The Biogeoclimatic Classification System, developed and used throughout British Columbia, classifies geographic areas into biogeoclimatic units based on regional and local climatic conditions, topography and soils. Fourteen biogeoclimatic zones occur within the province with each zone classified under one or more dominant climax community tree species. The City of Abbotsford lies in the Coastal Western Hemlock Biogeoclimatic Zone, a zone characterized by mild winters and cool summers with the highest average rainfall of the Province’s 14 biogeoclimatic zones.
Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) and western redcedar (Thuja plicata) trees are common throughout the Coastal Western Hemlock Zone with Douglas-fir (Psuedotsuga menziesii) and broadleaf leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) found in warmer and drier areas, red alder (Alnus rubra) common on disturbed sites, and black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) present along rivers.
Although situated in the Coastal Western Hemlock zone, the Abbotsford area has been highly modified by anthropogenic activities. Most forested areas within Abbotsford have been historically harvested and much of land has been converted to agriculture use.