How many trees are cut down every year in canada

Deforestation in Canada: Key myths and facts

At 0.02% of its forested area, deforestation in Canada is among the world’s lowest, yet many myths exist about the state of our forests. The reality is that Canada is a world leader in sustainable forest management. Canadian forests are healthy, productive and thriving.

Deforestation is an important issue, since shrinking forest cover reduces biodiversity, affects soil and water quality, impacts wildlife habitat and influences climate change. The Canadian government carefully monitors and regularly publishes reports on deforestation. Our scientists combine satellite and aerial images with information about regional development, forest ecosystems, natural processes and local conditions to help monitor and manage the health of Canadian forests.

Here are some key facts about Canada’s low levels of deforestation.

Myth: Deforestation in Canada is increasing.

Fact: Canada’s deforestation rate is among the lowest in the world.

The annual deforestation rate in Canada in 2010 was less than 0.02% of our forests and the rate has been declining for over 25 years. In 1990, 63,100 hectares were lost to deforestation and in 2014 this figure dropped to 34,200 hectares.

Today, Canada’s 348 million hectares of forest lands represent about 9% of the world’s forest cover, but account for only 0.3% of global deforestation.

Myth: Logging causes deforestation.

Fact: Harvesting trees does not cause deforestation.

Deforestation only occurs when forests are permanently removed so the land can be used for something else. Harvesting, forest fires and insect infestations do not constitute deforestation, since the affected areas will grow back. According to laws, regulations and policies in place across Canada, all areas harvested on public land must be reforested, either by replanting or through natural regeneration. About 94% of Canada’s forests are on public land.

The conversion of forest to agricultural land is decreasing but it remains the largest contributor to deforestation in Canada. The small contribution the forest sector makes to deforestation is from building permanent logging access roads. Forest harvesting practices in Canada are tightly regulated to ensure long-term sustainability of this important natural resource. Learn more about forest management practices.

Myth: Canada’s boreal forest is at risk.

Fact: Canada responsibly manages our boreal forests to ensure they remain healthy

Almost three-quarters of Canada’s forests lie in the boreal zone. The 2.5 million Canadians who live in this region, including many Aboriginal peoples, rely heavily on the forests for economic stability. Recognizing the many values of the boreal forests, Canada works to balance conservation objectives with economic drivers such as agriculture and resource development. Deforestation in Canada’s boreal zone is low – just 0.3% in total between 1990 and 2008. Read more about Canada’s boreal forest.

Myth: Canada has the world’s worst record when it comes to deforestation.

Fact: Canada is a world leader in sustainable forest management.

Canada has some of the most rigorous laws in the world for protecting forests and ensuring sustainable forest management. We are world leaders in scientific research that informs planning and management practices. Find out about Canadian forestry laws and policies.

Media reports have equated forest cover loss from forest fires, harvesting and insects to deforestation, which is incorrect. The small amount of deforestation that occurs in Canada is primarily driven by resource development, economic growth and the need to build infrastructure. To manage these pressures, provincial governments are increasingly using integrated landscape management (ILM) to plan the land uses over a broad landscape and encourage different users to share infrastructure and minimize deforestation.

Myth: Industrial activity, such as the development of the oil sands, has made Canada the new global leader in deforestation.

Fact: Canada has reduced deforestation over the past 20 years.

Canada is fortunate to be rich in many natural resources, such as trees, water, oil and gas. While resource development and industrial activity have increased deforestation in localized regions, nationwide Canada has been able to consistently reduce deforestation over the past 20 years – a trend that is expected to continue. While oil sands development has increased in recent years, the area of land it occupies is very small relative to the size of Canada’s forests. In fact, the total area of mineable oil sands (i.e., including both developed and undeveloped areas) occupies 480,000 hectares, while Canada has 348 million hectares of forests.

The Canadian Forest Service of Natural Resources Canada is collaborating with the oil and gas sector to identify ways to reduce the amount and impact of development on forest ecosystems and to accelerate the reclamation of land disturbed by mining or oil and gas extraction.

Myth: Canada must preserve our forests untouched or intact to keep them healthy.

Fact: There is no such thing as untouched forest in Canada.

A forest is a living community of organisms that naturally experiences constant change. Over time, forests experience many disturbances (including fire, insects, disease, drought, wind throw, floods and timber harvesting), yet trees continue to grow back naturally. In the forest, nothing is ever static. This is particularly true in the boreal forest, which is ecologically adapted to renew itself through disturbances such as fire. Read more about natural disturbances.

Although many forests are in remote areas, inaccessible to people, human activities such as harvesting do affect other forests. However, modern methods of harvesting trees are often intended to mimic natural disturbances and harvested areas are regrown. Canada’s managed forests will generally grow for 60 to 100 years between harvests, so most managed forest areas return to a natural state for considerable lengths of time. See how harvesting is done in boreal forests.

Get more facts about Canada’s declining deforestation rate

Canada’s forests are among the country’s most important resources and our governments work hard to manage them sustainably. Find out more about Canada’s low levels of deforestation.

Find out more

  • How fire, insects and other natural disturbances shape Canada’s forests
  • How boreal forests rely on natural disturbances (video)
  • How planting new trees helps offset deforestation
  • Sustainable harvesting practices in Canada
  • Harvesting is done in the boreal forest (video)

Read the latest research

  • Canada’s National Deforestation Monitoring System: System description (2015)
  • The role of Canada’s boreal forest in exchanging carbon (2013)
  • Recent rates of forest harvest and conversion in North America (2011)
  • Small deforestation teams meet big demands: Mapping Canada’s forest cover loss (2010) (see pages 6–7)
  • Canadian Deforestation Mapping and Carbon Accounting for Kyoto Agreement

How much forest does Canada have?

With almost 362 million hectares (ha) of forest, Canada has 9% of the world’s forests. The estimate of Canada’s forest area is new this year and is based on improvements and updates to data sources and forest inventory techniques over the last 10 years. Differences from previously reported values are mainly attributed to these improvements. Naturally occurring and human-induced change to the amount of forest area is also included. The forest area of Canada is relatively stable, with less than 0.5% deforested since 1990.

Forests dominate many Canadian landscapes, but cover only 40% of Canada’s land base (excludes inland and coastal waters). Depending on where you live in Canada, forests may cover over 80% of your region, such as in the Atlantic Maritime ecozone or only 3% of the Prairies.

Key sustainability indicators

Explore the report to find information on the key sustainability indicators:

  • Forest area: Long-term trends in forest area across Canada. A relatively stable forest area is an important indication that forests are being managed sustainably and are, therefore, a stable provider of resources, biodiversity and diverse environmental services.
  • Deforestation and afforestation: Estimated area of annual deforestation in Canada by industrial sectors. Low deforestation supports high levels of biodiversity and maintains the quality of soil, air and water.
  • Wood volume: Long-term trends in estimated volume of wood in forests. Wood volume estimates provide information on forest productivity, available carbon storage, forest fire fuel predictions, and harvest level forecasts.

Download the report
(PDF, 96 MB)

Forest area

Canada’s estimated forest area, 1990–2020

Graph summary

This graph shows that Canada’s forest area is stable. Between 1990 and 2020, the estimated total forest area declined from 363.224 million hectares (ha) to 361.785 million ha, a net change of about 1% over 30 years. Updated data sources, remote sensing techniques and improved forest inventories over the last 10 years have enhanced our estimates of forest area in Canada.

Graph data

Table showing Canada’s estimated forest area, in millions of hectares, for each year from 1990 to 2020.

Year Estimated forest area
1990 363.224
1991 363.170
1992 363.115
1993 363.065
1994 362.988
1995 362.949
1996 362.914
1997 362.877
1998 362.840
1999 362.799
2000 362.753
2001 362.714
2002 362.675
2003 362. 624
2004 362.575
2005 362.527
2006 362.482
2007 362.407
2008 362.360
2009 362.313
2010 362.272
2011 362.232
2012 362.191
2013 362.148
2014 362.096
2015 362.040
2016 361.987
2017 361.934
2018 361.883
2019 361.834
2020 361. 785

Estimated area (hectares) of annual deforestation in Canada, by industrial sector, 1990–2019

Graph summary

The annual estimated area of deforestation in Canada has declined steadily from about 64,000 hectares (ha) in 1990, to about 49,000 ha in 2019. Two spikes in the overall declining trend occurred in 1993 and 2006, when an estimated 86,000 ha and 76,000 ha, respectively, were deforested because of hydroelectric development. Overall, the conversion of forest to agricultural land uses has declined from about 42,000 ha/year in 1990 to about 22,000 ha/year in 2019. The conversion of forest to mining, oil and gas land uses has increased from about 7,200 ha/year in 1990 to 15,000 ha/year in 2019. Forest loss caused by the creation of permanent forestry roads has declined from an estimated 3,700 ha/year in 1990 to 1,000 ha/year. The conversion of forest to built-up land uses has remained stable, with losses ranging between 6,900 ha/year and 9,700 ha/year between 1990 and 2019.

Graph data

Table showing the estimated area of annual deforestation in Canada, by industrial sector, in hectares per year, from 1990 to 2019.

Year Agriculture Forestry Mining, oil and gas Built-up land Hydroelectric Total
1990 42,105 3,682 7,240 7,413 3,598 64,038
1991 38,140 3,600 7,207 7,239 6,402 62,587
1992 34,175 3,517 7,818 7,129 5,400 58,040
1993 30,210 3,435 7,916 7,046 37,323 85,930
1994 26,246 3,352 8,009 6,968 2,374 46,949
1995 22,281 3,270 8,100 6,961 1,493 42,104
1996 21,933 3,334 8,737 7,446 1,695 43,145
1997 21,586 3,398 9,096 7,450 2,014 43,544
1998 21,239 3,463 10,501 7,678 4,597 47,477
1999 20,891 3,527 11,059 8,310 6,646 50,433
2000 20,544 3,591 10,843 8,788 883 44,650
2001 20,196 3,655 10,709 9,089 882 44,532
2002 19,849 3,720 13,348 8,624 9,746 55,287
2003 19,502 3,784 13,543 8,937 3,061 48,826
2004 19,154 3,848 14,034 9,386 4,073 50,496
2005 17,982 3,453 14,693 9,092 4,035 49,256
2006 16,842 3,061 17,314 9,133 29,479 75,828
2007 15,702 2,670 17,379 8,736 3,719 48,206
2008 14,562 2,278 16,460 8,315 6,810 48,426
2009 13,422 1,886 13,976 8,182 5,072 42,539
2010 12,282 1,494 14,362 7,845 5,112 41,095
2011 14,301 1,411 15,886 8,062 2,850 42,510
2012 16,320 1,328 14,863 8,287 3,249 44,048
2013 18,340 1,245 15,457 8,957 9,455 53,454
2014 20,359 1,161 14,877 9,294 11,084 56,776
2015 22,378 1,078 15,193 9,747 6,319 54,716
2016 22,378 1,078 15,485 9,620 4,986 53,548
2017 22,378 1,078 15,411 9,549 2,394 50,811
2018 22,378 1,078 15,399 9,542 957 49,354
2019 22,378 1,078 15,115 9,518 957 49,046

Wood volume

Estimated wood volume (million cubic metres) in Canada

Year 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Wood volume 53,488 53,408 52,931 51,175 50,563 50,145 50,096 49,900 49,622 49,505
Sources and information

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Trees on Earth are 8 times more than previously thought

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New data show there are eight times as many trees on the planet as previously claimed

There are about three trillion trees on the planet, according to Yale scientists. This data, collected using satellite imagery and forestry data, is eight times higher than previous figures, when it was reported that there were about 400 billion trees growing on Earth.

Calculations were made on more than 400 thousand plots on all continents.

According to research team leader Dr. Thomas Crowther, there are now about 420 trees for every inhabitant of the Earth.

As noted in a report published in the journal Nature, these studies will help to elucidate other important factors in the life of the planet - from the biological diversity of the animal world, to the modeling of climate change, which are significantly affected by the absence or presence of large forests, absorbing greenhouse gases in huge quantities. gases, converting them into oxygen.

In an interview with the BBC, Dr. Crowther, however, notes that the data from this study does not indicate that the state of the planet, the atmosphere, the level of carbon dioxide turned out to be "good" or "bad", it's just that , what is the current state of these forest areas.

"We simply described the state of the planet's forest system, so that the data could then be used, for example, by environmentalists for their research, or politicians and governments for their own purposes," says Dr. Crowther.

According to scientists, the largest number of trees - about two trillion - grow in the tropical and subtropical zones of the planet, which is quite natural.

Image copyright, Reuters

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Researchers believe the data will help understand the causes of climate change on the planet and how threatening the consequences are

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In addition, this study provides a clear picture of human impact on vegetation on earth. According to the data received, about 15 billion trees (or 0.5% of the total) are cut down on the planet every year, while no more than five billion are planted.

"Now we can see how fast the planet is being deforested. Combined with other data, like climate change, we can understand how deforestation affects the climate," says researcher Dr. Henry Glick.

This study also allows us to compare the current state of forests with what it was, for example, after the end of the Ice Age. Scientists say that since then, humanity has cut down almost three trillion trees on the planet.

"Europe was almost completely covered with forest, and now it is almost continuous fields and meadows. And it is, of course, human activity that has led to such results," says Dr. Crowther in an interview.

At the same time, other scientists doubt the accuracy of this study. Dr. Martin Lucas of the University of Reading in England says that the inaccuracies of recent studies, when they counted only 400 billion trees on Earth, suggest that this study, which increased the number of trees by eight times, may eventually turn out to be inaccurate.

Other scholars also point out that this study was meticulously carried out only in Europe and North America, and regions such as India, Australia, China and the Congo were practically not studied. Therefore, the following data can again increase the number of trees by two, or maybe 10 times.

Ecologists: Russia is in first place in terms of the number of trees on Earth

https://ria. ru/20150902/1224826898.html

Ecologists: Russia is in first place in terms of the number of trees on Earth

Ecologists: Russia ranks first in the number of trees on Earth - RIA Novosti, 02.03.2020

Ecologists: Russia ranks first in the number of trees on Earth

The surface of our planet contains about three trillion trees, and Russia is about 20% of them, which is an absolute record and almost twice as many as Canada, which ranks second.






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MOSCOW, 2 September - RIA Novosti. The surface of our planet contains about three trillion trees, and Russia contains approximately 640 billion of them, which is an absolute record and almost twice as many as Canada, which ranks second, ecologists write in an article published in the journal Nature.

"Trees store a huge amount of carbon, they are critical for maintaining the nutrient cycle in nature, provide us with clean water and air, and countless other things. But when you ask someone to estimate, even to an accuracy of order how many trees there are on Earth, then almost any of us will find it difficult to answer. I myself was surprised that we are talking about a number of the order of trillions, "said Thomas Crowther from Yale University (USA).

Crowther and his colleagues quite accurately calculated the number of trees on the modern Earth, and also found out that their number on the surface of our planet has decreased by about 46% since the appearance of the first centers of civilization, by analyzing satellite images and forestry data using a supercomputer.

The idea to count all the trees on the planet came to Crowther and his colleagues after they were approached by representatives of the Plant for the Planet initiative, in which schoolchildren - supported by the UN - are trying to stop global warming by planting trees.

The activists wanted to know how much they managed to replenish the number of Earth's trees, and scientists decided to help them find the answer to this question. To do this, Crowther's group combined the results of calculations carried out in over 500 thousand corners of the Earth, as well as a large number of satellite images of forest areas.

As it turned out, the number of trees on the planet was much higher than what scientists expected to see - rough estimates based only on satellite data indicated that there should be about 400 billion trees on Earth. In fact, their number exceeds three trillion, with about half of them concentrated in the top ten countries.

The undisputed leader of this rating is Russia - about 640 billion trees grow on the territory of our country alone, most of which are located in the forests of Siberia and the Far East. It is followed by Canada and Brazil, each with about 300 billion trees. In addition to them, the top ten includes the USA, China, Congo, Indonesia, Australia, Bolivia and Mexico.

The poorest country in terms of tree cover is the Arab state of Bahrain, on whose territory only about 3 thousand trees grow. He is accompanied by Qatar, Monaco, the Cocos Islands, Gibraltar and the uninhabited Paracel Islands, whose territory is disputed by a number of Asian states.

Scientists, in addition to counting the number of trees themselves, also managed to calculate how fast their population is declining as a result of deforestation, climate change and other processes. Every year, according to the calculations of Crowther and his colleagues, about 15 billion trees disappear from the face of the planet.

"Over the course of our existence, we have already managed to destroy about half of the trees, and we have already seen how this has affected the climate and human health. Such a rapid rate of deforestation demonstrates how much effort we still have to make in order to restore forests around the world," concludes Crowther.

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