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.
Disaster 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Tree 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.
Tree 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.