FORESTRY

Forestry is the management of forests with the aim of harvesting their produce, which includes timber, fuel wood, charcoal, resin, rubber, and pulp for paper. Trees also yield food in the form of fruits, nuts, and oils.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN USES OF TIMBER?

Wood is an amazingly versatile material, which can be put to thousands of different uses. As well as being burned for fuel, timber is also used in buildings and to make furniture and tools. Hardwoods, such as teak and mahogany, are prized for their beautiful grain and toughness. Fast-growing softwoods, such as pine, are used mainly for making wood pulp for paper.

LOGGING INDUSTRY

Mature trees are felled with chainsaws or giant shearing blades. The logs are then trucked or floated downriver to a mill, where they are sawn into timber of different lengths. Lumber-producing countries include Canada, Russia, and Finland.

WHAT IS DEFORESTATION?

In well-managed forests, trees are cut down singly or in strips so that the forest has time to grow back. However, many of the world’s forests are now being destroyed by large-scale logging, or deforestation. In particular, the tropical rainforests are disappearing rapidly—a disaster, since they are home to over half the plant and animal species on Earth.

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Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley