Forest Terminology Explained


While undertaking research, you or your students may come across some terms that may need explaining, so we have made it easy for you below. 

*FURTHER INFORMATION: The Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (ABARES) has produced an "Australia's forests and forestry glossary" (2020) found here -

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Radiata pine

Pinus radiata, a coniferous tree, native of California. A major source of softwood timber grown in Australia.


Type of forest that grows in higher rainfall regions and in fertile soils. There are both tropical and temperate rainforest in Australia and tend to be protected from harvesting.


Replanting of a forest on cleared, degraded or destroyed forest areas.


The process of growing new trees on areas previously forested, whether naturally or planted.

Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs)

Are 20 year plans for the conservation and sustainable management of Australia’s native forests.


A forest stand established by natural regeneration after logging.

Remnant vegetation

A small fragmented portion of vegetation remaining after an area has been mainly cleared for human land use.

Renewable natural resources

A resource that can be supplied again & again. Forests are a renewable resource, so it is vital they are carefully managed & not over-harvested.


Material required or needed, where stock that can be drawn on. Anything for which there is a perceived present or future use. Can be either renewable or non-renewable

Resource management

The considered use of renewable and non-renewable resources bearing in mind both the needs of people and the conservation of the resource base for the future.


Practice of restoring a forest to its previous condition in terms of ecological function and structure as it was prior to disturbance.


The part of a plant which grows below the soil surface, repsonsible for anchoring the plant, absorbing nutrients and conducting water.


The number of years in a production cycle from planting trees till harvest; commonly short rotation hardwood 12-15 yrs, long rotations 25-30 yrs, & softwoods pines 40 yrs.


A payment made for the value of timber harvested.


The proportion of rain falling in a catchment which flows across the surface rather than infiltrating the soil. A major cause of soil erosion by water.