Shaw Woods

A 111.2-ha, provincially significant Life Science ANSI located in the Township of North Algona Wilberforce, Renfrew County. (reference)

The site is dominated by one of the few remaining remnants of original Ottawa Valley forest. This mature maple forest is notable for its cathedral-like canopy, reaching an average height of roughly 27 m. Many trees are over 30 m high, with diameters (d.b.h.) exceeding 1 m. Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) has been recorded here at a height of 37 m, while shite birch (Betula papyrifera) reaches 33 m, white ash (Fraxinus americana) 35 m, white pine (Pinus strobus) and basswood (Tilia americana) 31 m. The larger trees may reach ages of up to 250 years. The stand is provincially significant. A wet lowland forest dominated by cedar is found in a valley which crosses the southern extremity of the property.The warm sheltered environment of the Ottawa Valley has allowed a number of "souther species" to enter the area. These include purple flowering raspberry (Rubus odoratus), bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa), hop hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) and soft maple (Acer negundo). [OMNR 1987] During the last ice age in the Late Wisconsian the area was marked by down wasting ice. A much larger waterbody, glacial Lake Dore occupied the basin. This lake later drained through the valley at the south end of the site. hency the substrate here is lake clay. With the disappearance of glacial ice and the subsequent draining of the Champlain Sea, many species were able to gain a foothold in the Ottawa Valley. [OMNR 1987]Most of the Shaw Woods stands on well drained, gravelly sediments which were deposited by retreating ice sheets thousands of years ago. The remainder is situated on deep organic soils which developed in poorly drained gully bottoms. Several enormous erratic boulders are scattered about the woods, torn from the granitic bedrock north of the woods by the force of 2 km-high glacial ice. [Dugal n.d.]