The City of Greater Sudbury is ready for another season of tree planting — and this year it is getting a significant boost.

It announced Tuesday that 20,000 trees donated by CN Rail and a non-profit group called Tree Canada will be planted.

During the announcement the city gave helicopter tours of a former Inco smelter site in Coniston that was devastated by mining. This is where the new trees will find their home.


Re-greening efforts in the region have taken decades. Part of that effort includes planting trees on the scorched landscape. (Steve Howard/CBC)

‘Tremendous amount of work left’

 A representative with Tree Canada said she can see how much the city has changed.

"I just feel like the world's going to be OK when I come up this way," said Debra Beattie, who also grew up in Sudbury.

The trees will be planted this spring, bringing the total number of trees planted in the Sudbury basin to 9.5 million since 1978.

Sudbury’s manager of environmental planning initiatives said the city is now focusing on planting a diversity of trees, which will help the new forests become self-sufficient.

"We won't need to go back and manage and manage these lands," Stephen Monet said.

"They'll be able to take care of themselves."

He noted while re-greening has come a long way, it will be decades, if not a century, before the program is complete.

"We have about 35,000 hectares of land that have never received any lime, that have never received any trees planted," he said. "So we have a tremendous amount of work left to do."

The city has asked for more trees and hopes to receive 160,000 additional trees in the next two years.