Our province is home to a huge variety of trees, including Canada’s oldest and finest sugar maple. But, by far, the most photographed tree in Ontario is the famous windswept pine tree of Killbear Provincial Park.
You will find thousands of photos of this famous tree online, and there is never a shortage of hikers visiting and snapping photos.
“This tree has a special place in the hearts of many Killbear visitors,” wrote the provincial park on Instagram.
What makes this unique white pine so photo-worthy is its bent shape, thanks to many years of strong winds on the shores of Georgian Bay.
However, the future is not looking so bright for this beloved tree — Kenton Otterbein, a naturalist at Killbear, told the Ottawa Citizen in 2019 that its life may be coming to an end.
“A major limb died over the last two years and we’ve also noticed that the centre of the tree is starting to hollow out,” he said at the time.
“Trees go through various stages of life and unfortunately they sometimes die as part of the natural cycle.”
According to Otterbein, the tree was estimated to be 100 years old back in 2019. But, it is hard to know for sure, especially now that the inside is beginning to hollow.
That may seem like a long life for a tree but believe it or not, the oldest one in Ontario is believed to be around 1,300 years old.
This ancient tree is alive and well on the cliffside of the Niagara Escarpment at Lion’s Head Lookout.
Algonquin Provincial Park, which is Canada’s oldest provincial park, is also home to some of the oldest trees in the country.
It’s home to 500-year-old Hemlock trees, making these trees some of the oldest Hemlocks in the world.
The windswept pine of Killbear is a must-visit for any nature photographer or adventurer and now is the time to see it while it is still standing.