These days, forests are vital to the planet. There are a lot of things we get from forests, the bulk of the items we frequently use in our homes are derived (directly or indirectly) from forests, which may surprise you.
Due to global trade in forest products, the products may originate from a forest that is remote from you. We cannot overstate the significance of forests in our daily lives.
In addition to being vital to human survival, they improve welfare because they absorb toxic gases and give us oxygen to breathe. In addition, forests offer security, water, food, a place to live, and shelter.
Table of Contents
Things we get from Forest
Below are a variety of forest-derived items.
- Food Products from the Forests
- Wood and Timber products
- Other Forest Products and Their Uses
Food Products from the Forests
For centuries, people have relied on wood as a primary source of sustenance. The reliance on food from forests has increased significantly over time.
In comparison to the rate at which trees are planted, the rate at which forests are being used is extremely high. As a result, specialists advise farmers to use agroforestry techniques, which are advantageous for both forestry and agriculture.
The following list includes a few food items that are either directly or indirectly sourced from forests.
- Palm wine
- Palm oil
A wide range of plants found in forests yield tasty and aromatic spices. The Cinnamomum species yields cinnamon, which is valued for its warming, sweet flavor. A strong, fragrant flavor is a well-known characteristic of cardamom seeds.
The dried flower buds of the Syzygium aromaticum tree are used to make cloves. They have a powerful, aromatic flavor and are frequently added as seasoning. Additional spices include vanilla, wild ginger, black pepper, and allspice.
One important food product that comes from wood is honey. The towns that border the forest are the major honey sellers. After that, businesses purchase that honey from them and deliver it to us! I enjoy using this bottle of honey as an excellent illustration!
As long as they don’t damage the surrounding forests, many governments allow locals and villagers to conduct commercial honey farming there. Both the local economy and the customer’s total satisfaction benefit from this.
Another well-known source of fruits is forests. In forests, berries and fruits like mangoes, guavas, jackfruit, etc. are frequently cultivated. In addition to strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are tasty fruits that grow in woods that are high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
The native fruits that grow naturally in forests differ because every forest has a unique climate. Sometimes you can find melons and bananas in woodlands.
Wild fruits including Piper Guineense, Canarium Edulis, and Irvingia gabonensis (wild mango) can also be found in forests.
In addition to being extensively taken from forests, mushrooms are also farmed commercially. There are also edible mushrooms in forests, such as morels and chanterelles. They are utilized in many kinds of cuisine and provide distinctive flavors. The forests of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho are major mushroom growers.
5. Palm wine
Due to its extremely limited shelf life, palm wine is extremely difficult to find commercially accessible anywhere in the world. The demand for palm wine is particularly great in communities that are close to palm plants.
It is also a customary beverage in many cultures. Many villages won’t have social events unless they can serve palm wine!
6. Palm oil
Production of palm oil is highly prevalent. For the local populations surrounded by palm trees, it is their primary source of income. The people share the oil produced from the palm forests, even though the farmers grow these trees.
Nuts from the forest are harvested, including cashews, walnuts, and chestnuts. They are not only healthful but also useful in cooking. High-quality products like cola nuts are frequently obtained from wood.
It is essential because, of the few stimulants permitted to Muslims, it is one of them. In many cultures, cola nuts are seen as a symbol of harmony and friendliness.
Wood and Timber products
- Wood raw material
- Swan softwood
- Swan hardwood
- Wood-based panels
- Pulpwood, paper, and paperboard
- Balsa Wood
Among many other products, timber is one of the key things that come from forests. Essentially, timber (also known as timber) is a form of wood that has been transformed into beams and planks.
The demand for timber has increased significantly as a result of its use in the furniture and real estate industries. The high demand for timber is mostly due to its strength and durability.
The timber business is thought to be a key contributing factor to deforestation in the majority of uncontrolled forests due to its high demand. It draws people who log illegally. Exotic timber is wood that comes from sources other than the rainforests of North America.
Nonetheless, there is less timber available locally, which has boosted international timber commerce.
One thing to keep in mind is that sustainable methods should be used to obtain these food products. If a tree is chopped down, a few more should be planted in its place.
Wood products are the main forest products. The following are typical wooden items found in your home:
8. Wood raw material
One of the main raw materials utilized in building, particularly in poor nations, is solid wood. Another name for it is Roundwood, and it’s frequently utilized as a fuel in commercial settings. There is ample data to support the importance of wood to the energy industry.
Europe’s largest importer of wood logs is China. The two biggest exporters of wood are Russia and New Zealand. The US and Canada are the two biggest producers of wood.
9. Swan softwood
In just 2014, the FAO reported that North America’s consumption of swan softwood climbed by 4.2 percent and Europe’s by 2.7 percent. One of the main industrial items utilized in construction and real estate is swan softwood.
10. Swan hardwood
The primary applications for swan hardwood include flooring, millwork, furniture, cabinets, and pallets. Because of their superior quality and application in cutting-edge designs and fashion, their demand has been rising for more than ten years.
Swan hardwood timber costs more than any other alternative in the industry that produces forest products. Trendy hardwood patterns are in high demand during renovations. The furniture and flooring industries are big fans of oak trees.
11. Wood-based panels
It is anticipated that demand for wood panels will continue to grow, as it has in recent years. Turkey, Germany, and Italy have a very high demand for practice boards. Fiberboards are likewise in high demand.
The two main applications for Fiber-wood are furniture and laminate flooring. In Germany, the UK, and Italy, plywood is consumed at extremely high rates.
That is primarily used in packaging, building, and furniture. Panel products are another term for these kinds of wood items. The manufacturers make them in a sawmill.
Among the most useful forest products are grasses. They have a variety of uses, including that of cow feed, and are an indispensable part of the paper industry.
The paper business uses grasses like elephant and sabai. Sabai is the most significant grass used as a raw material in the paper industry. It is primarily grown in the Himalayan region, West Bengal, Odisha, and Bihar. The paper industry collects about two million tonnes of sabai grass annually.
Another valuable forest product is bamboo, which is also referred to as the poor man’s timber. It can be processed and utilized as is, or it can be used to make things like flooring materials, mats, baskets, and more.
The perpetual nature of bamboo is one of its best features. Thus, the supply is rather steady all year long. It is typically produced in large quantities in the states of Kerala, Mizoram, and Maharashtra, among others. Bamboo is a member of the grass family, but it develops into a tree.
Additionally, bamboo is a raw ingredient in certain delicious foods all across the world. Even the seeds can be eaten, as can the fragile, immature branches.
According to statistics, 32% of the bamboo produced is used for building, 30% is used in rural regions, 17% is used in the paper sector, and the remaining 7% is used for other reasons.
14. Pulp wood, paper, and paperboard
Paper and paperboard manufacturers have received conflicting reviews in recent years. The development of the internet has led to a decrease in newspaper distribution, which has decreased newsprint manufacturing.
On the other hand, while consumption is anticipated to remain constant shortly, paper and paperboard output is anticipated to increase. Coniferous woods are typically used because their longer cellulose fibers yield stronger paper.
Paper is made from a variety of hardwood and softwood trees, including eucalyptus, birch, and aspen, as well as spruce, pine, and fir.
Paper, wood pulp, and paperboard have a wide range of applications, from residential to commercial. In every family, household tissue papers are the most often used paper goods. A single person’s toilet paper usage during their lifetime comes from 384 trees.
Around the world, at least 200 different kinds of trees produce latex. The Para Rubber Tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is the most popular kind of rubber tree used to generate natural rubber latex. The majority of natural rubber produced worldwide (99%) comes from latex.
An individual rubber tree may yield about ten pounds of rubber every year on average! Rubber trees are typically found in riparian zones, wetlands, and low-altitude forests with damp conditions, such as the Amazon Rainforest.
16. Balsa Wood
Ochroma pyramidale, a balsa tree that grows in Mexico and South America, is the source of balsa wood. This tree grows quickly, reaching a maximum height of thirty meters.
Balsa wood is mostly produced in Ecuador, where large plantations with 1000–2000 trees per hectare are used to grow the tree. Depending on the final product, the wood is harvested after six–ten years.
Although balsa wood has been used for eons, its greatest claim to fame stems from Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 expedition, which used a raft called “Kontiki” built of balsa wood planks bound together with ropes to sail from Peru in South America to Polynesia across the Pacific Ocean.
The Spanish term raft is where the word balsa originates. Because of its low density and lightweight, balsa wood is also used to make wind turbine blades, model airplanes (balsa gliders), and sports equipment like table tennis bats and surfing boards.
Other Forest Products and Their Uses
- Medical and dietary supplements
- Rattan, Cane, and Raffia
- Fuel and Energy Products
- Dyes and Tannins
17. Medical and dietary supplements
It makes sense that dietary and medicinal supplements are highly valued, with a large portion coming from non-timber items. Many cultures have employed medicinal plants to treat a wide range of health issues.
For instance, the vitamin C-rich Indian bael tree is a powerful immune system enhancer. It aids in infection prevention and blood cleansing.
The Arjuna tree’s bark is highly prized in Ayurvedic medicine and is used to make herbal compositions that are meant to promote cardiovascular health. Quinine is extracted from the bark of Cinchona trees and is used in modern medicine to treat malaria and lower fever.
The biggest market for herbal remedies is Europe. The top three markets for dietary supplements and medical supplies are Italy, Germany, and Europe.
Asia and Japan are the two regions that use the most herbal products, after Europe. Hawthorne, Mayapple, Gensend, and Goldenseal are among the often collected plants used for medicinal purposes.
Resin, gum, or sap is a sticky material that trees, including pine, fir, and spruce, create as a defensive reaction to wounds or injuries. However, humans have been using gum for a variety of purposes for generations.
Due to its therapeutic qualities, it has medicinal applications. Gum is also utilized in the production of chewing gum, paints, scents, and adhesives.
19. Rattan, Cane, and Raffia
Since plastic bags are now prohibited, people are focusing on other options, like reed-processed baskets. Purses, mats, traps, and miniature furniture are among the other things that are derived from raw materials found in wood.
The process of creating furniture out of reed, cane, or rattan is called wicker weaving. The slender, flexible stems of old-world climbing palm trees are essentially what make rattan.
Raffia is a versatile, soft, and malleable material that is “easy to dye” and can be used to weave baskets, mats, carpets, and floral arrangements.
20. Fuel and Energy Products
Forests produce a variety of energy and fuel products. Wood fuel is the most conventional method of obtaining energy from wood. Burning wood provides heat, cooks food, etc.
Wood is the most affordable and accessible fuel source in many locations, particularly those that are off the grid. The communities that surround the forests typically gather dead trees, branches, and fallen limbs from the forests.
People frequently use these fallen trees as fuel for various purposes, such as cooking. Mulch is frequently purchased to use with pellet stoves. Biofuels for automobiles, such as bioethanol and biodiesel, can be made from forest biomass.
The process of burning wood without oxygen produces charcoal. It serves as fuel for industrial activities, heating appliances, and cooking. Biogas, wood gas, and thermal energy are additional fuel and energy-related resources that come from forests.
21. Dyes and Tannins
Tannins and dyes are just two of the numerous things we can obtain from forests. The blue dye produced by indigo plants, which grow in tropical and subtropical woods, is well-known. Textiles have been dyed with madder roots, which yield red and orange dyes.
Tannins are intricate chemical compounds that are present in the bark, leaves, and fruits of plants, and they are used to tan leather. Tannins found in the bark of Acacia species and oak trees have long been used to tan leather.
These are some of the main benefits that forests offer us. However, the forest still provides us with a wealth of other necessities.
For example, plant extracts are used in cosmetics, fragrances, and herbal medicines; cork is used for wine stoppers, flooring, and fashion accessories; and pitch and tar are used to waterproof, seal, and preserve wood.
Aside from these, other intangible benefits of forests include biodiversity, cultural values, and enjoyable outdoor pursuits like hiking and camping. Additionally, forests also improve tourism.
The benefits that forests provide to humanity are numerous and include rubber, gum, colors, food, medicine, and timber. Forests also support biodiversity. To mitigate the effects of climate change and foster positive human-nature interaction, we must recognize and cherish the fundamental benefits that forests provide.
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A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.