THE BIG MAPLE
On a windy day in May 1991, a forest giant crashed to the ground, its full force heard only by the birds and animals of a bush lot. This forest giant, believed to be Canada’s tallest Sugar Maple ever now lay on sloping ground, close to the Nith River in the Waterloo region, in Southern Ontario.
Sugarbush Hill has been fortunate to have obtained a cross section slice of “The Big Maple” that had been placed in the “Ontario Forest” Honour Roll of Trees in 1976. The sugar maple measured 130 ft. in height with a diameter of 46.7 inches at breast height.
Scientists from the University Of Waterloo were interested in studying the rings of the trunk to learn about the climate during the tree’s life. It had been estimated that the sugar maple was 400 years old, this proved to be accurate.
This tree had been a seedling and was already growing before Samuel De Champlain founded Quebec. It was also more than 150 years old when the first settlers arrived in the Waterloo region. The growth rings also indicated that Southern Ontario went through a mini ice-age of only 150 yrs.
Come to Sugarbush Hill and check-out “The Big Maple” and see if you can find the mini ice-age in the tree rings. A tree that could have very conceivably been tapped by our original First Nations People for its maple syrup and sugar.
“The Big Maple” ….yours to discover.