June 18, 2020 (Edmundston, NB) — Today, 8,000 seedlings and a vision for a greener future are taking root in Edmundston, NB thanks to Irving Woodlands’ generous gift of seedlings to Tree Canada’s National Greening Program.

Representatives from Irving Woodlands joined Tree Canada this morning in Edmundston, to survey the planting of the seedlings.

Tree Canada—the only national tree planting charity that plants and nurtures trees in urban and rural environments—is delighted by the donation, which will help the Municipality of Edmundston with their own ongoing regreening and revegetation plans. Since launching their National Greening Program, Tree Canada and its supporters have planted over 70 million trees across the country, covering hundreds of hectares of forest.

The 8,000 spruce seedlings, originating from NB seed sources and grown at J.D. Irving, Limited tree nursery in Juniper, NB, were planted at a carefully selected site once used by Edmundston public works. The superior quality seedlings are the result of 40 years of tree research and improvement using natural methods. These seedlings will absorb 40% more carbon dioxide than the average spruce tree in NB.

The seedlings will provide the immediate benefit of beautifying a part of the city for public use and creating a space for nature enthusiasts. Over time, the grown trees will reduce erosion, establish a forest canopy, store carbon dioxide, and provide a wildlife habitat for a diverse range of other flora and fauna.

Irving Woodlands understands the important role trees play in filtering air, absorbing carbon dioxide, and combatting global warming. They have a long history of reforestation, tree planting, and environmental initiatives. In 1957, James K. Irving launched the company’s first reforestation program, which to date, has planted over one billion trees. A recent UNB study has confirmed the forests that the company owns or manages absorb over 92 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over 50 years. That is equal to 300,000 cars off the road every year for the next 50 years.

While many businesses have slowed down due to COVID-19 restrictions, tree planters have been busy steadily—and carefully—planting trees. The forest product sector is classified as essential work despite the pandemic, and for good reason: in Canadian cities, forest cover has been declining for more than two decades.

With over 82 per cent of the population now living in urban centres, it has become increasingly important to recognize the benefits our urban trees and forests bring us. They beautify our communities, increasing the property value of our businesses and homes. They reduce the effects of climate change, naturally cooling our cities. And, they help us live longer and healthier lives, reducing stress and improving our mental health.

“We were delighted to get the call from Tree Canada to help out with this project,” said Alain Ouellette, Director of Community Relations in northern New Brunswick. “This site is not too far from the place where our first seedlings were planted back in 1957. This is home for us and we share Tree Canada’s passion for growing trees and healthy forests that fight climate change, provide diverse habitat for wildlife and a renewable resource for jobs.”

About Tree Canada

Tree Canada is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to planting and nurturing trees in rural and urban environments. Through our programs, research and educational efforts, we have helped restore tree cover in areas hit by natural disasters, guided communities in managing their urban forests, helped green 660 schoolyards and organized urban forest conferences. To date, with our community partners and sponsors, we have planted more than 82 million trees.

TreeCanada.ca

About Irving Woodlands

Rooted in New Brunswick since 1882, the Irving Woodlands team is committed to healthy, diverse forests. These woodlands are environmentally certified every year through independent audits of 145 measures under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Together with leading conservation and research groups, the company continues to grow investments in forest research and award-winning conservation sites.

For interviews, photos and more information:

Carol Burnup
Manager, Communications and Marketing
Tree Canada
cburnup@treecanada.ca
613-567-5545 ext. 230

Mary Keith
Vice President Communications
J.D Irving, Limited
Keith.mary@jdirving.com
506-632-5122 office
506-650-8209 cell