Landowners, Timberland

2018 Land Report 100: Irving Family

EMPIRE BUILDER. Flanked by his wife and sons, Kenneth Colin Irving (1899—1992) propelled the family’s New Brunswick holdings into a global empire.

No. 6 Irving Family

1,247,880 acres (up 1,644 acres)
J.K. Irving planted the company’s one billionth tree in July. Quite an accomplishment for a family rooted in the legacy of patriarch James Dergavel Irving, whose grandparents emigrated from Scotland with plenty of hope and little else. In 1882, J.D. opened a sawmill in New Brunswick, the first in a series of ventures that would usher in decades of entrepreneurial growth. Today, the Irvings rank as Maine’s largest private landowners. The family also owns some 1.9 million acres in Canada. Each year, the US and Canadian divisions plant a combined 20 million trees. Other Irving family enterprises include newspapers and petrochemicals. In October, an explosion rocked an Irving Oil facility – Canada’s largest refinery – in Saint John, New Brunswick. Four workers were injured in the blast, but thankfully no fatalities were reported. The refinery produces more than 320,000 barrels of gasoline, jet fuel, heating oil, and other products every day. More than half of the production is exported to the US.

Click here to see the 2018 class of America’s largest landowners.

Please sign me up to receive breaking news and updates from The Land Report:
Print & Gift
Subscriptions Available


News Desk

Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act Clears House

Legislation requiring a 116-mile survey at the Texas–Oklahoma border cleared the House by a 250-171 …

The Land Report Default Featured Image
News Desk

Uncle Sam Invests $22 Billion in Climate-Smart Farming

President Biden signed an executive order that includes the largest ever federal investment in climate-smart …


The American Landowner: Rose Lane & Chuck Leavell

For three decades, this Georgia couple has practiced what they preached on their cherished plantation, …