Canada's forest are remarkably vast. Covering nearly 400,000,000 hectares, they represent 9% of the world's total forest coverage. This plethora of tree coverage places Canada second in the world for over all for total forest area, just behind Russia and ahead of Brazil (3rd), USA (4th), and China (5th).
Tree coverage in Canada stretches from coast to coast and even encroaches far up into the Northern Territories, pushing towards the Arctic circle. With nearly 40% of the country covered in trees, the composition of Canada's forests varies widely across regions.
CANADA'S FOREST REGIONS
Starting on the East Coast in the maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, the Acadian region is a lush forest best known for its beech, red oak, and white elm trees. The Acadian forest has historically been an important resource for the region, employing many Canadians in all aspects of the forestry industry.
Canada's second largest forest region covers from Manitoba to Eastern Quebec and is a mix of deciduous and coniferous forests, boring from the Boreal region to the north, and the Deciduous region to the south. The trees in this region face numerous risks as they are threatened by logging activities, urban development, and agricultural expansion.
From the Atlantic to the far north, Canada's Boreal forest forms a band of trees and plants more than 1000 kilometers wide that crosses nearly every province, making up more than 50% of Canada's total land mass. The Boreal forest wraps around the entire Northern Hemisphere, comprising of some 1.9 billion hectares, of which 30% resides in Canada. That's a lot of trees! The Boreal forest consists of mainly coniferous trees, looking like your stereotypical Canadian forest filled with iconic wildlife like reindeer, moose, lynx, beavers, and even bison!
Despite being Canada's smallest forest region, it is here that you will find the largest collection of Canada's native tree species - walnut, sassafras, pawpaw, and many more. Running along southwestern Ontario squished between the Great Lakes, the region is also home to some amazing native wildlife. Look up and you might just spot woodpeckers, flying squirrels, and tree frogs.
Spanning British Columbia and Alberta, this forest region spreads out across the Rocky Mountains. This region is also characterized by extensive wildfires that take place here (along with the Boreal further north). Some of Canada's most iconic tree species are in this region like the lodgepole pine and Englemann spruce.
Heading west, the Columbia forest region that follows the mountains begins to look more and more like coastal British Columbia as the species like the western red cedar and Douglas fir start to make their presence known. Though precipitation is much lower here than on the coast, the forest of this region are occasionally referred to as interior rainforests or 'snow forests.'
In the Montane forest region of Canada, mountains, rambling rivers, and hidden lakes reign supreme. Here, hiking among the great aspen, ponderosa pine, and Douglas fir is a way of life. From northern British Columbia to western Alberta, the Montane region is picturesque Canada.
Last but not least is Canada's Coastal region. Stretch far up the British Columbia coast line, these forests are Canada's temperate rainforests making them a rare gem - only 0.2% of the Earth's surface is covered by coastal temperate rainforests like these. Along the coast you will find magnificent giant trees, bears, and Pacific wild salmon. These forests make up critical habitats for so many iconic animal species, even Orca whales rely on the health of this region for survival!
A PLETHORA OF EXTRAORDINARY FLORA & FAUNA
Canadian forests are to home to some of the most distinct and iconic animal and plant life.
Canada's forest are largely made up of coniferous trees like spruce, pine, and fir. Coniferous forests make up 68% of Canadian forests followed by mixed wood, then broadleaf forests.
Mingling within these forests you will find moose, lynx, cougars, bears, caribou, martens, and around 450 bird species. In fact, the trees in Canadian forests are home to 2/3 of all Canadian species!
According the Government of Canada, the country's deforestation levels are among the lowest in the world. For more than 25 years Canada's deforestation rates have been decreasing, and currently rests around 0.01% of total forest disturbance - that's only about 37,000 hectares!
That being said, Canada still loses considerable tree coverage. In 2016, nearly 15.5 million hectares of forest were lost to insect infestations, and over the last decade, wildfires have destroyed 2.7 million hectares of forest.
In 2016, the Canadian government recorded more than 615 million tree saplings were planted to help rebuild that lost tree coverage, but that only covers some 400,000 hectares of land.
HELP US PLANT MORE TREES IN CANADA!
B.C. has established itself as a leader in forest management, stringent forest policies, stewardship, and research. Your support will help us plant healthy forests to reduce the damage from beetle infestations, lessen the impact of wildfires, and preserve the province’s natural beauty for generations to come.
Planting trees will restore watersheds, rebuild important wildlife habitats, and will ultimately combat climate change and global warming. Most importantly, your donation will help fill the void left by the termination of the 50 Million Tree program. With your support, conservation organizations will continue to plant trees across the province.
Your support will help our partners restore and expand Québec's forests, and protect them against urban sprawl, timber industry, and resource development projects. Our partners ensure the forests remain strong by educating communities on the importance of sustainable forest management in Québec.