About Tree Canada

Tree Canada is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to planting and nurturing trees in rural and urban environments, in every province across the country.

We help to grow Canada’s tree canopy through our programs, research, and engagement efforts and by offering grants to communities and schools. We are thought-leaders and capacity-builders, collaborating with a network of industry experts, academics, and other non-profits to deepen community knowledge and help municipalities plan and sustain local canopy.

Together with our partners and sponsors, we have planted more than 84 million trees.

Our Vision

Improving the lives of Canadians by planting and nurturing trees while teaching about the value of trees.

Our Mission

To inspire, educate and enable Canadians to plant and nurture trees in order to improve lives and address climate change.

Our Core Values

Passionate: We are committed to a greener, greater Canada.
Collaborative: We work hand-in-hand with partners, governments and agencies.
Integrity: We conduct business with the highest level of professional integrity.
Quality: We are committed to delivering quality educational programs and services.
Results-Oriented: We focus on achieving tangible results.

Our work with Indigenous communities

Tree Canada believes in honouring the values of the truth and reconciliation commission and have been proud collaborators with First Nation communities and their tree plantings projects since our beginnings in 1992. Together, we build healthier communities and share a love and respect for natural spaces.

Urban forestry in Indigenous communities across Canada:
Exploring the impact of greening initiatives (Tree Canada, NRCAN 2019)

Our history

(so far…)


Then-PM Mulroney at founding of Tree Canada, 1992

Then-PM Mulroney at founding of Tree Canada, 1992

Tree Canada was founded in 1992 as the “National Community Tree Foundation”. Although we are now a privately funded charity, for the first part of our history, we were publically funded by the Canadian Forest Service within Natural Resources Canada.


Tree Canada kicks off first Canadian Urban Forest Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Also in 1993, Tree Canada launches Green Streets Canada initiative.


Tree Canada establishes the Eterne Award to recognize companies with exemplary commitment to planting and nurturing trees. To this day, the Eterne Award remains Tree Canada’s highest honour and is still awarded annually to the most deserving organizations.


Map Saguenay, QuébecDisaster strikes with serious flooding in Saguenay, Québec. Tree Canada mobilizes and launches our first Operation ReLeaf the following year to help restore that community’s urban green spaces.


Tree destruction ice storm

Ice storms hit Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. Tree Canada responds with our second Operation ReLeaf initiative to restore urban green spaces in badly hit communities. We also greened our first school ground that year under our Greening Canada’s School Grounds initiative.


Tree Canada releases our first publication about the importance of trees in offsetting carbon pollution.


Tree Canada begins efforts to push for urban forest diversification in Saskatchewan. That same year we also began selling Tree Seed Kits and Green Tree Sleeves to help Canadians green their own yards and communities.


Forest fires
2003 was a devastating year for natural disasters across Canada. Wildfires in B.C., Hurricane Juan in Nova Scotia, outbreaks of Asian Long-horned Beetle and Emerald Ash Borer in Ontario. Tree Canada responded with separate Operation ReLeaf restoration campaigns for communities affected by each of these disasters. The same year, we founded the Canadian Urban Forest Network to help bring together urban forestry professionals and municipal arborists all across Canada. Also in that year, the Monterey Inn of Ottawa became Tree Canada’s first certified carbon-neutral company.


Tree Canada works with leading urban forestry experts in the country to develop and publish the Compendium of Best Management Practices for Canadian Urban Forests.


In 2007 we changed our name to “Tree Canada” when we transitioned from a publically funded organization under the federal government to a privately funded charity.

That same year, Tree Canada released “Places of Green,” a documentary about trees and urban forests, which aired on Global TV and PBS. Tree Canada was also awarded the prestigious Canadian Environment Award for our dedication to environmental stewardship.


In 2008, Tree Canada won the International Society of Aboriculture Award of Excellence and several M.P.s signed on with Tree Canada to operate carbon-neutral campaigns.


Mike Rosen and Adrina in ArmeniaTree Canada deploys its expertise internationally for the first time in Armenia under the “Building International Bridges for Forest Futures” program. Also in 2009, Tree Canada finalized a formal Carbon Protocol for our carbon sequestration program. We also launched a new Operation ReLeaf initiative “BC Fire ReLeaf” to help the province recover from devastating fires.


Parliament of Canada from GatineauTree Canada successfully lobbies the Parliament of Canada to proclaim the first ever National Tree Day. This event is now an annual celebration of trees taking place on the Wednesday of National Forest Week every September. Tree Canada also began supporting Alberta’s forests following pest infestations with the Alberta Mountain Pine Beetle Operation ReLeaf initiative.


Tree Canada was awarded the Canadian Institute of Forestry’s prestigious Group Achievement Award for “outstanding achievement by teams and groups of natural resource managers, researchers and NGO groups in the field of forest resource related activities in Canada.”


little girl planting trees in Fort McMurray

In 2016, devastating forest fires struck Fort McMurray, Alberta. Within a month of the fires, Tree Canada was onsite working with local foresters, corporate partners and the Regional Municipality to restore this community’s green spaces. By the end of year #1, we had already planted more than 70,000 trees thanks to generous support from corporate sponsors and everyday Canadians making this our largest ever Operation ReLeaf initiative.


Woman celebrating in woods
Tree Canada becomes an official #Canada150 partner with the Department of Canadian Heritage. Working closely with CN, we supported 150 tree plantings in 150 communities in every province and territory in the country to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Annual Reports

More about Tree Canada