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Forest Bathing

The Many Types of Forest and Where They Can Be Found

The forest is a place of soothing calm, relaxation and natural order the way it ought to be. Modern medical science is even now warming up to the idea that spending time in different types of forests could be every bit as effective as conventional medicine.

Health enthusiasts of all cultures and backgrounds are taking to the shaded forest trails and natural surroundings of the woods. Here the soothing stimulus and calming nature work a curative charm that restores the body’s natural levels and prevents poor health conditions.

The air in the woods is thick with the organic compounds being released by trees and plants of all types. These secondary metabolites are the same healthy compounds applied to a wide variety of human health conditions in the practice of aromatherapy. It has even been suggested that these important natural compounds are part of a natural “health care” system that has kept humans safe and healthy since the last Ice Age. 1

No one forest is like any other as the regions in which they thrive all proffer their specific advantages and hardships. The special constituents of any forest alive today represent a lengthy evolution that has produced the ideal life forms that can band together and coexist for a better life. The way this is accomplished on an international scale is a credit to the tenacity and ingenuity of herbal evolution.

Major Types of Forests


Over 1/3 of the Earth’s landmass is covered in forests that are essential to the life of the planet. Forests produce oxygen, balance the carbon cycles and purify the air and water. Most importantly trees have adapted to living in the most extreme conditions so that they may extend life to the corners of the globe.

Different forests have developed different capacities and characteristics that allow them to thrive perfectly in the harshest and most favorable environments. But, in general, forests are divided into three major categories based on their latitudinal locations. But there may be many different, unique and even surprising types of forest found in all ranges from north to south.

jungle in august Forests Nearest To the Equator


The warmest regions of the planet make a suitable environment for thick tangled jungles and the majestic Rainforest upon which our existence precariously depends. Some of the most spectacular Rainforests can be found along the Congo and Amazon River as well as on the tropical islands of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

But, there is even a cozy corner of the Appalachian Mountains that has the perfect setting for a montane style Rainforest, and a must-see-location for all forest bathers and lovers of the woods. The Appalachian Rainforest is the only place of its kind in the continental US and the World. 2

Immense biodiversity is one hallmark of the rainforest. The year-round average of 60°F and 200 inches of rainfall ensures there is plenty of provisions for great speciation in both plant and animals. Some of the most common animals found in the rainforest include monkeys, various cats, snakes, amphibians and the largest collections of insects ever imagined. Many species are still being discovered. 3

Trees of the rainforest come in the most diverse and splendid variety. At the top of the canopy, the immense Yellow Meranti is the tallest tropical tree in the world and only recently discovered in Malaysia. The fragrant sandalwood and jasmine trees are also native to tropical zones and have been greatly sought after for their aromatic values. 4 Other types of forests that can be found in the Tropical Regions include:

    • Jungles


These vegetated regions are typically thick with undergrowth and teeming with insects.

    • Evergreens and Seasonal Forests


With short or no dry season, these forests rarely shed leaves.

    • Dry and Thorn Forests


In regions with little rain, trees and shrubs must hold onto their water indefinitely. Sometimes losing all their leaves before the rains return.

    • Montane


Also called cloud forests, high-amounts of moisture rising through the side of the mountain can create truly unique environments. Conifers and evergreens are a common sight.

    • Coniferous


Dry regions can also be home to coniferous trees that have adapted well to the warmth and lack of water.

Mediterranean forest Forests in the Temperate Zones


In the temperate zones, deciduous forests display the epic dance of the seasons with all the appropriate costume change the scene calls for. The falling leaves of a deciduous forest create a beautiful landscape and call off photosynthesis, until warmer days. The carpet of fallen leaves will help improves the quality of the soil.

Coniferous forests are also common in the temperate regions of North and South America, Europe, New Zealand, and Asia. Pines, Redwoods, Cedars, Cypress, and the like shed leaves continuously as new needles are created. The fragrance of evergreens is a nostalgic scent and especially potent vasodilator. Best time to visit? Right after a light rainfall when natural aromatics are airborne.

Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee is one of the most beautiful mixed forests in the world. Like most forests in the US, it is temperate and features a balmy 80° in the summer while winters can get pretty cold (-20°F). The Coconino Forest in Arizona has beautiful pine forests and desert vistas. Fish Lake in Utah hosts a charming family of aspens that wear golds and oranges in the fall. Both are amazing temperate forests that are worth the visit. Other types of Forests that thrive in the temperate zone include:

    • Mediterranean


Located around the coast and typically with pleasant year-round weather, these forests produce a variety of evergreens.

    • Dry conifer


Forests of coastal redwoods in California are the best example of the dry conifer forest.

    • Temperate broad-leaved rainforest


These forests have lots of year-round rain and mild temperatures in both summer and winter, no frost. 5

taiga forest Boreal Forests


The taiga, or boreal forest, forms an almost complete belt across the Northern Reaches of Asia, Europe, and North America. This zone features infertile and highly acidic soil types that are unsuitable for most trees. Only the toughest deciduous and coniferous trees can survive the extreme conditions at the rim of the tundra.

There are only two seasons in the far north, a relatively short summer which can bring some moisture and a long dry winter. The highest temperatures in the summer may reach as high as 68°F but most precipitation is in the form of snowfall, which can be higher than a meter a year. Animals native to the tundra are equally hardy and well-suited the cold temperatures. Secondary feeders like caribou, moose and smaller mammals provide food for tertiary feeders like the bear and lynx.

Trees of the boreal forest are among the most famous and valued beginning with the beautiful Sugar Maple, whose succulent sap is a welcome topping for pancakes and waffles. Then there’s Scotch pine and Douglas fir, whose aromatic essential oils have benefits to breathing and mood improvement— the ladder can be found in our Forest blend.

In the far northern reaches of the Earth, the Taiga is the forest that can survive the infertile soil and extreme conditions.

Earth’s Varied Forests and Where They Are


The forests of the world play an essential role in maintaining balance on the planet and counteracting the pollution created by modern industry. Without these important carbon sinks, climate change can turn the world into a very inhospitable place to live. Let’s all help this egregious situation from getting out of hand by planting a tree, supporting a forest and getting active in the community.


Photo credits: QuickShot/shutterstock.com, JJAranda/shutterstock.com, videokvadrat/shutterstock.com, Fogey/shutterstock.com

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