Mapping Species Distributions


Big-leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) , photo by Kevin Newell

There are more than fifty species of native trees, and several subspecies and varieties, found in British Columbia. In addition, there are several naturalized species (cultivated species that are spreading in the wild) now reported from the province. The list below aims to provide a quick overview of the tree species of British Columbia, both native and naturalized. The list is presently under review, and more will be added shortly.

While identification of our tree species might seem simple at first, there are groups that can be difficult to identify. This is a result of morphological similarity (e.g. willows) and hybridization (e.g. birches). This can make identification challenging, even for expert botanists.

Aceraceae (Maple Family)  


Acer circinatum (Vine Maple)
Acer glabrum (Douglas Maple)
Acer macrophyllum (Big-leaf Maple)
Acer negundo (Manitoba Maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway Maple) (Introduced)
Acer pseudoplatanus (Sycamore Maple) (Introduced)
Betulaceae (Birch Family) (see note below)  
  Alnus incana (Mountain Alder)  
  Alnus rubra (Red Alder)  
  Alnus viridis (Green Alder)  


Betula nana (Scrub Birch)
Betula neoalaskana (Alaska Paper Birch)
Betula occidentalis (Water Birch)
Betula papyrifera (Paper Birch)
Betula papyrifera var. commutata (Paper Birch)
Betula pendula (European Birch) (Introduced)
Betula pumila (Low Birch)
Betula pubescens (Silver Birch)
Cornaceae (Dogwood Family)  
  Cornus nutallii (Western Flowering Dogwood)  
Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)  


Chamaecyparis nootkatensis (Yellow Cedar)  
  Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar)  
  Juniperus scopulorum (Rocky Mountain Juniper)  
Ericaceae (Heath Family)  
  Arbutus mensiezii (Arbutus)  
  Robinia pseudoacacia (Black Locust) (Introduced)  
Fagaceae (Beech Family)  


Quercus garryana (Garry Oak)
Quercus robur (English Oak) (Introduced)
Oleaceae (Olive Family)  


Fraxinus latifolia (Oregon Ash)  
Pinaceae (Pine Family)  


Abies amabilis (Amabilis Fir)

Abies balsamea (Balsam Fir) (to be confirmed)
Abies grandis (Grand Fir)
Abies lasiocarpa (Sub-alpine Fir)



Larix lyallii (Alpine Larch)
Larix occidentalis (Western Larch)
  Picea engelmannii (Engelman's Spruce)
Picea glauca (White Spruce)
Picea mariana (Black Spruce)
Picea sitchensis (Sitka Spruce)
  Pinus albicaulus (Whitebark Pine)
Pinus banksiana (Jack Pine)

Pinus contorta (Lodgepole Pine) (2 varieties in BC)
Pinus contorta var. contorta (Shore Pine)
Pinus contorta var. latifolia (Lodgepole Pine)
  Pinus flexilis (Limber Pine)
Pinus monticola (Western White Pine)
Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine)
  Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir)  
  Tsuga heterophylla (Western Hemlock)
Tsuga mertensiana (Mountain Hemlock)
Rosaceae (Rose Family)  
  Malus fusca (Pacific Crab Apple)  


Prunus avium (Sweet Cherry) (Introduced)
Prunus emarginata (Bitter Cherry)
Prunus laurocerasus (Cherry Laurel) (Introduced)
Prunus pensylvanica (Pin Cherry)
Prunus virginiana (Choke Cherry)


Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn Family)  
  Rhamnus purshiana (Cascara)  
Salicaceae (Willow Family)  

Populus balsamifera (Balsam Poplar)
Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa (Black Cottonwood)


Populus deltoides (Eastern Cottonwood) (Introduced)
Populus tremuloides (Trembling Aspen)
  Salix lucida (Pacific Willow)  
Taxaceae (Yew Family)  
  Taxus brevifolia (Western Yew)  


Big Trees of BC
BC Biodiversity: Trees of BC
The Tree Book: Learning to Recognize Trees in British Columbia) (BC Ministry of Forests and Range


Brayshaw, Christopher. 1996a. Trees and Shrubs of British Columbia. Royal BC Museum, Victoria.

Brayshaw, Christopher. 1996b. Catkin-bearing Plants of British Columbia. Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria.

Johnson, Derek, Linda Kershaw, Andy MacKinnon and Jim Pojar.  Plants of the Western Boreal Forest and Aspen Parkland. 

MacKinnon, Andy, Jim Pojar and Ray Coupe. Plants of Northern British Columbia. Lone Pine Publishing, Victoria.

Parish, R., R. Coupé, D. Lloyd (eds.).  1996.  Plants of Southern Interior British Columbia.  B.C. Ministry of Forests and Lone Pine Publishing, Victoria.

Pojar, Jim and Andy Mackinnon. 1997. Plants of Coastal British Columbia, including Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Lone Pine Publishing, Vancouver.



Recommended citation:  Author, date, page title. In: Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia []. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Date Accessed]

E-Flora BC: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography UBC, and the UBC Herbarium.

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