You’ve heard that forests are critical to addressing climate change. Healthy, vibrant forests are a "carbon sink," taking carbon dioxide from the air and converting it into their trunks, stems and roots, where it is stored for the tree’s lifetime. How much carbon is stored varies according to the type of forest, the age of the forest, and other factors.
When do forests release more carbon dioxide than they store? They release it through many natural processes, including wildfire, insect infestations, or when trees reach the end of their life and become old or are dying.
While the Western Canadian forests where we operate will naturally regenerate themselves in time following a fire or other natural disturbance; harvesting also creates opportunities for healthy, young, carbon-capturing forests to grow. West Fraser replants what we harvest. On average, for every tree we harvest, we plant two in its place.
Planting seedlings starts the process of reforestation faster than what would take place naturally. We monitor our planted areas for two decades or more after planting to ensure that a diverse and healthy forest returns. Harvesting can be a part of maintaining sustainable, healthy, carbon-capturing forest cover for generations.
An added bonus is when you build with wood, the carbon captured in forest products is stored in the buildings you construct with it.