Canada stretches across five time zones and numerous climate regions.
The Arctic Circle is covered in permafrost, yet Point Pelee in southern Ontario is further south than northern California. The soil and water and conditions that sustain the nations forest, vary greatly across such geographic expanse.
As a result, Canada features 12 forest regions and sub-regions, each supporting characteristic tree species and forest types.
- Boreal (predominantly forest)
- Boreal (forest and barren)
- Boreal (forest and grass)
- Deciduous (Carolinian)
- Great Lakes/St. Lawrence
This region forms a continuous belt from Newfoundland and Labrador west to the Rocky Mountains and north to Alaska.
The boreal forest is mostly coniferous, but includes a mix of deciduous trees such as white birch and trembling aspen.
A colder climate and shorter growing season nurtures predominately spruce and larch (tamarack).
Along the northern edge the forest thins into open lichen-woodland and then treeless Tundra.
A warmer climate nurtures this deciduous forest where trembling aspen and willow flourish along the edge of the prairie.
The Sub-alpine and Boreal regions both features species such as black spruce, white spruce and trembling aspen.
It is a northern extension of the typical forest of much of the western mountain system of the United States.
Extensive prairie communities of bunch-grasses and herbs are found in many of the river valleys.
This coniferous region merges with Coast, Montane and Sub-alpine forest regions.
Some southern deciduous trees have their northern limits in this region: tulip tree, cucumber tree, pawpaw, red mulberry, Kentucky coffee tree, sassafras, black oak and pin oak.
Conifers are few but there is a scattered distribution of eastern white pine, Tamarack, eastern red cedar and eastern hemlock.
This region is mixed coniferous-deciduous which in addition to the principal tree species includes wide ranges of eastern white cedar and largetooth aspen
The region is closely related to the Great Lakes–St Lawrence Region and to some extent Boreal Region.
Trembling aspen forms groves or bluffs around wet depressions and continuous dense stands along the northern boundary.
Its permanently frozen sub-soil (permafrost) and a short growing season supports only small, hardy vegetation.