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July 3, 2018

Vehicles stop in their tracks to pull over to unload passengers (and their cameras) for coveted travel photo ops. The Tim Burton-esque trunk and sprawling branches of the Burmis Tree are a sight to be seen and pondered.
The 600-year-old limber pine (also called Rocky Mountain white pine) is estimated to be the longest living tree in the province, and has served as a cultural landmark in the region.

A testament to the enduring and resilient nature of the people of Crowsnest Pass, the infamous tree has stood tall for many centuries. Burmis, Alberta – the home of the tree – is located along Highway 3 just outside of Crowsnest Pass. Once a successful coal mining community, Burmis, an unincorporated community, is now primarily home to recreational properties and of course, the tree.

Since the 1970s, after the tree lost its needles and eventually died, ongoing efforts and innovations have been made to prop up and preserve the wind-tortured tree, whose roots remain entrenched in.

Today, the Burmis Tree is highly regarded as a symbol of the regions commitment to preserving its cultural heritage.

In the late 1990s, the tree was toppled by strong winds but was restored by locals and staff from Alberta’s Department of Culture and Tourism.

Before driving into the valley, it’s hard not succumb to the urge to take in the eerie beauty of the tree. After all, it is older than the entire country, and has seen its share of history. No wonder it is the most photographed tree in Canada.

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