Forestry is the art and science of tree resources, including plantations and natural stands. The main goal of forestry is to create and implement systems that allow forests to continue a sustainable provision of environmental supplies and services. The challenge of forestry is to create systems that are socially accepted while sustaining the resource and any other resources that might be affected.
Silviculture, a related science, involves the growing and tending of trees and forests. Modern forestry generally embraces a broad range of concerns, including assisting forests to provide timber as raw material for wood products, wildlife habitat, natural water quality management, recreation, landscape and community protection, employment, aesthetically appealing landscapes, biodiversity management, watershed management, erosion control, and preserving forests as ‘sinks’ for atmospheric carbon dioxide. A practitioner of forestry is known as a forester. The word “forestry” can also refer to a forest itself.
Forest ecosystems have come to be seen as the most important component of the biosphere, and forestry has emerged as a vital field of science, applied art, and technology.