Ceremonial Tree Plantings

Over 135 commemorative trees grace the grounds of Rideau Hall, the official residence of the governor general of Canada. They mark visits by members of the Royal Family, heads of State and other dignitaries. They also are planted for special anniversaries and at the end of a governor general’s mandate.

The tradition began in 1906, with the visit of Prince Arthur of Connaught, son of Prince Arthur, the Duke of Connaught, and later governor general. The red oak he planted still stands over the far end of the Upper Terrace Garden.

Then, in 1907, Japan’s Prince Fushimi made the first official foreign royal visit to Ottawa. While the Prince did not plant a tree at Rideau Hall, Governor General Earl Grey named one in his honour at Ottawa’s nearby Dominion Arboretum. In Lord Grey’s words: “I selected a young maple, recently planted, in a commanding position, and asked [The Prince] if he would allow the tree to have the honour of being associated with his name. He descended from our motor, walked around the tree, bowed to it, and expressed himself delighted at the suggestion that the tree should be known as Prince Fushimi’s tree.”

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, has planted five trees: in 1951 (as Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth); in 1957; in 1977; on the occasion of Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee, in 2002; and in 2010, on the occasion of her latest visit to Canada. Trees have also been planted by other members of the Royal Family, including Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, in 2009; and Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.  In addition, 15 foreign kings and queens, more than 63 presidents (of which six were American), one prime minister and three secretaries general of the United Nations have all planted trees. With the exception of Governor General Georges Vanier, who passed away during his mandate, each Canadian governor general has planted a tree at the end of their respective mandates.

Maples and oaks are in abundance on the grounds of Rideau Hall, along with conifers and other species mainly native to Canada. They are selected in collaboration with the National Capital Commission for their beauty and for their ability to endure the Ottawa climate. Some choices are significant to the person or the country being represented during an official tree planting. For example, a Ginkgo tree, indigenous to China, was planted in 1985, by His Excellency Li Xiannian, President of the People’s Republic of China, while in 1999, former Governor General Roméo LeBlanc, chose—aptly for his family name—a white birch.

A bronze plaque at the base of each tree indicates the name and title of the person who planted it, the species, and the date it was planted.

List of Ceremonial Tree Plantings

1. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
His Royal Highness Prince Arthur of Connaught and Strathearn
April 1906
2. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
The Duke of Devonshire, Governor General of Canada
May 1917
3. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
The Duchess of Devonshire
May 1917
4. Norway Spruce
Picea abies
The Right Honourable Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister of Great Britain
August 5, 1927
5. Norway Spruce
Picea abies
Mrs. Lucy Baldwin
August 5, 1927
6. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
His Majesty King George VI
May 21, 1939
7. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth
(now H.M. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) May 21, 1939
8. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Harry Truman, President of the United States of America
June 11, 1947
9. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Mrs. Elizabeth Truman
June 11, 1947
10. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh
(now H.M. The Queen) October 10, 1951
11. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh
October 10, 1951
12. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Her Majesty Queen Juliana of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
April 22, 1952
13. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America
November 13, 1953
14. Red Maple
Acer rubrum
Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower
November 13, 1953
15. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
His Imperial Majesty Hailé Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia
June 4, 1954
16. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Her Royal Highness Mary, The Princess Royal
October 10, 1955
17. Red Maple
Acer rubrum
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
October 15, 1957
18. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
The Right Honourable Vincent Massey, Governor General of Canada
October 22, 1957
19. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Her Royal Highness The Princess Margaret
August 3, 1958
20. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
General Charles de Gaulle, President of the French Republic
April 19, 1960
21. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
John F. Kennedy, President of the United States of America
May 16, 1961
22. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy
May 16, 1961
23. Hackberry
Celtis occidentalis
Field Marshall Mohammad Ayub Khan, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
September 20, 1962
24. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
July 3, 1971
25. Red Maple
Acer rubrum
The Right Honourable Roland Michener, Governor General of Canada
November 12, 1971
26. White Pine
Pinus strobus 
Mrs. Norah Willis Michener
November 12, 1971
27. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States of America
April 14, 1972
28.  Red Oak
Quercus rubra 
Mrs. Patricia Nixon
April 14, 1972
29. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Chief Scout of Canada
May 9, 1974
30. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
His Majesty Baudouin, King of the Belgians
September 20, 1977
31. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Her Majesty Fabiola, Queen of the Belgians
September 20, 1977
32. White Ash 
Fraxinus americana
The Right Honourable Jules Léger, Governor General of Canada
September 22, 1977
33. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Madame Gabrielle Léger
September 22, 1977
34. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Silver Jubilee visit
October 19, 1977
35. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh
October 19, 1977
36. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Her Royal Highness The Princess Margriet of the Kingdom of The Netherlands
June 8, 1978
37. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
His Royal Highness The Prince Andrew
July 28, 1978
38. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
International Year of the Child
October 1, 1979
39. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne, The Princess Royal
November 18, 1979
40. White Elm
Ulmus americana
José López Portillo, President of the United Mexican States
May 27, 1980
41. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Juvenal Habyarimana, President of the Republic of Rwanda
September 24, 1980
42. Silver Maple
Acer saccharinum
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America
March 11, 1981
43. Silver Maple
Acer saccharinum
Mrs. Nancy Reagan
March 11, 1981
44. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Their Majesties King Hussein I and Queen Noor of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
November 15, 1981
45. Norway Maple
Acer platanoides
75th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of Canada
May 29, 1982
46. Pin Oak
Quercus palustris
Their Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Wales
June 21, 1983
47. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
The Right Honourable Edward Schreyer, Governor General of Canada
Mrs. Lily Schreyer and Family
April 24, 1984
48. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
First Canadian Christian Festival
May 24, 1984
49. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Captain M.D. Marshall (Retired) C.D. In recognition of his contribution to the
Ontario Horticultural Association and to the Ottawa Horticultural Society
May 15, 1985
50. Ginko
Ginko biloba
Li Xiannian, President of the People’s Republic of China
July 15, 1985
51. Bur Oak
Quercus macrocarpa
François Mitterrand, President of the French Republic, and Mrs. Mitterrand
May 25, 1987
52. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
May 11, 1988
53. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Chaim Herzog, President of Israel
June 27, 1989
54. Pin Oak
Quercus palustris
Mrs. Vigdis Finnbogadottir, President of Iceland
August 1, 1989
55. Red Maple
Acer rubrum
The Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé, Governor General of Canada
November 3, 1989
56. Red Maple
Acer rubrum
The Honourable Maurice Sauvé
November 3, 1989
57. Red Maple
Acer rubrum
Corazón Aquino, President of the Republic of the Philippines
November 6, 1989
58. Tamarack
Larix laricina
Forestry Canada
May 4, 1990
59. Red Maple
Acer rubrum
Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Secretary-General of the United Nations
May 21, 1990
60. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Mikhaïl Gorbachev, President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
May 23, 1990
61. American Linden
Tilia americana
Dr. Richard Von Weizsäcker, President of the Federal Republic of Germany
September 17, 1990
62. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Robert Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe
September 26, 1990
63. Asian White Birch
Betula platyphylla
Mauno Koivisto, President of the Republic of Finland
October 11, 1990
64. Norway Spruce
Picea abies
Carlos Salinas de Gortari, President of the United Mexican States
April 2, 1991
65. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Luis Alberto Lacalle Herrera, President of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay
April 8, 1991
66. White Ash
Fraxinus americana
Roh Tae Woo, President of the Republic of Korea
May 16, 1991
67. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
October 21, 1991
68. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Arpád Göncz, President of the Republic of Hungary
October 11, 1991
69. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
National Wildlife Week
October 21, 1991
70. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Trees and People 1992
June 6, 1992
71. Norway Spruce
Picea abies
Boris N. Yeltsin, President of the Russian Federation
June 20, 1992
72. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Carlos Saul Menem, President of the Argentine Republic
June 21, 1994
73. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Lech Walesa, President of the Republic of Poland
September 13, 1994
74. Ohio Buckeye
Aesculus glabra
Leonid Danylovych Kuchma, President of the Ukraine
October 24, 1994
75. Bur Oak
Quercus macrocarpa
The Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Governor General of Canada
November 18, 1994
76. Bur Oak
November 18, 1994
Mrs. Gerda Hnatyshyn
Quercus macrocarpa
77. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America
February 23, 1995
78. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Kim Young Sam, President of the Republic of Korea
October 21, 1995
79. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-General of the United Nations
November 23, 1995
80. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Abdou Diouf, President of the Republic of Senegal
May 3, 1996
81. Silver Fir
Abies concolor
Ernesto Zedillo, President of the United Mexican States
June 12, 1996
82. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Eduardo Frei, President of the Republic of Chile
November 19, 1996
83. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Fernando Henrique Cardoso, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil
April 23, 1997
84. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, President of the Italian Republic
June 27, 1997
85. Bur Oak
Quercus macrocarpa
The CRB Foundation’s National Heritage Fair
July 21, 1997
86. Bur Oak
Quercus macrocarpa
Jiang Zemin, President of the People’s Republic of China
November 28, 1997
87. Ohio Buckey
Aesculus glabra
Fidel V. Ramos, President of the Republic of the Philippines
November 30, 1997
88. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations
December 3, 1997
89. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Emil Constantinescu, President of Romania
May 26, 1998 
90. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
In Memory of John F. Kennedy / in Honour of Continued Friendship Between
Countries / The Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company of Massachusetts
October 3, 1998
91. Bur Oak
Quercus macrocarpa
Mary McAlesse, President of Ireland
October 5, 1998
92. Black Walnut
Juglans nigra
Alberto Fujimori, President of the Republic of Peru
October 28, 1998
93. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Nelson Mandela, President of the Republic of South Africa
September 24, 1998
94. Ironwood
Ostrya virginiana
Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech Republic
April 30, 1999
95. Red Oak
Quercus Rubra
Their Majesties King Abdullah Bin Al-Hussein and Queen Rania Al-Abdullah
of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan   May 14, 1999
96. Maple
Acer saccharum
Andrés Pastrana Anago, President of the Republic of Colombia
June 1, 1999
97. Korean Fir
Abies koreana
Kim Dea-Jung, President of the Republic of Korea
July 6, 1999
98. Weeping Willow
Salix alba tristis
To honour the Celebration of Life, hosted by Mrs. Diana Fowler LeBlanc
July 27, 1999
99. White Birch
Betula papyrifera
Mrs. Diana Fowler LeBlanc
October 1, 1999
100.  White Birch
Betula papyrifera
The Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc, Governor General of Canada
October 1, 1999
101. Ohio Buckeye
Aesculus glabra
His Excellency Miguel Angel Rodriguez, President of the Republic of Costa
Rica, and Mrs. Lorena Clare de Rodriguez
February 1, 2000
102. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
His Excellency Ali Abdullah Saleh, President of the Republic of Yemen
March 28, 2000
103. Ohio Buckeye
Aesculus glabra
His Excellency Olusegun Obasanjo, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Mrs. Stella Obansanjo
May 12, 2000
104. Bur Oak
Quercus macrocarpa
His Excellency Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of the People’s Republic of Algeria
May 16, 2000
105. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
His Excellency Constantinos Stephanopoulos, President of the Hellenic Republic
May 30, 2000
106. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
His Excellency Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation and Mrs. Lyudmila Putina
December 18, 2000
107. White Ash
Fraxinus americanum
His Excellency Vincente Fox Quesada, President of the United Mexican States
April 18, 2001
108. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
His Excellency Jorge Sampaio, President of the Portuguese Republic and Mrs. José Ritta
May 28, 2001
109. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
His Excellency John Agyekum Kufor, President of the Republic of Ghana and Mrs. Theresa Kufuor
November 5, 2001
110. American Beech
Fagus grandifolia
His Excellency Moshe Kastav, President of the State of Israel, and Mrs. Gila Kastav
March 7, 2002
111. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway
May 8, 2002
112. Hackberry
Celtis occidentalis
His Excellency Rudolf Schuster, President of the Slovak Republic and Mrs. Irene Schusterova
June 6, 2002
113. Bur Oak
Quecus macrocarpa
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Golden Jubilee visit
October 14, 2002
114. Silver fir
Abies concolor
His Excellency Joaquim Chissano, President of the Republic of Mozambique
March 18, 2003
115. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
The 11th Earl of Elgin and 15th Earl of Kincardine
April 3, 2003
116. White Spruce
Picea glauca
Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki, President of the Republic of South Africa
November 3, 2003
117. Hackberry
Celtis occidentalis
Natasagiin Bagabandi, President of Mongolia
October 20, 2003
118. Eastern Hemlock
Tsuga canadensis
Amadou Toumani Toure, President of Mali
May 11, 2005
119. American Linden
Tilia americana
His Excellency Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China and Mrs. Liu Yongquing
September 8, 2005
120. Swamp White Oak
Quercus bicolor
The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada
September 27, 2005
121. Swamp White Oak
Quercus bicolo
Mr. John Ralston Saul
September 27, 2005
122. Eastern White Pine
Pinus strobus
Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden
October 24, 2007
123. Silver Fir
Abies concolor
His Excellency László Sólyom, President of the Republic of Hungary
April 25, 2007
124. Ohio Buckeye
Aesculus glabra
His Excellency Victor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine, and Mrs. Kateryna Yushchenko
May 26, 2008
125. Canadian Hemlock
Tsuga Canadensis
Their Imperial Majesties Akihito and Michiko of Japan
July 6, 2009
126. Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall
November 12, 2009
127. Bur Oak
Quercus rubra
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
June 30, 2010
128. Swamp White Oak
Quercus bicolor
The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada,
Mr. Jean-Daniel Lafond and their daughter Marie-Éden
September 30, 2010
129. Eastern Hemlock
Tsuga canadensis
Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
July 2, 2011
130. White Pine
Pinus strobes
His Excellency Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel
May 8, 2012
131. Bur Oak
Quercus macrocarpa
His Excellency Jayaka M. Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania
October 4, 2012
132. Red Maple
Acer rubrum
His Excellency Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of the Republic of Estonia, and Mrs. Evelin Ilves
May 1, 2013
133. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
His Excellency Sebastián Piñera, President of the Republic of Chile, and Mrs. Cecilia Morel
May 31, 2013
134.  Eastern Hemlock
Tsuga Canadensis
His Excellency Ollanta Humala Tasso, President of the Republic of Peru, and Mrs. Nadine Heredia
April 10, 2014
135. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
100th anniversary of service to Canada by Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
September 18, 2014
136. Bitternut Hickory
Carya cordiformis
Her Excellency Park Geun-hye, President of the Republic of Korea
September 22, 2014
137. Bur Oak
Quercus macrocarpa
His Excellency Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic ofGermany, and Ms. Daniela Schadt
September 24, 2014
138. Red Maple
Acer rubrum
His Excellency Sauli Niinistö, President of the Republic of Finland, and Mrs. Jenni Haukio
October 9, 2014
139. Bitternut hickory
Carya cordiformis
His Excellency François Hollande, President of the French Republic
November 3, 2014
140. Red Spruce
Picea rubens
His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines
May 7, 2015
141. White Pine
Pinus strobes
Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands
May 27, 2015
142. Hemlock
Tsuga Canadensis
His Excellency Enrique Peña Nieto, President of the United Mexican States
June 27, 2016
143. Eastern Hemlock
Tsuga canadensis
Her Excellency Michelle Bachelet, President of the Republic of Chile
June 5, 2017
144. Buckeye
Aesculus glabra
His Excellency Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic
June 28, 2017
145. Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall
July 1, 2017
146. White Pine
Pinus strobus
The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston
September 28, 2017