Video: Quebec City’s Cannonball Tree’s Last Stand

By Rich Christianson

I’ve seen and heard of my share of bullets lodged in trees that were discovered during the milling process. But, a cannonball? 

Indeed, an American elm in Quebec City earned the nickname “Cannonball Tree” because of the bowling ball-sized object clearly visible in its roots. 

Sadly, the tree was removed in March because it was dying. But before it could be cut down, a military demolition team was called in to make sure the object would not explode.  

While legend had it that the object was a cannonball from the pre-Revolutionary War times, it was upon further evaluation determined to be a “fire bomb” that was purposely placed in the tree’s base to protect the corner of a building from being clipped by horse-drawn carriages.

The tree was ultimately removed to preserve its trunk with plans to turn it into a work of art.