Romania Table of Contents
Over the centuries, the harvesting of trees for lumber and fuel and the relentless encroachment of agriculture greatly diminished the forestlands that originally had covered all but the southeastern corner of the country. Nevertheless, in the late 1980s, forests remained a valuable national resource, occupying almost 27 percent of the country's territory. Growing primarily on slopes too steep for cultivation, the most extensive forests were found in the Carpathians and the Transylvanian Alps. Hardwoods such as oak, beech, elm, ash, sycamore, maple, hornbeam, and linden made up 71 percent of total forest reserves, and conifers (fir, spruce, pine, and larch) accounted for the remaining 29 percent. The hardwood species predominated at elevations below 4,600 feet, while conifers flourished at elevations up to 6,000 feet.
Forestry had a long tradition in Romania, and for centuries timber was one of the region's primary exports. After World War II, the industry shifted its focus from raw timber to processed wood products. Increasingly aware of the economic value of the forests, the government established a Council of Forestry in 1983 to supervise afforestation projects and ensure preservation of existing woodlands. In 1985 afforestation work on a total of 52,850 hectares was completed.
Data as of July 1989