Difference Between Woods and Forest

Woods and forests are pieces of land that shelter a large number of trees. Both of them are immensely important for the survival of mankind.

They provide several benefits to mankind like making the surrounding greener, healthier, and happier places to live.

Along with that, they provide shelter to thousands of native species such as mammals, birds, fungi, etc. They help to protect the biodiversity or the future generations, and also to facilitate the ecosystem.

Both of the terms signify different categories of land and can be easily differentiated with their respective characteristics.

Woods vs Forest

The difference between woods and forest is their density. While woods are very low on density they facilitate the formation of open habitats with enough amount of sunlight and providing a little amount of shed. However, forests are densely populated and they facilitate a large number of wild animals.

Woods vs Forest 2

Woods are also known as woodlands. They are pieces of land entirely covered with trees. They are usually smaller in size than trees and have a lesser tree population than forests.

Woods allows the growth of shrubs and herbaceous plants like grasses.

Forests are land that is densely populated with trees.Forests are the dominant terrestrial ecosystem of the earth. They are high on the population of trees and the percentage of land covered by the canopy is larger.

Human society and forests are impacted by each other’s presence positively and negatively.

Comparison Table

Parameter of  ComparisonWoodsForests
OriginIt meant trees or a group of treesIt meant fir trees
MeaningIt means the material that makes up the treesIt means group o collection of trees
DensityLess denseHighly dense
Tree PopulationLowHigh
CanopySmall area coveredLarge area covered

What are Woods?

Woods are often also known as woodlands. It is a piece of land covered with trees. It is lower in density than forests. Due to their low density,

it allows the formation of open habitats with enough amount of sunlight and providing a little amount of shed.

Woods initially originated from the Germanic brands. It has been delivered from the Middle English word “wode”, and prior to that the old English word “widu”, both these terms signify trees or a group of trees.

Woods allows the growth of shrubs and herbaceous plants like grasses. In drier climatic situations the woodlands may transform into scrubland, during the early stages of primary and secondary succession.

A lot of effort is put by the conversationalist groups in order to preserve the woodlands from urbanization and agriculture.

According to the British woodland management, the term “woodland” is meant for tree-covered areas which have arisen naturally and then eventually have been managed.

In Australia, it is considered as woodland if the area with sparse (10-30%) covered with trees.


What is Forest?

Forest is a piece of land densely populated by trees. There isa couple of hundred definitions of the term forest stating factors such as tree population, tree height, and ecological functions.

Food and agriculture organization defines forest as a defined land spanning more than 0.5 hectares, with trees higher than 5 meters along with canopy cover of more than 10 percent.

Forests are a dominant terrestrial ecosystem of the earth, it is distributed all around the globe. In total 75%of the gross primary production of the earth’s biosphere is accounted forby forests, they account for 80% of the earth’s biomass.

Its average primary production is estimated at 21.9 gigatonnes of carbon each year.

Forests vary on the basis of latitude, elevation, and different rates of precipitation and evaporation.

It can be classified under 4 different types namely boreal forests (around poles), tropical moist forest (around the equator), tropical dry forest (around the equator), temperate forest (middle latitude).

Human society and forests are impacted by each other’s presence positively and negatively. Forests facilitate ecosystem services to human beings and also serve as a place of tourist attraction.

Forest also has a huge influence on proper health, trees in the forest convert carbon dioxide to biomass and sustainable breathing air.

It regulates factors such as climate, purify water, and provide protection against strong winds and floods.


Main Differences Between Woods and Forest

  1. The term wood from where itoriginated, initially meant trees, however, the term forest meant fir trees for where it originated.
  2. Woods mean in certain places mean material that makes up the trees, and forests mean a group or collection of trees.
  3. The sizes of the woods are usually smaller in comparison to the forests.
  4. The woods are also low on the density of trees, whereas forests are densely populated.
  5. Woods have less population of trees in comparison to forests which are highly populated with trees.
Difference Between Woods and Forest


  1. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0010028577900123
  3. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=IWx1CQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR5&dq=forest&ots=XR2suPO3E2&sig=pti6VCehoDiQ96GC89lbCw-01G8
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