- General: A “forest” is defined as “a region set aside for the production of timber and other forest products or preserved under woody vegetation for various indirect benefits which it gives, e.g., climatic or protective.”
- Ecological: It is described as a type of plant community that consists primarily of trees and other woody plants and typically has a closed canopy.
- Legal: a piece of land that has been designated as a forest by a forest legislation.
A stand is described as a collection of trees that are sufficiently consistent in composition, age, arrangement, and condition to be distinguished from the forest on nearby locations. Stands often occupy a certain area.
Classification of Forests: Forests can be classified on the basis of:
- Method of regeneration,
- Object of management,
- Ownership and legal status,
- Growing stock.
Method of regeneration:
- High forest: Forest regenerated from seed
- Coppice forests: Forests regenerated by vegetative means such as coppicing shoots or root suckers
- Even aged or regular forests: Forest is a term used to describe a stand of roughly the same-aged trees and is made up of even-aged woodlands. It is possible to accept differences up to 25% of the rotation age.
- Uneven aged or irregular forest: Forest is a term used to describe a stand of trees in which the individual stems have age differences that account for more than 25% of the rotation.
- A pure forest is one that contains almost exclusively one species, often at a level of at least 80%.
- A mixed forest is one that has trees from two or more different species coexisting under the same canopy.
State forest is a ‘forest owned by state’. On the basis of legal status, state forests are further classified as:
Reserved forest is ‘an area so constituted under the Indian forest Act 1927 or other forest law’.
Protected forest: An area subject to limited degree of protection under the provision of chapter IV of the Indian Forest act 1927’.
Village forest: State forest assigned to a village community under the provision of the Indian Forest Act 1927’.
Communal forest: Forest owned and generally managed by a community such as a village, town, tribal authority or local government, the members of which share the produce’.
Panchayat forest: Any forest where management is vested in a village panchayat (i.e., a body of men elected by the villagers from among themselves for specific administrative or other purposes pertaining to the village)’.