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Trees of Canada

 

Photo by Hailey Toft licensed CC BY 2.0

Ever wondered what kind of tree is on your boulevard, park or your own backyard?

Taking a closer look at its leaves or needles can give you the answer. Canada is covered with 397.3 million hectares (ha) of forest which represent 53.8 percent of its total surface area of 738.5 million ha — that’s a lot of trees!

Here’s a quick guide to help you recognize and name some of the more common trees in Canada.

Spruce

The Spruce tree has needles not leaves, and in Canada they grow coast to coast. Guess what? We have more Spruce trees in Canada than any other species.

Forest of spruce trees.
Photo by Jim R Rogers licensed CC BY-SA 2.0

Pine

Pine trees have needles, not leaves, they also drop lots of pine cones. Pine trees are the third most common tree in Canada. And check this out — pine needles make a nice tea!

Forest of pines taken in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario.
Photo by Hailey Toft licensed CC BY 2.0

Sugar Maple

The sugar maple is famous for its beautiful fall colours, sweet maple syrup and red leaf on the Canadian flag.

Looking up at two sugar maple trees, full of orange leaves.
Photo by Putneypics licensed CC BY 2.0

Eastern White Cedar

Known as the “tree of life,” the Eastern White Cedar provides shelter and food to deer, small mammals and birds. Aboriginal people used the leaves to treat scurvy. Today, we use cedar leaf oil in medicines and perfumes.

Close-up of an eastern white cedar branch.
Photo by Paul Wilson licensed CC Public Domain Mark 1.0

We all know that the Maple Leaf is the symbol for Canada. But did you know that each province and territory except for Nunavut has an official tree too?

Official Provincial Trees

British Columbia: Western Red Cedar
Alberta: Lodgepole Pine
Saskatchewan: White Birch
Manitoba: White Spruce
Ontario: Eastern White Pine
Quebec: Yellow Birch
New brunswick: Balsam Fir
Nova Scotia: Red Spruce
Prince Edward Island: Red Oak
Newfoundland & Labrador: Black Spruce
Yukon: Subalpine Fir
Northwest Territories: Tamarack
Nunavut: Nunavut Territory has not yet proclaimed an official tree.