The mountain is home to a type of forest considered as rare on the Island of Montréal. Northern red oak stands may be found growing on the heights of Mount Royal. Typical of the higher reaches of the Monteregian hills, this plant community grows on the thin, rocky well-drained soil of the summits.
The Mount Royal oak stand has undergone enormous changes over time. Today, it still shows many signs of its past.
In the 1950s, the forest undergrowth was “cleaned up” for greater visibility, so as to control activities that were judged immoral. This intervention, nicknamed “les coups de la moralité” (literally, morality cuts), caused severe damage to the oak stand. Spruce trees, a non-indigenous species, had to be planted to control the erosion caused by the lack of groundcover.
During the 1998 ice storm, 8 to 10 cm of ice accumulated in only five days. The weight of the ice seriously damaged the Mount Royal forest. About 45,000 trees were pruned and 5200 were cut down throughout the park.
Through natural regeneration and conservation efforts, the woods of Mount Royal remain exceptionally biodiverse islands of nature within the heart of the city.
Hike over the three summits of Mount Royal and discover its great oak trees.
Oak from Mount Royal summit
Les amis de la montagne Collection
(1) The Saint-Jean Baptiste woods is home to a white pine forest.