Growing Hope: The Power of Planting Trees

Randall Van Wagner

Head of Tree Canada’s National Greening Program

I’ve seen fires in my career, but nothing has been so catastrophic as the thousands that devastated Canadian forests this year. 18.4 million hectares of land have been scorched by over 6,500 incidents from British Columbia to Nova Scotia to the Northwest Territories. Some of these fires were so strong that they affected the weather in their area. With increasing temperatures and inconsistent rainfall, this is likely to get worse in the coming years.  

Trees Are Our Allies

Trees are one of our biggest allies in the fight against climate change. Forests work to absorb and store greenhouse gases, clean the air, regulate water levels, prevent soil erosion and provide habitats for at-risk species. Areas of the Canadian boreal forest that were affected by these wildfires are crucial carbon banks. The habitats of moose, bear and songbirds have been greatly impacted.  

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of this. What can one person, one couple, one family do from their home in the suburb or city? Planting trees by supporting Tree Canada’s work is a meaningful way to help address climate change, restore scorched land, and work towards a greener future for generations to come. This year Tree Canada planted over 2 million trees! I think that with the help of people like you, looking to take action and make a difference, we can surpass this number next year.  

Support Reforestation

Donations to Tree Canada support important initiatives like the National Greening Program. Through this program, you can help us plant seedlings in large areas in need of reforestation. You also create new forests where there was no recent tree cover. Collaborating closely with landowners, farmers, and Indigenous communities ensures that we plant the right trees in the right places, maximizing our collective impact. 

Encourage Research and Urban Forestry

Supporting Tree Canada also brings the benefits of trees into our cities and supports vital research. Our Greening Communities urban tree programs, made possible by your involvement, plant large stock trees in public spaces, helping to lower temperatures, calm traffic, and even reduce crime. Your support also allows us to fund and collaborate in research to expand our understanding of the ecological and social benefits of trees, enabling better planning and care for these life-giving organisms. 

Grow Better Places to Live

Over the past 40 years, about a third of Canada’s forests have been destroyed. That’s a significant change, given that our country is home to 10% of the world’s forests. A donation is more than a tree; it symbolizes a commitment to combat climate change, support biodiversity, restore land, and create better living spaces for all Canadians. So why not make an impact this holiday season? 


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