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Forestry is the science and practice of studying and managing forests and their natural resources. Much research and development has been invested in improving varieties of trees for commercial use and in better methods of planting, pest control, thinning, controlled burning, felling, and extraction and of processing timber into usable products. In most countries the timber industry is of major economic importance. The science of managing forests for its many uses is called silviculture.

Growing concerns about environmental problems arising from massive deforestation (especially in the rain forests) have recently put forestry and its implications into the spotlight.

Forestry education

The first dedicated forestry school was established by George Hartig at Dillenburg in Germany in 1787, though forestry had already been taught for a long time before then in central Europe. The first forestry school in North America was near Asheville, North Carolina, in the Appalachian Mountains of the southeastern U.S, where George Vanderbilt saw the devastation that logging had left behind. The grounds of his Biltmore Estate are almost entirely managed forest, which has grown from bare ground to mature trees since 1895.