Outstanding Heritage Trees Recognized in Tay Valley Township’s Legacy Tree Program

Maberly Tree First to be Designated

Tay Valley Township has announced the designation of an important tree in Maberly as the first to be recognized in the township’s new 200th Anniversary Legacy Tree Program.  The Maberly Tree, a stately eastern cottonwood, estimated at over 150 years old, has been an identifying feature of the hamlet since its early milling days in the late 1800s.  A heritage plaque will be placed at the site in a ceremony next summer. 

The new Legacy Tree Program, one of the 200th Anniversary celebration activities, will recognize the role that trees and forestry played in this area’s early development.  Trees that have a unique value, because of age, size, or significant historical or social importance to the community, will be designated and receive a certificate and, where appropriate, a plaque.

In announcing the Legacy Tree Program, Tay Valley Township’s Reeve, Keith Kerr, noted that “Trees played a critical role in the establishment of our community that continues to this day.  It is appropriate that this be acknowledged as we celebrate the settlement of this area, through the designation of representative trees.”

Township residents are encouraged to nominate trees that could be candidates for designation.  Applications will be reviewed by a committee of volunteer technical assessors.  Property owners of selected trees will receive a designation certificate, and trees in a location accessible to the public will be commemorated with a plaque.

The Maberly Tree

The Maberly Tree is an Eastern Cottonwood, estimated at 150 years old, measuring 23 feet in diameter and towering an impressive 132 feet.  The tree is located at the Maberly Tennis Courts, which was formerly the site of the Maberly Hotel, one of many businesses that served the hamlet’s major milling industry in the 1800s.  Eastern Cottonwood is an unusual species for the area, but this tree has definitely put its roots down to stay and has been part of many community events.

Photo: David Zimmerly



On September 27th, Tay Valley Council announced the first seven trees in this municipality to be designated under its new Legacy Tree Program, a 200th Anniversary program that recognizes trees having outstanding heritage value to the community.  

Official plaques and certificates were presented to the owners of properties on which the trees are located.  Appropriately, these first official trees are located throughout each of Tay Valley’s three founding townships – North Burgess, Bathurst and South Sherbrooke.  The species also represent a broad cross-section of this community’s forests – sugar maple, spruce, red and white oak, elm, locust, ash and apple, and even eastern cottonwood. 

In announcing the Legacy Trees, Reeve Keith Kerr noted that “Our forests played a significant role in the development of this area.  This is a very appropriate part of our community to be singled out as we celebrate the settlement of this area.”

The Legacy Tree Program was established in Tay Valley Township to provide fitting recognition of the contribution of the forest to the First Nations and then the early settlers. The program focuses on the historic trees remaining in the community that have unique qualities as lasting symbols of that heritage.  The Legacy Tree Program is managed by a sub-committee of the Township’s 200th Anniversary Working Group, drawn from local forestry experts and historians.   

Tay Valley Township residents are invited to nominate trees that could be candidates for designation. Property owners of selected trees receive a designation certificate and commemorative plaque.

Information on the program, and application forms, are available on the Township website at www.tayvalleytwp.ca.  Information may also be obtained by calling Noelle Reeve, Planner, at 613-267-5353, or by e-mail at planner@tayvalleytwp.ca