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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Old growth forest

Forests in which the upper stratum is ecologically mature and has been subjected to negligible unnatural disturbance such as logging, road building and clearing.

Open forest

A forest with a canopy cover of between 30 and 70 per cent.

Open woodland

Lightly wooded country, with tree canopy covering an average of less than 10 per cent of the area.


A row of trees felled in a plantation in order to allow travel of processing, snigging or forwarding machinery in the performance of their functions.

Overmature trees

Trees which are well beyond the age of full development and are no longer producing a net growth of wood due to a decline in vigour and health and an increase in decay.