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Which Forest Has the Most Trees?

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Forests are areas of land dominated by trees at a height of at least 19 feet tall. Additionally, the canopy of these trees must come together to provide between 60% and 100% per the US National Vegetation Classification. Altogether, forests come in three types:

  • Temperate
  • Tropical
  • Boreal

Temperate forests experience all four seasons and grow throughout temperate climate zones. Tropical forests grow near the equator in tropical climates and typically do not experience large temperature changes. Finally, boreal forests grow in climates that most commonly stay below freezing.

Forests can range in size dramatically across our planet. In fact, they can range not only in sheer number of trees but also by species diversity. Below are the lists of the top 5 forests for the number of trees as well as species diversity.

Top 5 Forests with the Most Trees

  • The Amazon Rainforest
  • The Congo Rainforest
  • New Guinea Rainforest
  • Valdivian Temperate Rainforest
  • Tongass National Forest

Today, we will highlight the five forests containing the most individual trees. However, it is worth mentioning the top five species for diversity as well.

Top 5 Forests with the Most Diversity

  • New Guinea Rainforest
  • The Amazon Rainforest
  • Bosawas Biosphere Reserve
  • The Congo Rainforest
  • Borneo Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest

Which Forest Has the Most Trees - amazon rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest tops both our lists. It is the largest forest by square mileage, number of trees, and number of species. Altogether, it is considered one of the most biodiverse locations on the planet. With so much land (approximately 2.3 million square miles), the Amazon rainforest still holds many secrets for us even today.

Overall, the Amazon Rainforest touches nine countries and contains over 10% of all species on the planet. Because of deforestation, the Amazon gets smaller every year. Over 60% of the Amazon Rainforest is present in the country of Brazil.

Experts believe that the Amazon has been present for over 55 million years. However, it has only appeared as it is now for the last 21,000 years.

As stated previously, the Amazon Rainforest is the most biodiverse location on the planet. Over 2500 tree species are growing in the forest. This number of tree species is only second to the New Guinea Rainforest. Likely, there are even more species that we have not yet discovered.

The Congo Rainforest

Which Forest Has the Most Trees - congo rainforest

Next on our list is the Congo Rainforest. The Congo is almost half the size of the Amazon at 1.4 million square miles. Deforestation also threatens this rainforest. However, it is protected by multiple national forests. Altogether, the Congo stretches across six countries in Africa.

With the African climate being so hot, the Congo makes up 60% of the forest cover. Over 600 tree species grow in the Congo. The Congo is certainly a tropical forest that experiences little change in season.

Compared to the Amazon, the statistics for the Congo may seem small. After all, the covered area is almost half, and the number of tree species is less than a quarter. However, the Congo is still the second-largest forest in the world. It greatly supports our planet and a massive amount of biodiversity.

New Guinea Rainforest

Which Forest Has the Most Trees - new guinea rainforest

The New Guinea Rainforest covers approximately 300,000 square miles. Unlike the other forests on our list, the island of New Guinea completely contains the New Guinea Rainforest. Many species growing in this forest are unique to this forest, unseen anywhere else in the world. 7% of the world’s species exist in the New Guinea Rainforest.

This tropical rainforest is home to over 3900 tree species. Many indigenous tribes live amongst the rainforest floors without outside visitors. Despite its small size, the diversity found on the island is mostly due to its isolation.

European settlers moved to New Guinea in the 1800s. It took many years to develop the small parts of New Guinea that are modern today. Much of it is still dominated by the indigenous people. However, progress still takes its toll on the forest. Many trees are cut down every year for development.

Valdivian Temperate Rainforest

Which Forest Has the Most Trees - vaidiviantemperate rainforest

Like the species found in the New Guinea Rainforest, the species growing in the Valdivian Temperate Rainforest are almost entirely exclusive to the forest. Overall, the Valdivian Temperate Rainforest only measures 95,800 square miles.

The Valdivian grows along the western coast of South America. As a whole, the country of Chile claims the Valdivian Forest. The forest lies south of the tropical regions of the other parts of South America.

Over 500 tree species grow in the Valdivian Temperate Rainforest. It is home to the Alerce tree species. The Alerce is a cypress species that can live over 4000 years old and grow to over 200 feet tall.

Altogether, the Valdivian Temperate Rainforest is under threat of deforestation and climate change. The species that call it home need specific climate requirements to thrive.

Tongass National Forest

Which Forest Has the Most Trees - tongass national forest

The smallest forest on our list, the Tongass National Forest still spans over 26,000 square miles. In fact, it is the largest national forest in the United States. Moreover, it is the largest rainforest in North America. There is no threat to this forest by deforestation because of the protections put into place by the United States.

The Tongass National Forest covers much of the Southeast portion of Alaska. Animals such as bears and eagles thrive in these conditions.

Unlike the other forests on our list, the Tongass National Forest is easy to visit. The National Park Service has set up areas for visitors to experience the great outdoors.

The tree species growing in this forest are incredibly rare, and many do not exist outside the forest. Despite its large size, the Tongass National Forest is not diverse. There are only a small number of tree species that can survive the cold weather.

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