Forest products and their uses are not just confined to a particular timber industry. A forest is a large source of shelter that provides many by-products. No matter what type of forest it is, we get different things by processing. Some of the examples of forest products include tan, dyes, wood, paper, fibres, animal products, drugs, medicines etc. Vegetables and fruits are other major sources of end-product of forests that help in the existence and survival of human kind. Edible products can be made using fruits, leaves, roots and flowers. About half the world’s forests is engaged in the production of forest products. Let’s see the 10 major forest products and their uses with pictures.
List Forest Products and Their Uses:
1. Medicinal Use:
Forests play a great role in the development of certain medicines that can heal certain health conditions. There are endless numbers of medicines being manufactured using the leaves, flowers and bark of the tree. From small shrubs to ferns and trees, each of them possesses several medicinal uses. For example, an apple tree supports heart health with its antioxidant properties. The bark of a cedar tree is used to make a tea which helps to treat fever, flu, rheumatism and chest cold.
2. Essential Spices:
Forests are known to provide essential spices. There are spice trees and shrubs that help in the processing of spices. These days, people grow spice herbs and trees at home for healthy cooking. Forests in cooler location provide spices like juniper, baies rose plant etc. Spices are used in different forms in the Indian market as India is well known for exporting spices.
3. Essential Oils:
Apart from non timber forest products, you also get essential oils from forests. Oil is extracted from the wood of various species such as agar, pine, coconut, sandalwood etc. These oils are used to make certain other consumer goods like soaps, cosmetics, perfumes, pharmaceuticals and medicines. Certain essential oils are used to heal health diseases as well.
The main use of forest products is to make wooden furniture. As a result, the timber industry has grown extensively in the recent days. One of the main forest product used in the timber industry is the bamboo. Bamboo is used as a cheap material for walling, flooring, walling, matting, and other household decors.
5. Wood Fuel:
Trees and forests provide shelter for many species of plants and animals. They also provide timber for construction, fuel for cooking and heating and fruit/vegetables for food. Today, burning of wood for making fuel is the largest use of energy derived from a solid fuel in biomass. In India, you can still see many households using wood as a main source of fuel for cooking.
You can see different types of grasses grown in forest and these are non timber forest products. Most of the grasses are used as a feed for thatching, but some grasses are used to make brooms, mats and papers as well. Grasses like bhabar and sabai are used for making paper while certain grass types like bamboo are used for manufacturing wooden items.
In a study conducted, it was found that almost there are 200 plants in the world that product latex, of which 99% of the world’s natural rubber is made from latex. A rubber tree yields an average of 19 pounds of rubber. Rubber trees are generally found in low altitude moist forests. Among the rubber trees, the major source of natural rubber latex is the Para Rubber tree, also known as Hevea Brasiliensis.
8. Veneer and Plywood:
Trees that grow with relatively straight round trunk can be used for making plywood. Other common woods that are used to make plywood in India include pine, birch, larch, fir and luan. Plywood uses the cheapest wood to make furnitures. On the other hand, veneers are very thin slices of wood obtained from logs of trees. These thin slices are then fixed with glue over low quality wood surfaces to increase their beauty and richness. All these forest product plywood and veneers are we get from forest.
One of the best things about forest and trees is that they provide fruits for food. Forest product lime fruits are not just meant for humans but also are food for many birds and animals. There are special fruit trees in forest which are food for birds and animals, but poisonous for humans. Fruits are also rich in vitamins and minerals. Some fruits are also known to treat health diseases. Java plum tree of the Jamun tree has plums that are known to act as a natural blood purifier. It helps to control high blood pressure levels.
So here comes the last forest product in the list and it is none other than our favourite sweetener – honey. Honey is harvested in the month of July till mid September. A manuka honey is produced when the bees collect the nectar from the flowering tree manuka, which is native to New Zealand. It is grown widely in thick dense hillsides. Honey is an excellent home remedy to keep in hand for many purposes. You can apply honey on burns to reduce the healing time.
If you look at the government revenue from forests, you will see that there has been a steady increase. Certain states like Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Maharashtra and Orissa have the highest forest revenue than forest expenses. By exporting these forest products, our country has also gained huge foreign exchange. Although there has been an increase in the income from forests, many of the forests have lost their richness and valued. Deforestation and industrialization can be related to the cause of this reason.