An ancient forest grows along the cliff-face of the Niagara Escarpment. The gnarled trees clinging to the rocky crevices in this adverse environment are Eastern White Cedar. The harsh conditions result in extremely long lived trees, some of which have been discovered to be more than 1,000 years old (and still growing). Radiocarbon-dating revealed one tree that had fallen off the cliff onto the talus slope below, was 3,550 years old when it died!
Mount Nemo in north Burlington is one of the best locations to observe this spectacular cedar forest; the oldest tree here is 885 years old. Nemo is featured in a number of paintings by Robert Bateman and he also used to bring his students there for art classes when he was a high school teacher.
I recently visited Nemo with a Naturalist friend, but with a storm approaching, we briskly hiked the trails with brief stops to take photos. I definitely plan to return to draw these old trees and the surrounding cliffs.
To learn the full story about the escarpment cedars, look for this book: The Last Stand by Peter Kelly and Douglas Larson.