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Burmis Tree the most photographed tree in Canada

Burmis Tree the most photographed tree in Canada

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Burmis tree, the most photographed tree in Canada?

What could be more Iconic than the Burmis tree?  The Burmis tree is a Limber Pine (Pinus flexilis) down in the Crowsnest pass just a few minutes west of Lundbreck Falls or 10 min East of Frank’s Slide on highway #3.  You can’t miss it!  Located on the North side of the road, this old tree died in the late 70’s.  It is estimated to be anywhere from 600 to 750 years old.  Most people believe it is closer to the 700 year old mark.

Burmis tree durung a storm


As you enter the Crowsnest pass from the West the old tree greets you. It stands tall (or short depending on your size) in the old town of Burmis. Not too much of a town anymore, Burmis grew into a town in 1910; when the Davenport Coal Company started mining in the area. Burmis had a few business start up and also had church and a school. They even had a NWMP post in the town. The post office ran from 1915 to 1968 supporting  the local community.  However, when the mine shut down in 1914 the town slowly began fading away.  In the early 1930’s a lumber company opened it doors and the town had a slight revival for a couple more decades until the Burmis lumber company closed its doors for the last time.  Since then the town has all but disappeared, except for the Burmis tree which kept standing!

Burmis tree a limber pine silhouetted against the syline

Its old skeleton of a tree finally succumbed to the never ending winds of Southern Alberta in 1998,  when a wind storm finally blew it down.  The locals got together and put the tree back up because they missed looking at the Iconic tree as they entered their valley.  In 2004, some Yahoo (insert your own expletive here) went there with a saw and cut off one of the main branches. That’s why you will see that one branch has a crutch holding it up. The locals would not let this wreck their beautiful monument, so they once again restored the branch.  They pinned and glued it back onto the trunk, then put a crutch under the limb so it doesn’t have to bare its own weight.

Burmis trees sister a limber pine

The Burmis tree can be found on the right side of the road if you are heading west.  (Type these coordinance into Google maps for the exact location 49.5562 -114.2990 ) There’s a slight pull out off the highway, it kinda looks like a short passing lane, however you can stop here and go explore the tree as well as its sister tree up close and personal.  I can see why the Burmis tree is one of the most photographed trees in Canada.  Its beautifully twisted, tight grains make for an intriguing photo.  There are also no fences and every angle of the tree gives you a new perspective; plus it’s sister lays peacefully on the ground beside her.

A limber pine dead on the ground beside the burmis tree Burmis tree history sign

If you’re driving by, you should stop and take a moment to enjoy this Iconic piece of Alberta History! Click here to see it on our map Listing for The Burmis Tree.

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