Ancient Cedars on Bruce Peninsula

December 01, 2008


Photographer: Steve Irvine
Summary Author: Steve Irvine

Most people hiking along the Bruce Trail on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario hardly pay any attention to the scrubby little cedar trees clinging to the escarpment face. They’re too busy enjoying the beautiful views out over Georgian Bay some 100 to 130 ft (30 to 40 m) below. But those little cedars have a secret: they’re ancient! Recent studies by Professor Doug Larson of the University of Guelph have shown that many of those inconspicuous cedars are centuries old, with the oldest found so far being just over 1,000 years. Growing in just a handful or two of earth that collected in a crevice, in an austere but safe environment, they patiently grew older and older. Forest fires pass above and below them, and deer and moose don’t seem to browse them. They’re a testament to the tenacity of nature. Photo taken on July 6, 2008.