What are the forest types in Idaho?

North, central and south Idaho are distinct regions

A forest type identifies the tree species in a particular site or location.  Although there are some pure stands of a single species, usually a forest type is named for the majority species that grows amid several tree species.  In Idaho there are three forest areas:

  1. The moist, cool climate in the higher elevations of northern Idaho provides the perfect conditions for the mixed conifer forests, including western white pines, that thrive in this region. These fairly dense forests were subject to infrequent but massive fires.
  2. In the drier, warmer region of the central part of the state, thick barked tree species like ponderosa pine are found.  These stands typically grow only 30-50 trees per acre and historically have withstood frequent, low-burning ground fires.
  3. The arid and temperate deserts of southern and southeastern Idaho are home to seven pinyon-juniper woodland communities, which are recognized as occurring exclusively in in Idaho.

The map below illustrates the forest types of Idaho’s 21.5 million acres of forestlands.

Forest Types in Idaho

(Click here for full-sized image)