PEI - 2 Billion Trees Planting Program
The federal government has set a goal to plant two billion trees in Canada over 10 years. These trees will help restore nature, create healthy forest ecosystems, and increase carbon capture across the country. Prince Edward Island is supporting this work with the Government of Canada and there is a Provincial version of the program – PEI 2 Billion Trees Program - this program will be used primarily to:
- Plant native tree species on currently unforested sites such as marginal agricultural land and riparian zones;
- Assist municipalities with urban and suburban tree planting; and
- Replant forested sites damaged by Hurricane Fiona, where appropriate.
What is the province hoping to achieve through the PEI- 2 Billion Trees Program?
The PEI 2 Billion Trees (PEI -2BT) will support the creation of new permanent forest cover on currently unforested lands, in low-forest-cover watersheds and riparian zones, and in urban areas across the province. Planting a mix of climate-adaptive species with a range of habitat requirements will enhance biodiversity and offer additional resiliency to the impacts of climate change. Six native species are selected for their appropriateness to the planting sites and reliability of nursery production: Red Maple, White Pine, Yellow Birch, White Spruce, White Birch and Eastern Hemlock. These selections will help us achieve province-wide benefits including:
- Increased habitat and biodiversity
- Increased carbon storage
- Increased resilience to climate change
- Increased protection from high-water events
- Decreased erosion
- Improved air quality
Who will be eligible to participate in the PEI- 2BT program?
Eligible participants under the PEI-2BT Program involve municipalities, owners of agricultural and private land and owners of small parcels near streams and rivers. The Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division is encouraging province-wide participation in the tree-planting campaign through two application types:
Municipal government application
Planting trees in urban and suburban areas will contribute to reduced urban heat effect, improved urban biodiversity, increased water recharge, and decreased runoff. The positive impacts on mental and physical health attributed to tree planting include reduced stress and increased physical activity. Municipalities can apply for up to $50,000 to cover costs associated with planting larger caliper trees for urban areas and greenspaces. Find more information at PEI - 2 Billion Trees Municipal Planting Application.
Under the PEI – 2BT program, owners of private land may request to have trees planted on their property. Three landowner groups are invited to participate in the PEI -2BT:
- Agriculture Landowners (retired farmland)
Planting trees on abandoned or marginal farmland will increase its environmental value. In PEI, unproductive farmland left on its own will naturally regenerate, primarily in old field White Spruce. Planting a mixed selection of native species on these agriculture sites will create a more resilient forest cover and offer added benefits including decreased risk of soil erosion, increased carbon sequestration, and expanded wildlife habitat. Under the PEI 2BT program, the PEI government will provide trees and planting services on retired farmland at the landowner’s request. Agriculture landowners interested in participating in the PEI-2BT program will find application details at PEI - 2 Billion Trees Landowner Application.
- Private Landowners
Most of the PEI-2BT planting will be on private land because, unlike other jurisdictions in Canada, about 90% of land in PEI is privately owned. Properties greater than 2.5 acres are eligible for tree-planting services under the PEI-2BT program. These tree plantings will provide abundant benefits, including habitat connectivity, increased privacy, improved mental well-being, more biodiversity within the space, protection from wind and drifting snow, and reduced risk of erosion, wildland fire and floods. Private landowners interested in participating in the PEI- 2BT program will find application details at PEI - 2 Billion Trees Landowner Application.
- Watershed Area Landowners
Focused planting to increase coverage will enhance how well watershed areas are able to facilitate wildlife movement and improve general living conditions. Forest cover provides shade, cooler streams, bank stabilization, erosion control and wind breaks for a large group of wildlife that call these areas home. These areas are also important wildlife corridors and stop over locations.
Properties smaller than 2.5 acres or with space for less than 300 trees (spaced 2 meters apart) may be eligible for tree-planting services under this stream of the PEI- 2BT program.
Tree planting contractors or watershed organizations will be assigned to complete the planting services on the private land. To request trees planted on your property, complete the PEI - 2 Billion Trees Landowner Application.