A Good Home, Bowmanville, Heritage Trees, Trees

Wondrous Wednesday

This tree, which I ambitiously tried to hug — in my own special lop-sided way — is a mighty oak indeed. It stands tall and wide in the front-yard of a beautiful brick home, and though the home is old, the oak is older.

I recently met the owners of house and tree at their home in the gorgeous heritage district of one of Canada’s nicest small towns: Bowmanville, Ontario. They’ve lived here for decades and have learned much about their home, the town, and of course, the tree.

“It’s more than 300 years old,” the husband told me. “Many people stop to take photos.” 

As did my husband and I.  I’ve even told friends about this tree, and directed them to it!

It is, indeed, a wondrous tree. 


There are other large trees on this beautiful street. Maples, magnificent beeches and others. But none as massive and wondrous as the oak.  Which is ironic as the street is called Beech.

Here’s to the mighty oak!


80 thoughts on “Wondrous Wednesday”

  1. That is a giant tree! I love that you hugged it and took a photo. I wish I had a photo from when I hugged a giant redwood in CA years ago. To might oaks living on beech streets protected by maple leaf neighbors! 🙂

  2. I love trees. There’s a huge, old oak down the street on a vacant lot. It’s my favorite tree around here and in the summer it’s magnificent. I walk down there just to talk to it. lol. Lovely post and photo, Cynthia.

  3. I just love that photo of you with your tree friend! Trees like oaks are so long-lived. What things have happened in the world in the past 300 years while that tree was quietly growing and growing!

  4. A beautiful post, Cynthia. Sadly, a large oak tree in our backyard recently “bit the dust.” It certainly hadn’t attained the venerable age of 300 years, but it was old, tall, and stately. I miss it.

  5. Amusing photo… did you really just walk up to someone’s tree to hug it, then later meet the homeowner?

    The oldest trees in our forest are about 150 years old. I have counted several stump rings back that far. Most of those trees have turned to pea-ant hotels, thus are rotted in the middle. 150 years ago places us at our USA Civil War (which is still being fought, culturally, in this region). Much of this area was harvested to rebuild the Mid-Atlantic states areas, and to make charcoal for iron smeltering. Forests will regrow, if we treat them well, or leave them alone. From your memoirs, I know that you and Hamlin enjoy a good piece of woods.

    1. Yes, I did, a couple winters ago. then I went back and met the homeowners, and they invited me indoors and we had a great chat. Lovely couple. Could you please email me? I’ve lost your email in the madness of the last two weeks, and I need to connect.

  6. How wonderful that you took time to hug this great tree and meet the present owners. We have an oak tree in the front yard and one in the back. My father bought them for us when we moved into our home when it was new. We have watched them grow and will be passed on to new owners one day.

    1. When we lived in the Blue House, we were surrounded by trees, some planted by the original owner. He and his family came back and you should have seen them having silent conversations with the trees! A moving experience for them – and for me – and maybe the trees too!

  7. I love the picture of you hugging the tree. I often find myself patting a tree when I pass it. They really are magnificent and beautiful and often go unnoticed. It’s nice to know about another one.

  8. Cynthia, they should rename this street straight away!! 😀 What a fabulous tree and I love the photo of you hugging it – a few more people are required to encircle it entirely! Nearby we have a landscape garden and house in which there is an 800-year-old oak – we always go and give it a hug/pat on our walk – what a feat and imagine what it has seen in its lifetime!

    1. 800 years! Double wow, Annika! You are fortunate to have it nearby — it must make humans feel very small and humble to see such a tree. That’s how I felt with the mighty oak.

  9. I love oaks and that one is magnificent! If we cast our mind back 300 years ago, it’s rather dizzying to consider all that has happened since that oak sprouted. Humbling, actually.

    1. Yes, Laurie, well said. Humbling. That tree stood there before Canada became a nation 150 years ago. It stood there before this piece of land became a street. It’s goosebumpy to think of all the big eras it witnessed.

  10. Les arbres sont un exemple de persévérance et aussi d’espérance pour nous. Ils puisent leur force dans leurs racines, continuent de grandir et vivent longtemps, très longtemps 🙂

    1. Bien dit, Christiane. Well said. Trees are indeed a great example of perseverance and hope. I always think that people who plant small trees do so knowing they’ll never see it grow to full maturity — like sending a time capsule way into space, not knowing who will enjoy the contents later. Merci beaucoup for your inspiring response.

  11. That tree is right across the street from a very fantastic place that a lot folks call a home away from home … years ago I had my photo in the paper with it and the president of the local heritage district.

      1. I think it is, too. I read up on Canadian Oaks, having done work in Chicago there are some similarities and some great trees I had forgotten all about!

    1. I had to work very hard at that hug, and so it gives me great pleasure to think the tree got the love I sent. Even now, when I look at my back in the picture, I see how twisted it is under my coat as I try to get my body to comply. Yet, discomfort notwithstanding, I totally loved hugging that tree.

  12. Cynthia, I love the picture of you with the mighty oak. As a kindred tree-hugger, I care more about the trees of a prospective home than whether the kitchen is updated or not. As long as the kitchen sink looks out over trees, I’m a happy cook/kook. 🙂
    Blessings ~ Wendy

  13. There is something about old trees that connects our soul to the earth in a magical way. I have shared on my blog and page about the old oak behind my goat pasture. I remember a friend saying don’t you get sick of all the leaves and mess it makes with acorns and broken branches that shed each year. My reply was NEVER! Maybe that is why I still love and have the book the Giving Tree. It always made me happy to know the tree and boy were connected forever.

    1. I love your reply, Tina. And it does not surprise me at all that you would say Never to removing the old oak.

      Also, I haven’t read that book in years. Time to read it again!

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