About canada's forest trust

What keeps us growing?

When you invest in a Smart Forest, we keep you informed on its progress – from site selection to planting to ongoing maintenance, carbon and biodiversity impact reporting, and building meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities. CFT does more than plant trees. We offer nature-based solutions to climate change by managing biodiverse forest landscapes from the moment you buy your forest.

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CFT was established by Gary Zed, an entrepreneur with a reputation for taking on tough challenges and getting things done. A leader with a national vision, Gary heads up a team that is committed to making CFT the most talked about climate success story in the decades ahead.

CFT’s Smart Forest Program

When you invest in a Smart Forest, we keep you informed on its progress – from site selection to planting to ongoing maintenance and carbon and biodiversity footprint impact as well as building meaningful relationships with Indigenous peoples. CFT manages the forest landscape from the moment you buy your forest.

What is a Smart Forest?

A Smart Forest combines the resilience of a natural ecosystem, developed over millennia, with the predictive capabilities of today’s technologies and Canada’s First Peoples. Inside a Smart Forest, biodiversity thrives; outside of it, scientists, students, investors, and conservationists use digital instruments to understand and activate the forest’s role in cleaning our water, purifying our air, and restoring our country’s vast and vital ecosystems.

A Forest

  • Mitigates climate change by sequestering carbon
  • Purifies the air, improves soil quality and controls, filters and moderates water flow
  • Supports wildlife and plant species that would otherwise disappear
  • Helps mitigate and prevent natural disasters

A Smart Forest

  • Is a forest and an investment in the health of our planet
  • Offers a tangible way to offset a large carbon footprint
  • Maximizes its impact through expert forest management
  • Proves its effectiveness via proprietary digital tools
  • Boosts the green economy
  • Learns from Indigenous Knowledge Keepers
  • Is protected forever through a Forever Forest Guarantee

Meet Our Team

Gary Zed

Founder & CEO


Don Finless

Land Acquisition & Planning


Zoebelle Flores

Research & Analytics


Taylor Piotrowski

Marketing & Communication

Danielle St-Aubin

Robert Tellier

Robert Tellier

Chief Revenue Officer


Andrew Rosil



Steph Proctor

School Smart Forests

Peter van Dijk

Chief Sustainable Finance and Policy Officer

JP Gladu, Chair

Laura Zizzo

Farah Mohamed

Peter van Dijk, Chair

Joanna Eyquem

Dr. Blair Feltmate

Steve Hounsell

Steve Hounsell

Dr. Warren Mabee

Tam Matthews, Chair

Michèle Andrews

Patsy Agard

Growing With Us

Questions & Answers

Canada’s Forest Trust (CFT) is a leading social enterprise that offers a nature-based solution to capture carbon by building Smart Forests™. With proprietary tools and in collaboration with Forest Stewards (businesses, schools, organizations, communities, and individuals), CFT is on a path to procure, prepare, plant, preserve and protect millions of acres of forests around the world, forever. Our Forever Forest Guarantee ensures that every forest created by CFT undergoes expert management, reporting and monitoring, and silviculture maintenance. Smart Forests sequester CO2, rehabilitate ecosystems, engage Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, and boost the green economy. Smart Forests are smart investments.


Why did we establish CFT?

We saw a gap and had a solution that is truly impactful, sustainable and forever. As a corporation focused on solving ESG needs, we employ the perfect mix of resources, tools, patience and commitment to make a bold impact on mitigating climate change. And we are doing so through the power of nature.

Under the right conditions, a Smart Forest is a force of nature—quite literally. As the threat of climate change closes in, forests are one of our last and best chances to save our planet before it’s too late. Our Smart Forests will capture millions of tonnes of CO2, rehabilitate ecosystems, learn from Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and boost the green economy across Canada.

How is CFT different from other tree planting organizations?

CFT takes a holistic approach to forestation that goes beyond the single act of planting a tree. We ensure the long-term health of our forests with certified monitoring and expert management that is backed by science and learned from Indigenous Knowledge Keepers. And we protect our forests forever and will inform you of the exact location of your seedlings/forest, the health of the land, the impact on biodiversity and so much more. This information is all provided through a private portal.

We call our forests Smart Forests™ because they:

  • Sequester carbon
  • Develop healthy and biodiverse ecosystems
  • Create employment
  • Connect Indigenous & non-indigenous youth
  • Foster multi-generational environmental stewardship
  • Ease climate anxiety
  • Provide scholarships and internships for Canada’s youth
  • Report on its impact

Who can build a Smart Forest?

We have created a program to allow anyone to build a Smart Forest.

  • Business and Corporation looking to meet ESG goals
  • Schools and students wanting to directly combat climate change while helping their school raise funds
  • Communities and Individuals with a goal of protecting the planet for future generations, building a legacy or planting a memorial forest in someone’s honour

How do you build a Smart Forest?

Our Smart Forests are built with a 5-Phase Program:

  • 1. PROCURE
    Acquire land across Canada
  • 2. PREPARE
    Assess, plan, and complete site preparation for planting
  • 3. PLANT
    Strategically plant seedlings to ensure optimal growth and carbon sequestration
    Perform innovative forest management activities to maintain the forest and maximize its impact
  • 5. PROTECT
    Audit, and set a Forever Forest Guarantee on every forest

I’m not from Canada, can I purchase a Smart Forest?

Yes. Anyone can build a Smart Forest at any time. Right now, all forests will be planted in Canada. As we expand globally, our forests will be planted in other countries.

Can I buy a Smart Forest as a gift?

Yes. You can create a Legacy or Memorial Forest or you can contribute to a Communal Forest in someone’s name. You can also buy gift certificates to offset someone’s carbon footprint at https://grow.canadasforesttrust.ca/.

How much impact can I really make with a Smart Forest and CFT?

You can offset your carbon footprint for the next 100 years if you choose to.

Where are the Smart Forests located? Can I visit my Smart Forest? Can other people visit my Smart Forest?

Our Smart Forests are located in Canada. While you will be able to visit your forest, we’ve made it easy to digitally monitor your forest in real-time via your personal portal and Intelligence Dashboard. If you wish to visit your forest, please contact [email protected]

Where does CFT get the land?

There are many ways CFT procures land. Methods include, but are not limited to:

  • Purchasing land that has been deforested, burned or devastated
  • Accepting land donations
  • Partnering with Indigenous communities
  • Through Canada’s LandBank

How many trees will Canada’s Forest Trust plant per acre?

The ideal number of seedlings for a healthy forest depends upon the region, topography and geography. Across Canada, this number ranges from 700-1200 seedlings per acre. We work with forestry experts to plant the appropriate number of seedlings per acre for the region and species type.

How will you protect the forests?

CFT has a team of experts that are contracted to plan and build our forests and perform extensive monitoring activities. In addition, we are learning best practices from Indigenous Knowledge Keepers who will continue to guide our work.

Will you clear cut a Smart Forest?

No. Canada’s Forest Trust is committed to reforest millions of acres of Canadian land. A CFT Smart Forest is built under an extensive 5-Phase Program that procures, prepares, plants, preserves and protects it. This program maintains the forest’s health, maximizes its ability to sequester carbon, rehabilitates ecosystems and boosts the green economy through the appropriate silviculture activities.

CFT is proud to pledge a Forever Forest Guarantee on every acre of forest we build.


When does a Smart Forest start to offset carbon?

Within the first year of planting, forests already sequester a significant amount of carbon in their roots and stems.

Forestry Fact: The younger the tree, the more carbon it sequesters. This means that the first few years of growth are crucial in the forest’s carbon storage potential.

What is a carbon offset?

You counteract your carbon footprint by making the amount of carbon you release in a year equal to the amount of carbon sequestered and stored in your Smart Forest.

How do forests absorb carbon emissions from the atmosphere?

Forests are regarded as carbon sinks because they sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide through photosynthesis and store it in it’s stems, trunks, roots and the soil.

Is there a minimum amount to build a Smart Forest?

All of our forests are based on the principle that your forest reflects your carbon footprint so we encourage you to use our proprietary calculators by clicking here. This will assist you in determining the size of the forest you should build to grow towards your carbon-zero goals. We can also work with you to analyze your goals and budget and determine a unique Smart Forest plan.

Where does my money go?

CFT uses the Smart Forest fees to procure land, prepare it for planting, purchase seedlings, hire planters and ecologists, perform forest management, insure the land,pay land tax, provide reporting and issue annual audits. Funds are also used for school programming, paid internships and scholarships.

When you invest in a Smart Forest, you stay informed on its progress – from site selection to planting to ongoing maintenance and carbon footprint impact.

How many jobs will CFT create?

Each phase of our 5 Phase Program will require person-power. There will be opportunities for nursery workers, truck drivers, tree planters, land and crew managers, auditors, monitoring/silviculture workers, brush saw operators, foresters for assessment, planning block layout (marking boundaries) workers, site prep operators, and more.

We are also exploring how partnership with Indigenous communities can create jobs and strengthen the Indigenous economy.


What is net-zero? Why is it important to reach net-zero targets?

Net-zero means there is a balance between the amount of released and absorbed greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the atmosphere. One of the most prevalent GHG’s is carbon dioxide (CO₂).

Based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report on climate change, we must work to remove gigatonnes of carbon emissions from the atmosphere within the next couple of decades to limit the world’s climate from increasing by 1.5 degrees C

Without natural climate solutions, the excess carbon emissions in the atmosphere will accelerate the rise in global temperatures and cause detrimental effects on ecosystems.

How does NCS differ from DAC?

Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) include conservation and land restoration management measures that help improve the environment by storing atmospheric carbon emissions and providing habitat for native wildlife. Examples of NCS include forests, grasslands, and wetlands.

Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology is an industrial-scale carbon capture and storage system which absorbs atmospheric carbon and stores it below ground.

While both solutions effectively absorb carbon emissions, Smart Forests offer a more holistic approach, producing benefits that extend beyond carbon sequestration, in the fight against climate change. Solving the climate crisis requires the protection of biodiversity, enhancement of local ecosystems, boosting the green economy and engaging with Indigenous communities.


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