Central Experimental Farm gets 150 new trees and Canada 150 plaque

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Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

Local student joined the federal Minister of Agriculture and the Environment at celebration

On September 27th, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Minister Lawrence MacAulay unveiled a new plaque at the Merivale Shelterbelt pavilion on the south-west corner of the Central Experimental Farm (CEF). The commemorative plaque celebrates not one, but two 150th birthdays; the federal Department of Agriculture was created alongside Canada on July 1, 1867. The names of all previous Canadian Prime Ministers and Ministers of Agriculture are listed.

Following the unveiling, Minister MacAulay helped plant the final of 150 new trees in the Merivale Shelterbelt; a Red Oak, the Official Tree of the Minister’s home province of Prince Edward Island. They were joined by Hawthorne Public School grade 8 student Thomas Davidson who planted the 149th tree, a Ginkgo biloba, with his previous year’s classmates in June. Ginkgo biloba is the only living species in the endangered Ginkgophyta division, all others being extinct.

“A tree planting is a great way to commemorate 150 years of Canada and the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food. These trees are a living display of Canada’s celebrated natural beauty and are a sign of our commitment to a greener future for the next generation and a bright future for agriculture,” said Minister MacAulay.

AAFC research and innovations have helped to make trees a powerful tool on Canadian farms for generations. Trees are used to make shelterbelts, reduce soil erosion in fields, and provide habitats for pollinators and other wildlife

The new trees on the CEF extend the existing roadside shelterbelt that runs north from the corner of Baseline and Merivale roads. Roadside shelterbelts trap blowing snow and reduce the possibility of blizzard-like conditions. This makes for safer winter driving and reduces the burden of road maintenance.

Over 15 different tree varieties were selected for the planting, based on their resilience to Ottawa’s climate and the roadside conditions of the site. Included are Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulate), two American Elm (Ulmus americana ‘New Harmony’ and ‘Jefferson’), and some of Canada’s famous maple trees (Acer ginnala), varieties of which grow natively in every province.

Ceremonial tree plantings are a long-standing Canadian tradition. In 1906, Prince Arthur of Connaught, later governor general of Canada, planted a red oak at Rideau Hall which still stands at the far end of the Upper Terrace Garden. Her Majesty the Queen and members of the Royal Family have planted 17 ceremonial trees since 1939. In total, there are more than 130 commemorative trees on the grounds of Rideau Hall.

Why not plant a tree of your own to celebrate Canada 150! Urban trees absorb carbon dioxide while providing habitat for birds, and if placed accordingly, can provide home-cooling shade in the summer.

Photo gallery

Min MacAulay meeting Hawthorne Public School grade 8 student Thomas Davidson
Minister MacAulay shakes hands with Thomas Davidson
Min MacAulay and Thomas Davidson planting tree
Minister MacAulay and Thomas Davidson hold shovels full of soil in front of the tree
Minister MacAulay with Hawthorne Public School grade 8 students
Minister MacAulay with Hawthorne Public School grade 8 students stand in front of the tree.

Related information


Joel Wilkin
A/Director, Real Property and Building Operations

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