North­ern red oak

Toronto Star - - INSIGHT -

( Quer­cus rubra) Neigh­bour­hood: Wind­fields, North York Ravine/Park: Wind­fields Park Height: 15 m (49 feet); di­am­e­ter: 147 cm (4 feet, 10 inches)

Stout, stocky and a lit­tle bit scrag­gly, this mas­sive red oak can’t be con­sid­ered stately. But Davies says its un­gainly fea­tures sug­gest we should re­vere it as an an­cient tree that has likely sur­vived for more than two cen­turies in what is now Wind­fields Park. At 147 cm in di­am­e­ter — nearly five feet across — it’s the largest of the 384 red oaks in Davies’ in­ven­tory. He and his team have nick­named it “The North­ern Dancer” in hon­our of the fa­mous Cana­dian-bred race­horse that used to graze in the nearby fields owned by busi­ness ty­coon E.P. Tay­lor. It’s hard to know how many trees this red oak has pro­duced in its life­time — a tree this size can drop up­wards of 2,000 acorns in one sea­son — but Davies hopes to one day see baby North­ern Dancers planted across the city to pre­serve its pedi­gree.

At 147 cm in di­am­e­ter, this north­ern red oak found in Toronto’s Wind­fields Park is the largest of the nearly 400 red oaks in Davies’ in­ven­tory.

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