This tree adapts well to cold, wet, poorly drained sites, and to various types of soil. This explains its wide distribution, as far north as the tree line throughout northern Quebec and the rest of Canada. Farther south, it is limited by its shade intolerance, which means that it is rarely found in pure stands. It grows mostly on the edges of bogs, where it displaces marsh shrubs. It also grows on moist, light and well-drained soil, and on granitic soil.