The Last Oaks in Oakville

It was one of the last remaining ancient White Oak trees left in the town of Oakville, Ontario. But in 2001, the local regional council decided to cut it down as part of a highway widening project. When 86-year-old Joyce Burnell heard about the council’s plans, the retired schoolteacher geared into action, leading a small group of tree advocates in their battle to save the 250-year-old native from the chipper.

Ontario Curriculum:

  • Geography: Grade 7 – Natural Resources
  • Science and Technology: Grade 7 – Understanding Life Systems – Interactions in the environment
  • Science: Grade 9 – Biology – Sustainable Ecosystems
  • Science: Grade 10 – Earth and Space Science – Earth’s Dynamic Climate
  • Science: Grade 11 – Biology – The Diversity of Living Things
  • Canadian and World Studies: Grade 9 – Geography of Canada – Human-Environment Interactions, Understanding and Managing Change
  • Canadian and World Studies: Grade 10 – Civics

Films and teachers notes available from Visual Education Centre.


The Regional Municipality of Halton

Woodland White Oak Tree Website

Writer, Producer, Editor: Susan Poizner
Senior Editor and Graphics: Marcus Moore
Director of Photography: Robin Bain
Sound: Mary Wong and Jason Hopfner
Production Assistant: Cliff Changoor

Phil Brimacombe, Author “The History of Oakville Harbour”
Allan Elgar, Regional and Town Councillor, Oakville
Joyce Burnell, Tree Activist
Liz Benneian, President, Oakville Green
Kaela, Ally, Teagan, and Evan Hughes
Speaking at council meeting: Former Councillor Renee Sandelowsky, Victor Enns, Louella Brace

Council meeting footage courtesy of:
TVCOGECO Burlington-Oakville

Newspaper clippings courtesy of:
Burlington Post
Hamilton Spectator
Oakville Beaver

Thank you to:
The Late Dr George Atkins
Doug Walters
Sarah Harmer
Catherine Kavassalis
The Hughes Family

Funded By:
The Tree Fund

Produced by Susan Poizner
Copyright 2012