Facts About Our Forests

 

Forests are all around us. They exist in grand expanses from the spruce dominated North to the maple and oak forests of the south. Ontarians must respect all their trees; urban and rural, planted and wild, seedling and old timber, and in stands. Most of the land in Ontario is owned by the people of Ontario, in the form of Crown and Park land and water.

 


Forest Regions

 

There are four main kinds of forest regions in Ontario, each with unique characteristics and species. They range from the deciduous forest of Southern Ontario, through the mixed forest of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region in central and northwestern Ontario, to the conifer-dominated boreal forests of the North. 

 

 

map forest regions mini size (forest regions pg)

 

 

 

 

Forest Facts:

  • Ontario has approximately 85 billion trees
  • 66.0% of Ontario is forest (71.1 million ha)
  • 80.8% of Ontario’s forests are on Crown land (public forest lands) (57.5 million ha)
  • 9.0% of Ontario’s forests are within existing and proposed Parks and Protected areas (6.4 million ha)
  • 51.6% of the forest in the boreal region are managed by the Crown
  • 44.2% of the forest in the boreal is unavailable for harvest
  • Less than one-half of 1% of the forest in the boreal region is harvested annually
  • The average age of Area of the Undertaking (AOU) forests have increased from 73 years old in 1996, to 79 in 2001 and 82 years old in 2006 and remained at 83 years old in 2011
  • 55.8% of the AOU is softwood or coniferous forest types
  • 25.5% of the AOU is hardwood or deciduous forest types
  • 18.7% of the AOU is mixedwood forest types
  • Ontario’s most common tree is the black spruce (37.3% of total provincial growing stock), followed by poplar (20.8%), and jack pine (11.7%)
  • The most common provincial forest types are conifer upland and lowland, which are dominated by spruce, and make up 55.3% of the boreal forest

graphic - land classes (forest facts) (english)

 

Total land and water area by land class in Ontario - 107.6 million hectares

 

 

 


graph showing proportions of forest compared to total land area from a global perspective

 

Proportion of forest compared to total land area

 

Pie chart_Forests Facts (for table 1 provincial area)

 

 

Total provincial area % by land class
(Table 1)

 

 

 


Pie chart_Forests Facts (for table 2 provincial area)

 

Total provincial area % by land class
(Table 2)

 

 

Table 1 - Total Provincial Area by Land Class (hectares)
Land Class
CrownParks & Protected AreasOtherTotal
Water
17,028,8471,819,446594,99819,443,291
Wetland
8,170,3361,082,148245,5129,497,997
Field/Agriculture
32,5646,9015,362,1455,401,611
Other Non-forest
816,335414,077995,3392,225,750
Forest
57,427,1646,419,1617,221,44471,067,769
Total:
83,475,2469,741,73414,419,438107,636,418

Source: Landcover 2008 satellite imagery

 

Table 2 - Total Provincial Area by Land Class, 2011 (hectares)
Land ClassCrownParks and Protected AreasOtherTotal
Non-forested Land and Water
Water (Great Lakes)
8,544,737150,917-8,695,654
Water
8,484,1101,668,529594,99810,747,637
Wetland
8,170,3361,082,148245,5129,497,997
Rock
357,098131,427146,701635,225
Field/Agriculture
32,5646,9015,362,1455,401,611
Unclassified Land
50,0993,893815,160869,152
Other
409,138278,75733,478721,373
Subtotal:
26,048,0823,322,5737,197,99436,568,649
Non-productive Forest
Treed Wetland
12,744,1491,142,4421,086,58714,973,177
Productive Forest
Dense Deciduous
3,116,344541,0111,695,0775,352,433
Dense Conifer
13,388,9521,587,4821,018,98815,995,422
Mixed Forest
11,719,1141,579,1842,242,48315,540,781
Sparse Forest
11,043,7611,200,6021,133,90413,378,267
Regenerating Forest
2,307,411188,70820,4572,516,575
Disturbance - Fire
1,268,389173,08311,9981,453,470
Disturbance - Harvest
1,839,0446,64911,9491,857,643
Productive Forest:
44,683,0155,276,7196,134,85856,094,592
All Forest:57,427,1646,419,1617,221,44471,067,769
Grand Total:83,475,2469,741,73414,419,438107,636,418

1The information reported is updated on a 5 year cycle, and will differ slightly from inventory summaries due to source

 

 

Forest statistics have been published since the 1920's. The Forest Resources of Ontario publication provides a comprehensive overview of Ontario's forests. Statistics describing the area of land and water, forest types, and the distribution of tree species across the province are summarized in the form of tables, charts, and maps.

Related Links

 

More comprehensive forest statistics are available in the following publications: