A common method of summarizing forest information is by grouping trees in patches based on similar composition and ecosite. This often involves a mix of tree species with a name based on a dominant species, for example the Red and White Pine forest type. This can also be referred to as cover types, and can be further broken down to forest units.

There are eight provincial forest types used in Ontario that are based on standard forest unit definitions used in forest management planning. Forest types allow for easier and more consistent rollup for reporting purposes. Changes in forest types over time show the impacts of harvest, natural disturbance and silvicultural practices over time.

Included with forest type summaries total area within the AOU, growing stock volumes and area by seral stage. Seral stages are a grouping based on stand age and ecosite, which vary by forest type. A chart of age by 20 year age class is also included for each forest type.

Provincial forest type definitions

Provincial forest types (PFTs) are groupings of forest cover types based on standard forest units utilized by forest management plans. Provincial forest types are grouped by ecological and site characteristics. Some PFTs are more homogenous such as the Jack Pine forest type which is mostly pure upland Jack Pine stands. Others, such as Mixedwood or tolerant Hardwoods contain a wide variety of tree species.

AOU forest by forest type

pie chart of the forest types in the Area of the Undertaking including Red and White Pine, Jack Pine, Conifer Upland, Conifer Lowland, Mixedwood, Poplar, White Birch, and tolerant Hardwoods.

There are eight provincial forest types:

  • White and Red Pine – all white and Red Pine Mixedwood stands
  • Jack Pine – predominantly Jack Pine stands;
  • Upland conifers – predominantly mixed spruce, Jack Pine and fir stands on upland sites
  • Lowland conifers – predominantly Black Spruce stands on low, poorly drained sites
  • Mixedwood – mixed stands made up mostly of spruce, Jack Pine, fir, Poplar and White Birch
  • Poplar – predominantly Poplar stands;
  • White Birch – predominantly White Birch stands
  • Tolerant Hardwoods – predominantly Hardwoods such as maple and oak, found mostly in the Great Lakes forest region

Area by forest type and ownership

Forest typeCrownParks and protected areasOtherTotal
Red and White Pine730,028146,811175,0281,051,867
Jack Pine2,485,958267,70749,5122,803,176
Conifer Upland6,607,795551,295502,9207,662,009
Conifer Lowland6,513,859459,606614,4937,587,958
White Birch1,735,434251,257521,2372,507,928
Tolerant Hardwoods1,195,129172,776995,6902,363,596
Total Area27,096,4192,536,2804,131,30133,763,999

All forest in the current collection of forest inventories has a development stage, but is primarily updated as part of forest management, so generally only Crown production forest receives any significant updates other than natural depletions. Shelterwood and selection have been grouped due to inconsistent usage across the province.

Area by forest type and development stage

Forest typeRed and White PineJack PineConifer UplandConifer LowlandMixedwoodPoplarWhite BirchTolerant HardwoodsTotal
Depleted –Harvest29,74892,102171,206182,946136,42592,89138,99666,797811,111
Depleted –Natural4,70487,709227,236351,86154,66967,41138,1312,717834,438
New Natural3,96529,948137,813187,948108,301157,05739,9665,947670,945
New Plant20,732131,782325,808107,492101,29640,54512,502898741,055
New Seed714100,97453,6489,15126,2348,224723235199,902
Low Mgmt.6,86512,37228,629113,7428,78930,8967,7273,356212,378
FTG –Natural481,0671,539,1985,032,6425,319,5774,437,5282,225,9451,568,861800,32021,405,139
FTG –Planted34,807328,972528,094227,248201,17333,3229,5551,4291,364,600
FTG –Seeded219162,44865,48112,88378,7477,957673618329,025
Total Area730,0282,485,9586,607,7956,513,8595,160,8692,667,3471,735,4341,195,12927,096,419

All forest type maps highlight forest data found in the AOU, which is highlighted in the map in the forest management area chapter.