Saturday, September 17, 2016

Towering Gray Birches on Dearbourne trail

                                                                                                                             Photos by Barry Wallace
The trail pictured above is only 300 metres long but it connects the two sections of Dearbourne Avenue, between Keele and Jane Streets, just below the 17th Sideroad.   Decades ago, Dearbourne Avenue was open to vehicles all the way between the two concessions, but that was back in the 1950s.   Now, halfway along those 300 metres, there is another trail which heads south over the King Ridge for about 500 metres, where it connects with the north end of Fog Road, where King City Lodge is located.   The area is heavily forested and among the numerous tree species here, there are hundreds of Grey Birch trees upon the tightly rolling terrain.   

In the photo above, a Gray Birch is seen between two White Birches, while in the picture below the lower trunk of a mature Gray Birch is seen.   Below that is a photo of soaring, mature Gray Birches that at least 70' high.   The normal maximum height of a mature Gray Birch is 40'.   Gray Birches have been known to reach 80' in very uncommon situations when all the factors involved in tree location and growing conditions are ideal for exceptional growth.   This is one of those locations.   For anyone interested in the trees of the Oak Ridges Moraine, this is an opportunity to see a remarkable evolution in our own backyard.   The north-south portion of this trail appears to be on private land, but there are no 'private property' or 'no trespassing' signs to be seen.   The trail is well-worn and shows signs of trail-motorbike usage.   Walkers here should be prepared to leave if asked to by the landowners.

Please comment if you wish.
Barry Wallace


  1. Thank you for the information on Birch trees.

  2. Beautiful photos, great info on where to see them. Thanks