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What is a Forest
Fern

Fern

A forest is a highly complex, constantly changing environment made up of a variety of living things (wildlife, trees, shrubs, wildflowers, ferns, mosses, lichens, fungi and microscopic soil organisms) and non-living things (water, nutrients, rocks, sunlight and air). Trees are the biggest part of this complex community.


Tropical Rainforest

Tropical Rainforest

There are many different kinds of forests around the world—tropical rain forests, temperate rain forests, boreal forests, mangrove forests, Carolinian forests... to name but a few. In Canada, we have eight different forest regions; the Boreal, Subalpine, Montane, Coast, Columbia, Deciduous (Carolinian), Great Lakes/St. Lawrence and Acadian forest regions.


Forest Facts

Over a third is here, in Canada! 29.7% of the world's land area is covered by forest; about 10% is in Canada.


Types of Forests/Forest Regions

Boreal Forest Region

Boreal Forest Region

Boreal Forest Region

The Boreal forest region covers about 80% of Canada’s forested land. It runs east from the Rocky Mountains and the Alaskan border across the country to northern Newfoundland. The trees in the Boreal forest region are mostly coniferous but have a mix of different types of deciduous trees.

The northern section of the region has a colder climate and, because of this, has a shorter growing season. The majority of the trees in this area are spruce. They are spaced further apart and don’t grow as tall as southern trees.

North of this region is tundra, which doesn’t support tree growth. The southern section of the Boreal Forest Region has a warmer climate and is filled with deciduous trees. Two examples are aspen and willow trees. The trees in this area grow much closer together.


Subalpine Forest Region

The Subalpine forest region is full of coniferous forests and stretches from the coast of British Columbia, across the Rocky Mountains, and into the mountainous uplands of western Alberta. In this region, you find species of trees that are also found in the Boreal forest such as white spruce, black spruce and trembling aspen.

Montane Forest Region

This region includes the central plateau of British Columbia, as well as several valleys close to the Alberta boundary. This forest region is similar to the typical forest that might be found in the western mountains in the United States. Tree types found here are blue Douglas fir, Lodgepole pine, trembling aspen and white spruce. In the south, other species of pine, spruce, fir and birch are also common.

Coast Forest Region

Coast Forest Region

Coast Forest Region

The Coast region runs along the Pacific coast of British Columbia. The trees are almost all coniferous and many species are used for timber.

Columbia Forest Region

This region is found in southeast British Columbia between the Rocky Mountains and the central plateau as well as along the river valleys and lakes of the Subalpine region. It merges with the Coast, Montane and Subalpine regions. The trees found in the Columbia region are similar to what is found on the Coast region and include a large number of coniferous species.

Deciduous (Carolinian) Forest Region

The Deciduous forest region is Canada’s smallest forest region; it extends over a large part of the eastern United States, however. It stretches across south western Ontario between Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Although it is a small area, it contains the most native tree species of any of the regions. Some of the trees found here can also be found in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence forest region, but there are many southern deciduous trees in this region that cannot be found anywhere else in Canada. There are some conifers in this region, but they are very spread out.

Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Forest Region

Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Forest Region

Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Forest Region

This is the second largest forest region in Canada. It includes the area from the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River to south eastern Manitoba. It does not include the area north of Lake Superior because that is part of the Boreal forest region. This region is considered transitional because it is between coniferous and deciduous regions and contains both types of trees.

Acadian Forest Region

This forest region includes many of the Maritime provinces. The trees found in this region are very similar to the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence forest region. You can find many species of fir, birch, maple, oak and elm, as well as many others.


Types of Trees
Benefits of Trees
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