Our action: How we will get there together

Thank you for your interest in 2BT. We received over 200 applications. The program will review proposals through a rigorous evaluation process. We expect to contact successful applicants with funding decisions by June 2022.

2 Billion Trees program on track

The 2 Billion Trees program (2BT) is part of the Government of Canada's broader approach to nature-based climate solutions. It will contribute to Canada's efforts mitigating climate change while achieving key biodiversity, conservation, and human well-being benefits.

Launched in February 2021, the program is on track to plant two billion trees over 10 years, resulting in a permanent increase in forest cover in Canada. By the end of 2021, 30 million trees will have been planted – and that number will increase every year.

Tree planting moves at the speed of nature

Two billion trees start with two billion seeds.

The process to get from seeds to trees is complex and takes several years to ramp up, which is why this program has been designed to plant more trees in every planting year than the year before. By ramping up planting activities every year, we’ll hit our target of two billion trees planted over 10 years.

Tree planting requires careful planning to ensure the right tree is planted in the right place, for the right reasons. So, different species and sizes of trees are required in different planting projects.

Seed collection, nursery operations, site preparation, and tree planting are seasonal activities, some of which can occur only 4 to 5 months per year.

Tree planting timeline – a snapshot

Tree planting timeline
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  • Year 0 - Land owner decides to plant trees: Provinces, territories, municipalities, for-profit, not-for-profit, or Indigenous organizations support planting trees and define objectives and timing.
  • Year 1 - Seed collection: Seeds of the desired species need to be collected or acquired, if not already available.
  • Years 1-3 - Seedling growth in nurseries: Seedlings are grown in the nursery until the tree is ready to plant (typically 1-3 years for reforestation trees but up to 10 years for urban trees).
  • Year 2-3 up to year 15 (urban trees) - Site preparation: 6-12 months before planting a tree, site preparation creates the right planting conditions to increase seedling survival.
  • Year 2-3 up to year 15 (urban trees) - Tree planting: The tree is planted.
  • Each year - Post planting monitoring and management: Monitoring starts for health and survival rate. Measures can be taken to ensure better survival rates, such as managing competing vegetation when tree survival is threatened in early years.
  • Years 7+ - Seedling free to grow: Seedling has matured and will continue growing on its own.

Starting small and growing fast

The 2 Billion Trees program funding is aligned with the tree planting supply chain business model, using a 2 to 3 year production schedule, which is the time it takes to grow seedlings for most planting activities in Canada.

Graph showing the estimated annual seeds planted in nurseries, annual planted trees, and annual funding for the 2 Billion Trees Program from 2021 to 2030
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Graph showing the estimated annual seeds planted in nurseries, annual planted trees, and annual funding for the 2 Billion Trees program from 2021 to 2030. Graph shows rapidly increasing numbers of seedlings in nurseries from 2021 to 2024 and then reducing to zero in 2029 and 2030. Graph shows the number of estimated seedlings planted increases more slowly in the first four years of the program but then reaches over 300 million trees planted annually starting in 2027 and continuing to the end of the program. Graph also shows the funding profile increases rapidly in the first few years of the program and peaks and plateaus at 355 million dollars from 2025 to the end of the program.

Seedlings require 2-3 years to grow before they can be planted in the ground with a high survival rate. Such large incremental stock is not currently available, so we have designed the program with this 2-3 year production schedule in mind, focusing in the early years on building the foundation for the next decade building up to over 250 million seedlings. The production schedule also means that as the program enters the last three years, seedling production driven by the program declines to 0.

While we are preparing to increase seedling capacity over the next several years to “ramp up” seed collection and seedlings planted, we will be able to get trees in the ground. This is because we are able to benefit from overstock of trees in nurseries.

The exact number of trees planted are reported by our partners after all of their planting activities are completed. Final results for the 2021 tree planting season will be available in spring 2022, once partners have submitted their final reports to the program.

Since Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) launched this program, many partners have shown keen interest in planting trees in both rural and urban settings. NRCan’s latest call for proposals was launched on December 16, 2021 and closed on February 17, 2022; we will be announcing tree-planting projects as agreements are signed with prospective partners.

Estimated Annual Trees Planted from 2021 to 2030 for the 2 Billion Tree program

Estimated Cumulative Number of Trees Planted from 2021 to 2030 for the 2 Billion Tree program

estimated and cumulative trees planted from 2021 to 2030
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Estimated Annual Trees Planted from 2021 to 2030 for the 2 Billion Trees program: Graph shows the estimated annual trees planted from 2021 to 2030. The number of estimated seedlings planted increases more slowly in the first four years of the program but then reaches over 300 million trees planted annually starting in 2027 and continuing to the end of the program.

Estimated Cumulative Number of Trees Planted from 2021 to 2030 for the 2 Billion Trees program: Graph shows the estimated cumulative number of trees planted from 2021 to 2030. The total number of trees planted increases more slowly from 2021 to 2025 and then more rapidly from 2026 onward to reach a total of two billion trees on 2030.

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