Treed land in Canada

Text version

What is treed land? Land is classified as treed if at least 10% of it is covered by trees. Note that land that is temporarily treeless because of recent disturbance – such as forest fire or timber harvesting – does not show as treed land on this map.

Sources and information

Beaudoin, A., Bernier, P.Y., et al. 2017. Species composition, forest properties and land cover types across Canada’s forests at 250m resolution for 2001 and 2011. Natural Resources Canada–Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, Quebec, Canada. (accessed February 19, 2018).

Canada’s forests by the numbers

Text version

Graphic 1. Canada’s forests by the numbers. Canada has 347,069,000 hectares of forest land.

Graphic 2. How much of Canada is forest, and who owns Canada’s forests? Infographic showing how much of Canada is forest, comprised of a donut chart of three colours, representing: (1) 10% freshwater area, (2) 38% forest area, (3) 52% non forest area. The forest area segment of the donut chart is further broken down to show who owns Canada’s forests: (1) provincial 76.6%, (2) territorial 12.9%, (3) private 6.2%, (4) indigenous 2.0%, (5) federal 1.6%, (6) municipal 0.3%, (7) other 0.4%.

Graphic 3. What’s the leading cause of disturbance in Canada’s forests? Graphic showing the percentage of forest disturbance caused by insects, by fire, by harvesting and by deforestation in a rectangle shape. The full area of the rectangle represents Canada’s forest area of 347,069,000 hectares, and four different coloured sections along the left-hand side of the rectangle represent the areas of disturbance. The sections represent, as follows (1) 4.5% or 15,489,117 hectares damaged by insects in 2016; (2) less than 1% or 3,371,833 hectares burned by fire in 2017; (3) less than 0.5% or 766,659 hectares harvested in 2016; (4) less than 0.01% or 37,000 hectares deforested in 2016. Four icons in colours that match the wedges in the pie chart are depicted with the statistics, including a beetle for insect damage, a flame for fire, a pile of logs for harvesting and a barn, silo, and planted field for deforestation.

Graphic 4. A series of 3 icons presented with statistics representing benefits in the forest industry: (1) a square with a dollar sign in it symbolizing forest industry contributions of $24.6 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product in 2017; (2) 3 people with a woman in front symbolizing direct employment of 209,940 people in 2017; (3) a person standing beside a tree symbolizing that 6% of those employed in the forest industry in 2016 were Indigenous.

Graphic 5. Where do people work in the forest industry? Infographic showing where people work in the forest industry, comprised of a donut chart of four sections, representing: (1) 48% wood product manufacturing, (2) 28% paper manufacturing, (3) 17% forestry and logging, (4) support activities for forestry.

Graphic 6. Women in the forest industry. Infographic representing women in the forest industry in 2016, comprised of an icon of a woman with the statistic (1) 17% of people employed within the forest industry were women. The graphic then splits into two icons of women showing that, of the population of women employed in forestry, (1) 23% of women worked in the forest – in logging, forestry, and forestry support activities, represented by an icon of a woman in a hard hat and safety glasses; (2) 77% of women worked in wood product manufacturing and the pulp and paper industry, represented by an icon of a woman in a hard hat and ear muffs, and holding a wrench.

Graphic 7. What types of forest does Canada have? An infographic consisting of a bar chart with an icon of one or two tree species above each bar to represent percentages of types of forest in Canada, consisting of: (1) 68% coniferous, represented by an icon of a spruce tree; (2) 16% mixedwood, represented by an icon of a fir tree and aspen tree; (3) 11% broadleaf represented by an icon of a birch tree; (4) 6% temporarily non-treed represented by a burned snag next to a seedling.

Graphic 8. A series of 5 icons presented with statistics pertaining to Canadian forests: (1) the most common tree species in Canada is the black spruce, represented by an icon of black spruce; (2) 2/3 of all species in Canada are found in forest ecosystems, represented by an icon of a morel mushroom; (3) over 1,000 species of invertebrates may be found in a single square metre of forest soil, represented by a millipede; (4) over 615 million seedlings were planted in Canada’s forests in 2016, represented by an icon of a coniferous seedling; (5) 49% of Canada’s forests were certified in 2017, represented by an icon of a check mark in a box.

Sources and information

Certification Canada. Canadian statistics. (accessed May 10, 2018).

  • Natural Resources Canada–Canadian Forest Service’s calculation for the area certified in Canada uses the 2017 Year-end Net Area Certified to SFM Standards (without double certifications) value.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2012. FRA 2015: Terms and definitions. Forest Resources Assessment Working Paper 180. Rome, Italy.

  • “Forest” and other terms are defined in FRA 2015: Terms and Definitions.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2014. Global forest resources assessment 2015 – Country report: Canada. Rome, Italy.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. FAO soils portal – Biodiversity – Facts and figures. (accessed April 16, 2018).

Mosquin, T., Whiting, P., et al. 1995. Canada’s biodiversity: The variety of life, its status, economic benefits, conservation costs and unmet needs. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Centre for Biodiversity, Canadian Museum of Nature.

  • The value for the proportion of Canadian species found in forest ecosystems includes all species groups (e.g., vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, fungi). Species are included if they spend at least part of their life cycle in forest ecosystems.

National Forest Inventory. Standard reports, Table 4.0, Area (1000 ha) of forest and non-forest land in Canada. (accessed April 10, 2018).

  • The base estimate of forest area for Canada comes from the National Forest Inventory (NFI) report at the source above.
  • The estimate of current forest area (2015) was calculated by taking the NFI baseline estimate and adjusting it for known increases in forest area (afforestation) and known decreases in forest area (deforestation) that have occurred since the NFI baseline data were collected. These adjustments are described in Canada’s country report to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations for Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015.

National Forest Inventory. Standard reports, Table 12.0, Area of forest land by ownership in Canada. (accessed November 1, 2017).

National Forestry Database. Forest fires. (accessed July 3, 2018).

National Forestry Database. Forest insects, Table 4.1 Area of moderate to severe defoliation (including beetle-killed trees) by insects. (accessed July 3, 2018).

National Forestry Database. Harvest, Table 5.2 Area harvested by jurisdiction, tenure, management and harvesting method. (accessed July 3, 2018).

  • Data include federal, provincial and private forest lands.

National Forestry Database. Regeneration, Table 6.2.1 Number of seedlings planted by jurisdiction, tenure and species group. (accessed July 3, 2018).

Statistics Canada. CANSIM tables 379-0031, 329-0077 and 329-0074. (accessed April 11, 2018).

  • Natural Resources Canada–Canadian Forest Service’s calculations for 2017 nominal GDP are based on Statistics Canada’s tables 379-0031, 329-0077 and 329-0074: GDP in 2007 constant prices, and estimated industry price deflators.
  • GDP is a measure of the economic production that takes place within the geographical boundaries of Canada. Nominal GDP is measured in current dollars. Current dollars are used to describe the value of production in any given year.

Statistics Canada. CANSIM table 383-0031: Labour statistics consistent with the System of National Accounts (SNA), by province and territory, job category and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). (accessed May 23, 2018).

Statistics Canada. 2016 Census of Population (special extraction, April 20, 2018).

  • Natural Resources Canada–Canadian Forest Service calculations are based on Statistics Canada, 2016 Census of Population.
  • Employment data from Statistics Canada’s 2016 Census of Population:
    • These values refer to the number of people “employed,” not “in the labour force,” which includes those “unemployed.”
    • “Indigenous” refers to persons who are First Nations (North American Indian), Métis or Inuk (Inuit) and/or those who are Registered or Treaty Indians (that is, registered under the Indian Act of Canada), and/or those who have membership in a First Nation or Indian band.

Statistics Canada. Table 15.6 Land and freshwater area, by province and territory. (accessed March 5, 2018).

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 2002. Report on the conference of the parties on its seventh session, held at Marrakesh from 29 October to 10 November 2001; Addendum, Part Two: Action taken by the conference of the parties, FCCC/ CP/2001/13/Add.1 (January 21, 2002).

  • National deforestation estimates are calculated on a periodic basis using the method described in the National Deforestation Monitoring System description report. For more information, see:

Wells, J., Childs, D., et al. 2014. Boreal birds need half: Maintaining North America’s bird nursery and why it matters. Seattle, WA: Boreal Songbird Initiative; Memphis, TN: Ducks Unlimited Inc.; Stonewall, MB: Ducks Unlimited Canada.

From planning to production: faces in the forestry supply chain

Text version

Graphic depicting the people behind the supply chain of hypothetical biofuels, biocomposites, and biochemicals from forest resources, consisting of (1) site reconnaissance, represented by a young co-op student at the University of British Columbia; (2) harvesting, represented by a fourth-generation logger in Ontario; (3) sawmill, represented by a young Indigenous man in Saskatchewan; (4) pulp mill, represented by a woman power engineer in New Brunswick; (5) biorefinery, represented by a researcher in Quebec; (6) components of a car, represented by the forestry supply chain culminating in the graphic of a car.

Sources and information

Photo credits

  • Photo of Michael Vela courtesy of the University of British Columbia.
  • Photo of John Fleming courtesy of John Fleming.
  • Photo of Wade Lariviere by Kelly Lehoux courtesy of NorSask Forest Products LP.
  • Photo of Kathy Stull courtesy of JD Irving Pulp and Paper.
  • Photo of Minh Tan Ton-That courtesy of the National Research Council Canada.