Tag Archives: trees

The Mysterious Shoe Trees

The Mysterious Shoe Trees

In the 1950s we had a shoe tree which according to the late great Blaine Cornell was located on upper High Street, which I keep asking if folks remember. When I moved here there was also a super great shoe tree just as you turned into the town of Almonte on the right hand side at the edge of the forest. Then many years later it was removed.

Carleton Place once again had the beginnings of one on McArthur Island which used to be called Gillies Grove. I managed to take a photo before some of the trees disappeared years ago LOL.

So what happened to the shoe trees? Dies anyone know? I also found these notes in the old Ottawa Citizen.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
24 Jan 1985, Thu  •  Page 21

Also read____

Lost Lanark Legacy Fruit Trees– Need Help!

Whatever Happened to the Lanark County Greening Apple?

When Were Some of the Trees Planted in Riverside Park?

also read from the millstone

Tree of many tongues

April 15, 2013 – 7:00 am

by Neil Carleton — CLICK

James Closs of Lanark–Scotch Tree Plantation

James Closs of Lanark–Scotch Tree Plantation


 - LANARK'S JAMES J. CLOSS Christmas Tree King Of... - swears it's true) when he and a mend were... - BALANCE OF NATURE "But.", said Mr. Closs, "I... - ' little tree with the deep blue lustre was...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  06 Dec 1961, Wed,  Page 30



Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (US


Margaret Closs Lanark and Snow Road- Genealogy

Lost in Hopetown — A Photo Essay

The McArthur Island Tree– Should it Stay or Should it Go?

The McArthur Island Tree– Should it Stay or Should it Go?


I vowed to never write a piece about local government after my heart attacks as I take my town way too personally because I care. So I haven’t–I have shared media reports, and left it at that. If folks want to look badly and not worry about what kind of legacy they are going to leave when they end their town political career so be it. But yesterday after I saw posts from Allan and Emily Stanzel about the possible removal of the 120 year-old Hackberry tree on McArthur Island in Carleton Place I got angry.

In 1952 there was one lone Hackberry tree left in Ottawa near Brewer Park and the George Dunbar bridge. It had a white picket fence around it, and a sign that said “Do Not Destroy”.  The late mayor of Ottawa, Charlotte Whitton, whose cousins were from Carleton Place, insisted these trees be protected.




If you didn’t know, Carleton Place’s official tree is the Hackberry Tree, and our park of trees on Mill Street is the largest grouping of Hackberry trees in Eastern Ontario. They are native to the area and are thought to have been brought here by the indigenous peoples for their medicinal qualities. The Hackberry tree was once protected, but it’s okay now, and only the Dwarf Hackberry tree is still protected here in Ontario.



The town plaque indicates how rare these trees are in this part of Ontario, but now there  might be plans to cut down one of the biggest and oldest specimens in the area. I would say he is the “Grandfather tree” of the area. Even if the developer replaces it with a young new Hackberry tree, is this good enough? Should we just lay down and give up if they plan to cut this big, beautiful 120+ year-old tree down to make room for a traffic circle/sidewalk?



On  May  17,  2013, Justice  Moore of  the  Ontario  Superior  Court  of  Justice  ruled  that  trees  whose  trunks  grow  across property  lines  are  the  common  property  of  both  owners.  Neither  owner  can  injure  or  destroy  a  shared  tree  in Ontario without  the  consent  of  the  other. A tree on a property line in Ontario is jointly owned by both property owners based on a ruling by Justice J. Patrick Moore on May, 17 2013 in the Ontario Court of Appeal.

The Ontario Superior Court verdict in May 2013, which went unnoticed by most anyone not involved in Hartley v. Scharper,  created some of the most stringent and detailed law on tree preservation in Canada. Cutting down a shared tree or chopping at wayward branches without a neighbour’s approval could now be a criminal act, punishable under the provincial Forestry Act.

Someone said the tree is on private property, but if you look closely at the photo those trunk roots go way under the road which I think is owned by the town. Correct me if I am wrong. So, if the town owns the road, we have in essence two owners/neighbours of that particular tree.


The tree stays


This tree in the photo above is at St. James Gate and was protected by the Carleton Place council in 2013. Just remember that owing to a 6-1 vote by Carleton Place council, a request from Shaiin Charania, owner of St. James Gate Irish Pub & Restaurant, to remove a tree within the boundary of his establishment’s outdoor patio was rejected. – Tara Gesner/METROLAND


You know in the end none of us are getting out alive, so we need to stop treating this town as an afterthought. Everyone enjoy our restaurants, shop at our local stores, walk in the sunshine on our trails. Always say the truth of what you are carrying in your heart like the hidden treasure it is– as there is absolutely no time for anything else.

The history of Carleton Place is important to its identity. Hopefully, the developers can figure out a way to accommodate both. If we lose sight of that, what have we got? If you don’t like how things are, say something, do something, as the tree can’t. They have no voice–we do.

Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money.” –― Cree Indian Prophecy 

Credit to Emily Nicole Stanzel for raising the issue and starting the Petition!!

Save the tree Sign the Petition


Screenshot 2017-12-03 at 17.jpg

Tuesday night Council December 4th meeting agenda

Received from Joanna Bowes, Manager of Development Services
Addressed to Planning and Protection Committee
Date October 13, 2017
Topic DP3-04-2017, 150 Mill Street, McArthur Island



Jennifer Fenwick Irwin —From my understanding, the developer is working on ways to avoiding this with the urban forest Committee -the Planning Department has no legislation that would prevent its removal. It is not a species at risk. However it must be replaced with another Hackberry Tree.


Ronald Y–This magnificent tree should be cherished and protected. Development should preserve, not destroy, our distinctive, established, fragile natural heritage – not destroy it and lose what makes our community special. Development should respect and work around this precious tree and others like it, not eliminate it for the sake of conformity, convenience, and a quick buck.

Allan Stanzel– Great article Linda hopefully they will re design around the tree. A good spin could be put on this for marketing the McArthur re design. Also not sure of the exact property lines with regards to the high water mark of the river. I understand that X number of feet from a river or lake is not owned. Again not sure of distance.



Doug B. McCarten–This grouping of 5 Hackberry trees still survive in our old side yard….I can’t believe how healthy and how tall they have grown! This group was always in our yard and I suspect that they would be at least as old as our house which is in the same age group as the one you are trying to save!! The simple answer is to route the road around the tree and protect the tree!! It can and should be done! The McCarten House of Carleton Place–Ginko Tree




The Tale of “Hackaberry Found” in Carleton Place


Dream a Little Dream About the Hemlock Tree



So What Happened to The Findlay House Stone?


The McCarten House of Carleton Place–Ginko Tree


The tree stays

Carleton Place’s official tree avoids axe




So Can I Pillage the Land Freely in my town?




Oingo Boingo! Bobolink Birds Bothered- Concerns-Carleton Place Citizens #2


When Were Some of the Trees Planted in Riverside Park?



Lost Lanark Legacy Fruit Trees– Need Help!



The Faeries of McArthur Island- Dedicated to the Bagg Children



Whatever Happened to the Lanark County Greening Apple?

collagelost trees.jpg

Are we in Neverland? Concerns from Carleton Place Citizens #1

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Are we in Neverland? Concerns from Carleton Place Citizens #1

collagelost trees.jpg
I got a few emails from concerned citizens the past few days so I decided I would write about their concerns together.
Email from Concerned Citizen-
I must have been in Neverland for awhile, but today I noticed all the trees gone from the wooded area on Highway 7 between Mississippi Road and the Mississippi  Valley Conservation Authority. I mean totally gone–then I remember someone on Facebook saying 200 maple trees had been decimated to the upset of many birds and small animals but didnt know what it was about….Do you know ….I assume a new housing project????
From what I can see the developer has gone in and has started blazing their road network, and unfortunately this seems to be allowed. As part of an approved development, plans for tree preservation are usually required, but there seems to be no officially approved plan, so they can do whatever they want.
I believe this happened before when another developer did it three years ago with its pending development North of Wall Mart. As no agreement for tree preservation was signed off they could cut down as much as they wanted.
If, however, any of this cutting is on TOWN OWNED property I would hope that some serious questions are posed. Each tree matters, and developers should be under serious scrutiny —so much so, that the loss of even just a handful could wipe out an entire species of flora and fauna forever.
New research encompassing some 50 studies worldwide shows that cutting down even just three to four trees per hectare of primary forest already results in species loss, changing ecosystem services (i.e. nutrient cycling), biological resources (i.e. potential sources of medicine), and social benefits (i.e. recreation through birdwatching and hiking) provided by forests. I understand we need housing- but let’s work together with a tree preservation plan. If you think this is all hogwash-read my blog I did this week when three maples on my property were cut down this week due to decay, I was shocked how it affected the birds in the area.
 Photo of another pond-Google Image
Another email asked me if it was correct that a developer was putting in a proposed waste water sewage pond in Roy Brown Park. I have heard lots of talk, but so far, I believe no deal has yet been made.
So what’s a waste water sewage pond?  Stabilization ponds (also called lagoons or waste stabilization ponds) use a natural process for wastewater treatment that employs a combination of macrophytic plants, substrates and microorganisms in a more or less artificial pond to treat wastewater. The technique is frequently used to treat municipal wastewater, industrial effluent, municipal run-off or stormwater. After treatment, the effluent may be returned to surface water or reused as irrigation water (or reclaimed water) if the effluent quality is high enough.
I realize water from these sources are used to irrigate golf courses etc.–but do we really want one on our nature trails in the park? It’s not up to me to decide, but NO ONE should ever give up the good fight for a good cause.  Without active citizens our world would be a much less just and humane place.

This was posted on the CarletonPlace.com portal

Park Land For Sale in Carleton Place


Related reading

Dream a Little Dream About a Certain Carleton Place Tree


Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum Facebook Page

Jennifer Fenwick Irwin of our beloved local museum asked:

These McDiarmid girls posed by the rapids on McArthur Island in the spring of 1914. I wonder if the tree still stands?

I am going to be frank and tell you I had a dream that I could actually stand in that same location next to that tree. I have lots of trees that age in my own yard and it still had to be there right?


I made my way down the worn paths and noticed the shoe tree was gone when they cleared out the trees a few years ago.


Almost there….


Here is the spot and the large indentation in the earth.No tree, and the ones standing are fairly young. Sadly I walked back knowing I could not pick up one of the branches and wave it in the air like one of the McDiarmid sisters.


But I did stop and pay respects and remember this exact day like it was yesterday. Some trees last forever, some do not, just like life. Time spent among the trees even if some do not exist is never wasted time.

Shot in 2011

Five years later – Still Searching for Christmas in the Rain – Zoomer



Five years later – Still Searching for Christmas in the Rain – Zoomer.