St. Paul’s Wedding Tree

Thousands of brides and grooms have been photographed under the magnificent maple tree at the front of St. Paul’s Anglican on Church Street in Newmarket. This amazing tree is over 125 years old and now is close to the end of its splendid life.

125 Year old Wedding Tree

It has stood strong and stately despite having to be cabled many years ago to protect it from further harm. On numerous occasions, a tree company was called to cut broken branches which were steeped in the history of the church. St. Paul’s maple tree is loved! Never has a single tree been so loved by so many, for so long.

Wedding Tree

Then a storm hit on August 2, 2015, damaging it further. A large centre branch broke resulting in the loss of a third of the tree. Although our immediate concern was safety, our hearts tried to justify keeping it from a sentimental standpoint. After expert opinions, insurance advice, significant discussion and healthy debate between self confessed tree huggers as well as individuals who felt it needed to come down for safety reasons, a decision was made to take it down. It is time for us to say goodbye.

The St. Paul’s maple tree will be taken down this Thursday (August 6, 2015). The firewood will be kept for those who can support a good case for the need and will be given out in a controlled manner. We will attempt to keep a slice of the huge trunk to make a table. We won’t know until we are into the trunk of the tree as to whether this is possible. This will be kept in the Parish House in order that we retain a piece of our wonderful history.


  1. Reply
    Colleen says

    Our favorite wedding photo was taken under this wonderful tree.

    • Reply
      BERTHA GEORGE says


      • Reply
        stpauls says

        So true! Pictures are wonderful for keeping memories alive. The tree cutting will start around 9am on thursday. If anyone would like to see the cutting it’s important to stay far back – the work crew will remind anyone of this. However keep in mind persons should only view from the church parking lot or across church street from the side walk (or parking lot) or along Darcy from the side walk. Keep safe.

  2. Reply
    jean jensen says

    how sad that it has to come down, but some times you have no other choice.

  3. Reply
    Linda Gough says

    A sad ending for a beautiful tree. The time comes for every living thing.

  4. Reply
    JaniceLong says

    I am glad you will try to have a piece made into a table for the church. You could also make a special chair for the oldest Parishioners.

  5. Reply
    Frances and Rick Parker says

    We had our wedding photos taken in front of this beautiful tree in 1979. Once the tree comes down is the marriage over?

    • Reply
      stpauls says

      To answer your question, it depends on what side of the tree the original pictures were taken. Just kidding…marriages associated with the tree will be unaffected by the downing :)

  6. Reply
    Shaun says

    I am the arborist that was tasked with removing this beautiful, 135 year old Maple. During my 7 year tenure with my company, we have done what we could to preserve the tree. It had been cabled, and braced as well as pruned to remove any branches that could have failed and fell on the church. Sadly, one of the main trunks failed and compromised the remaining limbs. When the lowest part of the trunk was laid down on the front lawn it split into pieces revealing multiple weak points that would have failed in the future. Please know that the church, did not make the decision lightly, however in the end, removing the tree was the right decision.

    We searched through the foliage and found a large number of maple keys, which will be handed out to parishioners so that they can plant their own and hopefully they will grow into mature trees themselves and flourish for another 135 years to come.

    Shaun Bunder

    • Reply
      stpauls says

      Hi Shaun,
      Thank you for taking the time to write this note and for reassuring lovers of our special maple that this was a difficult decision for the church. And thank you for the wonderful work you and your team did by making such an involved and complicated task look so easy.

      Sincerest thanks!

  7. Reply
    Wayne Keats says

    On behalf of the property group at St. Paul’s, I would like to thank Shaun Bunder for the excellent work he has done on the tree over the many years. Also thank you to Shaun for collecting the maple keys to distribute to our parishioners. The thoughtfulness is deeply appreciated. Great job by Acorn to Oak. Thank you.

    • Reply
      stpauls says

      We couldn’t agree more! We are very grateful for the service that Acorn to Oak and Shaun has provided over the years.

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