An overview of Canada's forest resources

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Release date: May 1, 2018
Infographic: An overview of Canada's forest resources
Description: An overview of Canada's forest resources

It includes multiple components including a map, graphs, pictographs and facts about Canada's forests and the disturbances that affect them.

Text on the infographic, as well as pie and bar chart and map data are as follows:

How much of Canada's area is forest?

3,470,690 km2 of Canada's total area of 9,979,685 km2 is forest. That's a larger area than Alberta, Ontario and Quebec combined.

Forest Area

  • 35% of Canada's area is forest.
  • 9% of the world's forests are in Canada.

The boreal zone

Canada's boreal zone spans 5.5 million km2 including all or part of 10 ecozones and accounts for over three-quarters of Canada's forest area.

Forest land percent by ecozone:

A thematic map indicates the forest land percentage by ecozone. Ecozone names and percentages are indicated directly on the map, with the ecozone colours ranging from pale cream to green: the darker the color the higher the percentage of forest land in that ecozone.

In the Atlantic Maritime ecozone, 83% of the ecozone area is forest land. In the Boreal Shield, the percentage is 80%, followed by the Montane Cordillera (66%), Taiga Plains (59%), Boreal Plains (57%), Pacific Maritime (53%), Taiga Shield (42%), Boreal Cordillera (42%), Hudson Plains (29%), Taiga Cordillera (24%), Mixedwood Plains (29%) and the Prairies (3%).

Arctic ecozones are not inventoried.

What do Canada's forests look like?

Forest types

Of Canada's forests, 68% are coniferous, 16% are mixedwood, 11% are broadleaf and 6% are non-treed.

Forest species

53% of forests are spruce, 11% are poplar and 10% are pine.

Age classes

42% of Canada's forests are between 81 and 120 years old, followed by 26% between 41 and 80 and 12% under 41.

What types of disturbances affect Canada's forests?


In 2015, insects damaged 176,318 km2 of forest.

Forest fires

In 2015, 7,140 wildfires burned a total of 38,616 km2 of forest.


In 2015, Canada harvested 7,796 km2 of forest.


From 1990 to 2015, forest area decreased 0.3% from 3.48 million km2 to 3.47 million km2.

Source: Human Activity and the Environment 2017: Forests in Canada

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