Forest Facts & Figures

What Do Forests Do For Us?
Forests provide us with many benefits: they are wonderful recreation areas, provide shade in summer, store carbon and improve global climate, provide food and shelter for animals and produce many goods for medicinal, cultural and spiritual purposes.
 
What Do We Do for Our Forests?
Unfortunately a lot less than what they do for us. Many forest ecosystems throughout the world are threatened and sometimes lost by forest habitat degradation. But we have begun to realize what forests really mean to us, and the percentage of forest area designated for the conservation of biological diversity has increased significantly in the last twenty years.
 
Some Solid Forest Facts
 
  • More than 1.6 billion people around the world depend on forests for their livelihoods, e.g. fuel wood, medicinal plants and forest foods.
     
  • There has been significant growth in forest products such as herbal medicines, wild foods, handcrafted utensils, and decorative items.

  • Trees can provide a range of benefits in agricultural systems:

    - Fruit trees for nutrition
    - Medicinal trees to combat disease
    - Fodder trees that improve smallholder livestock production
    - Timber and fuelwood trees for shelter and energy

 

  • KKL-JNF has planted over 240 million trees in Israel for the benefit of people and the environment.

  • KKL-JNF forests, which are among the largest planted forests in the Mediterranean Middle East, are a source of substantial carbon sequestration.

  • KKL-JNF has developed over 1000 recreation areas in its forests that host tens of thousands of visitors.

  • KKL-JNF has built over 7000 kilometers of forest roads to improve access to the public. Increased accessibility of forests to the public encourages people to value and care for them.
Forestry Figures 2021
 
  • The State of Israel is one of the few countries in world that has more trees today than it did a century ago.

    In 1901, the year KKL-JNF was established, Israel had only 1,400 hectares (3,500 acres) of forests.

    In 1942, the country had 3,500 hectares (8,750 acres) of planted forests.

    In the early 1970s, there were ~60,000 hectares (150,000 acres) of planted forests.

    By 2019, KKL-JNF had planted more than 100,000 hectares (250,000 acres) of forests.

  • Israel's first planted forest was the Herzl Forest (Hulda Forest), in which the first ~18 olive trees were planted in 1907.

  • The country's largest forest, the Yatir Forest, extends over ~3,800 hectares (9,500 acres).

  • Tree Types:

    In 1960, ~85% of all planted trees were pine and only ~3% were natural woodlands.

    In 2008, ~70% of all plantings were native and broad-leaved trees and 30% were pine trees.

    In recent years, from 55% to 65% of all saplings planted in forests are native and broad-leaved tree species; the rest are coniferous species, of which more than half are pine, planted mainly in picnic and recreation sites and areas designated for the public.
Distribution of Forest Areas According to Species

44% – Coniferous and mixed-species
26% – Planted broad-leaved, woodland, orchards, bustans, and native trees
11% – Acacia, tamarisk, eucalyptus
19% – Areas with a predominance of woodland, garrigue, and scrubland
Distribution of planted forest areas by age
 
New forests (0-10) – 5%
Young forests (11-20) – 6%
Between young and mature forests (21-30) – 15%
Mature forests (31-60) – 33%
Veteran forests (60+) – 11%
Multi-age forests – 14%
Indeterminant – 16%

 

The absorption and survival rate of planted forest trees is 94%, according to the national annual average.

  • The average lifespan of a pine tree is ~100 years
  • Olive and oak trees live to 600 years and more