Quebec Trip Sept. 2013

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tomhoward
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Quebec Trip Sept. 2013

Post by tomhoward » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:02 am

NTS,

My brother Jack Howard and I just completed a genealogical trip to Quebec (we are French-Canadian on our mother's side). Quebec is a beautiful province with many well-documented historic sites, cities and towns that are cleaner and better kept than in much of the US. Since my brother is quite fluent in French (and I can read it somewhat), the language was no problem for us.

Since genealogy was the main purpose of the trip, we did not have much time for trees. We traveled along the St. Lawrence River from Montreal to Ile d'Orleans beyond Quebec City - our ancestral places from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries were mostly along the great river. Most of this is fertile farmland and river bottom land with Cottonwood, Silver Maple (everywhere!), Boxelder (called Manitoba Maple in Canada), Ash, and Sugar Maple dominant trees. The biggest and most impressive trees by far are the Cottonwoods, which everywhere reach substantial sizes. There are big Cottonwoods everywhere in Montreal, with the most impressive in Parc Marguerite Bourgeoys near the 17th century house Maison St. Garbriel. Outside Montreal, the most impressive Cottonwoods were stumbled upon during a genealogical day trip (and, of course, I left my measuring equipment in our Montreal hotel room) in a park in Contreceour by the St. Lawrence River (these trees look easily over 100 ft. tall), and around old Fort Chambly on the Richelieu River (these are awesome Cottonwoods!). There are also many big American Elms, and parks in the old city of Quebec are filled with big seemingly healthy Elms. Quebec, in its glorious setting up a cliff beside the great St. Lawrence River, is truly a city of Elms.

Ile d'Orleans, a large island in the St. Lawrence northeast of Quebec City, is a beautiful pastoral place settled as early as 1660. There are many fertile fields and groves of Sugar Maples. The largest trees on the island are Cottonwoods. In the pleasant wooded village of Ste Petronille on the west end of Ile D'Orleans is a stand of rather small Northern Red Oaks - the tourist literature says that this is believed to be the northernmost stand of Northern Red Oak in North America. The views from the island to the nearby forested Laurentian Mountains are spectacular, with foliage already turning red on the mountainsides. North of Quebec City, these mountains come right down to the river, which is at sea level (and has tides this far from the sea) - big ocean-going ships (including cruise ships like the Queen Mary 2, which we saw, cruising by the oldest part of Quebec City, past stone 17th century buildings) ply the river regularly.

We did not see many conifers, but there are some nice White Pines here and there. At Pointe du Lac (by a wide area of the river west of Trois-Rivieres), near an 18th century flour mill, I measured 2 White Pines on a neighboring property to 114.4 ft. and 109.2 - these are the tallest trees I've yet measured in Canada.

Inland from the river in the Quebec City area, the forest becomes more boreal - no really tall trees, but nice variety with White Pine (tallest, but seeming under 100 ft.), Balsam Fir, White Spruce, possibly red Spruce, Black Spruce, Tamarack, Quaking Aspen, Paper Birch, Red Maple (turning red in boggy areas).

When Jack and I left Quebec City we took the car ferry across the St. Lawrence to Levis. We noticed what could be ancient cliff side White Cedars along the steep cliffs behind the historic Citadel. Could these trees have been witnesses to the site's dramatic history that dates back well over 400 years?

Tom Howard

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Quebec Trip Sept. 2013

Post by Larry Tucei » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:44 am

Tom- Your Quebec trip must have been a very beautiful location. The description reminds me of northern Wisconsin. Did you happen to get any photos. Larry

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tomhoward
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Re: Quebec Trip Sept. 2013

Post by tomhoward » Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:17 pm

NTS,

Here are some pictures from the Quebec trip:

The first shows the tall (possibly over 100 ft. - I did not measure them) Cotttonwoods in the idyllic park by the St. Lawrence River in Contreceour:
Cottonwoods, Contreceour
Cottonwoods, Contreceour
Next are 2 pictures of one of the even larger Cottonwoods by old Fort Chambly at a strategic point on the Richelieu River. This might be the tallest Cottonwoods, but rainy weather, and the fact that we were pressed for time, did not allow me to measure this tree. Chambly as many large Cottonwoods that seem to be over 100 years old. The fort is much older - the current stone fort was built between 1710 and 1740, replacing a wooden fort that dated from 1665.
Cottonwood, Fort Chambly
Cottonwood, Fort Chambly
Fort Chambly and Cottonwood
Fort Chambly and Cottonwood
Next is the tall (114.4 ft. - tallest tree I've measured in Canada so far) White Pine near the 18th century stone mill at Pointe du Lac on the widening of the St. Lawrence River called Lac St. Pierre. The tall Pine is the tree on the upper left.
White Pine, Pointe du Lac
White Pine, Pointe du Lac
The last picture shows what could be old growth cliff side White Cedars below the Citadel of Quebec City (taken from the ferry across the St. Lawrence River from Quebec to Levis):
White Cedars below Quebec Citadel
White Cedars below Quebec Citadel
Tom Howard

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