Trees for People                 

Sitka spruce Kyloe UK

A plantation of sitka spruce in north east England. This species, Picea sitchensis, is endemic to western coastal areas of North America, but it can thrive in areas with similar climate when managed for commercial forestry. Credit: Wikipedia Commons.

Forests and woodlands are the dominant natural vegetation in many regions of the world. Forests also are developed as commercial plantations and as areas for amenity use by people. Buildings made of innovative forms of timber are being designed for multi-story housing and offices. Use of wood products and wastes continues and spreads as a way of obtaining heat without burning fossil fuel. And as these trees grow they soak up and lock away carbon from the air, and absorb urban pollution.

The areas of forest and woodland are increasing in two of four main climatic domains of the world: boreal, and temperate. However, in the two domains of the tropics the decreases remain larger than these increases combined (see: Global Forest Resources Assessment 1990-2015,  http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4793e.pdf  - a 10Mb file).

Chapter 1 of this new writing project can be downloaded below. It sets the scene by describing how the vast forests of the north regrew after the ice-age, and then were used by people for their survival, development and leisure. 

Download Chapter 1