If you're from Ontario, you're probably aware of the Killbear Tree, which is considered to be one of the most photographed trees in Ontario. Located in Killbear Provincial Park, the tree is known for its windswept look and is considered the top tourist destination for the park. However, it now seems as if the Kilbear Tree is dying, and while it cannot be confirmed when it will no longer be with us, it seems that there is nothing that the park can do to stop it.
Jeff Brown, Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, told Narcity that the tree doesn't look that healthy.
In fact, Brown stated that, "A major limb died over the last two years and we've also noticed that the center of the tree is starting to hollow out. The park doesn't have any plans to prop it up. Trees go through various stages of life and unfortunately they sometimes die as part of the natural cycle."
The tree, which is expected to be over 100 years old, is a White Pine, which is one of Ontario's own provincial trees. The reason for its unique shape is due to the strong winds that are off the Georgian Bay.
Brown told Narcity that for park visitors, seeing the tree is a must-do when they visit the park. In fact, some of the people that visit the park have been visiting and taking photos with the tree for over 40 years.
Brown states that what makes the tree so special is that it represents beauty and resilience in the face of adversity. He states, "This tree has next to no soil, and it has been buffeted by winds and winter storms for decades, yet it has managed to persevere and is exceptionally beautiful."
While the tree is perfect for sunset photos and has been a backdrop to family photos for decades, it serves as an important part of many Canadians Ontario Parks road trips.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, more than 300,000 people visit Killbear each year and this tree is considered to be one of the most photographed trees in Ontario.
Brown states that since the tree lives in such a harsh environment, it's growth rate is slower than some other trees. He's been at the park for over 20 years and has never seen the tree grow in size.