7 Boreal Forest Fun Facts

Ariel Canie | March 2, 2023 | 6 min read

7 Fun facts about the Boreal Forest

The boreal forest, commonly referred to using the Russian name “taiga,” which means “coniferous forests”, is the world’s largest land biome. Boreal forests are defined as forests that grow in high altitudes and experience freezing temperatures for 6-8 months out of the year. Because boreal forests have adapted to thriving in cool temperatures, coniferous trees such as spruce and fir trees are the most common tree species found in boreal forests. Spanning across Canada, Norway, China, Finland, Russia, Sweden, Japan, and the United States, the boreal ecozone is an important component in carbon sequestration, water purification, and climate regulation.

Learn more fun facts about boreal forests below!

7 Fun facts about the Boreal Forest:

canadian flag forest

1. the largest boreal forest is in canada

Canada’s boreal forest is considered the world’s largest intact forest ecosystem and spans 1.2 billion acres (485 million hectares). Indigenous communities, ancient trees, and endangered wildlife still live in the Canadian boreal forest today.

moss forest floor

2. Boreal forests store massive amounts of carbon

Boreal forests make up 30 percent of the world's forests, and around 30-40 percent of the earth’s land-based carbon is stored in boreal forests, which makes them critical to protect in the fight against climate change. 

woodland bison

3. The wood bison calls it home

The boreal forest is a habitat for the wood bison, which is North America’s largest land mammal. Adult male wood bison can measure up to 6 feet tall, 10 feet long and weigh over 2,000 pounds!

greek god boreas

4. The term “boreal” comes from a greek god

The boreal forest was named after the greek god Boreas, who was believed to be a purple-winged god of the North wind in greek mythology. Boreas was also the god of winter, and it was believed that he could chill the air with his icy breath.

clearcutting forest

5. Logging is the largest threat to boreal forests

Approximately 1 million acres of forest are clearcut in the Canadian boreal forest alone each year. Most logging goes towards making paper products such as toilet paper and facial tissues. This is why it’s important to ensure that any paper or wood products you purchase are sustainably-sourced.

siberian tiger in snow

7. Many endangered species live in the boreal forests

As mentioned before, the primary threat to boreal forests is logging, which has led to many species becoming endangered. Endangered species that rely on the boreal forests as their habitat include the grizzly bear, woodland caribou, wolverine and Siberian tiger.

swamp forest

8. Boreal forests experience very low precipitation

Boreal forests usually experience very little precipitation, and when it does rain or snow, the cool temperatures often slow evaporation. This is why it’s very common to find swamps, bogs, lakes, and rivers within boreal forests. Canada’s boreal forest contains more surface freshwater than anywhere else in the world!

Want to help us restore boreal forests across the world to ensure a greener future? Click here to plant a tree where they’re needed most.

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Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
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Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

As the need for reforestation is global and ever-changing, we feature where trees are most needed now. This project is currently supporting Longleaf Pine Restoration. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Protect wildlife habitat and increase biodiversity
  • Restore essential watersheds for soil stability and erosion control
  • Sequester carbon in the biomass of the forests through climate stability
  • Longleaf pine forests are among the most biodiverse in North America and provide habitat for numerous threatened and endangered species. Longleaf pine forests are well-adapted to a warming climate as longleaf pine is a resilient species that is fire-dependent, drought-tolerant, and long-lived. Reforestation of longleaf pine ecosystems- to increase, maintain, and enhance the species- has been identified as a priority area within America's Longleaf Range Wide Conservation Plan. 🌲
  • Our longleaf pine reforestation project will restore habitats, control soil erosion, and sequester carbon in an effort to stabilize the climate in the area. Not only will wildlife benefit from the clean air and water provided by the planted trees, but the surrounding community will, too. This project will work with a variety of landowners whose responsible forest management and stewardship will only further increase the benefits for species residing on the lands. Some of the most notable species that will benefit from habitat restoration include gopher tortoises, red-cockaded woodpeckers, and eastern indigo snakes
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates about our Longleaf Pine Restoration project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the ground!
  • We always plant a mix of diverse, native species from local nurseries. This project is working to replenish longleaf forests, so the native species grown in the nurseries will mainly be longleaf pine, but also include shortleaf pine and loblolly pine.

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