I had identified four different trees to visit in and around Montréal: the oldest living tree is approximately 375 years old, a red oak in Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles at the eastern tip of the island of Montréal. There is a white willow about 2 hours north of Montréal in the town of Arundel, in the Laurentians, that is approximately 260 years old, as well as a white pine whose age has yet to be finally calculated but is estimated to be between 200 to 300 years based on our partial measurements. The tree who I have chosen to be my first Witness, however, is no longer technically a living tree, but the stump of a sugar maple (Acer saccharum, to be exact), approximately 6.5 to 7 ft in diameter. This stump is on the property of the Maison St-Gabriel, an historically significant site located in Point-Saint Charles in Montréal.
Photograph: Deborah Carruthers