all the identifying  info, as is typical with most of the trees in the arboretum.

Young white oak in the Arboretum

After leaving the arboretum and riding over to the Ottawa River Pathway one has two choices; continue westwardly on the Ontario side as far as the Britannia Park neighbourhood, or cross the Island Park Bridge and ride along the Voyageurs Pathway as far as Deschênes. 

I first visited the white oak in Britannia Park which is situated just within the chain link fence that designates the edge of the Britannia Conservation Area. Bikes aren’t allowed beyond the fence so I locked mine up and walked the short distance. I was able to locate this tree with the help of the iNaturalist app/website

Britannia Conservation Area

The white oak I was able to find in Deschênes Forest is a short distance off the Voyageurs Pathway. There is a path through the woods one can follow to get there, the entrance to which is just before you reach Chemin Fraser. 

Chêne blanc à Deschênes

Et voila – happy trails!

Author: ottawavelo

bicycler

2 thoughts on “White Oaks”

  1. How interesting! I too have been curious about the White oak as I had just finished reading a terrific book that mentioned the numerous values af this awesome and now rare tree in the Outaouais (and elesewhere). Went for a stroll to try and identify it in the Deschênes forest, but no luck. This should help! Thanks for the tips and the great outing proposition! ;o)

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