Similarities of softwood forests in Kenya and Canada

  • Softwood forests in both countries experience the problems of pests and diseases, fires, soil erosion, and overexploitation.
  • Softwood forest products are similar e.g. sawn timber, wood pulp, paper, poles, etc.
  • Softwood forests in both countries grow in places with heavy rainfall, cool temperatures, heavy rainfall, and rugged terrain.
  • Forest products earn foreign exchange in both countries.
  • Tree species are similar e.g. there is pine in both countries.

Differences of softwood forests in Kenya and Canada

  • Species of trees differ e.g. in Kenya there is Kenya cedar and podo while in Canada there is Douglas fir and white pine
  • Canada’s softwoods are mainly natural while Kenya’s are mostly planted.
Softwood forests in both countries experience the problems of pests and diseases, fires, soil erosion, and overexploitation

  • Kenya’s softwood forests are found in highlands while Canada’s are found in lowlands due to cool temperatures.
  • Canada’s softwood forests cover large tracts of land than Kenya’s.
  • In Kenya, softwood forests are propagated by afforestation while in Canada it’s by leaving some trees uncut so that they produce seeds to be dispersed naturally.
  • Canada’s softwood forests take longer to mature than Kenya’s due to severe winter temperatures.

  • Kenya’s softwood forests are planted in rows and easily exploitable unlike Canada’s which grow naturally and haphazardly.


Coniferous forests are found in high latitudes like 10 degrees north or south of the equator, like in the temperate region, polar region.

Coniferous or taiga forests are found in countries such as Finland, Sweden, Norway, Canada, and Russia.

The following are characteristics of coniferous of taiga forests:

  • They are found far from equators like in Sweden, Canada and Finland
  • They have few and limited species
  • They have needle-shaped leaves to reduce water loss through transpiration, for example, pine trees
  • Their fruits and stems have a hard and rough surface to reduce destruction by wet conditions

  • They don’t have buttress roots because they are short and light and have no need for support
  • They are mostly found near rivers and at the coast and they decline as you move northward because of cold desert
  • They are short and small with a height of 10 to 15 metres because of infertile soil
  • They are less concentrated because of infertile soil

  • They have softwood species like western hemlock, balsamtur and cedar
  • They have a short gestation period of 10 to 15 years because they are softwood
Characterisitcs of coniferous forest or temperate taiga forest
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A forest is a collection of trees, shrubs, grasses, herbs, mosses, fungi, or a large piece of land covered by either one or more specimen of trees that grows naturally or planted whereas forestry is the science of developing, managing, and protecting existing forests, in an effort to conserve them in their original form.

A forest is a large area of land that is covered in trees. It can be natural or planted. Forests provide a variety of benefits, including:

  • Oxygen production: Trees produce oxygen, which is essential for life.
  • Habitat for wildlife: Forests provide a home for a variety of animals, including birds, insects, and mammals.
  • Water purification: Forests help to purify water by filtering out pollutants.
  • Climate regulation: Forests help to regulate the climate by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.
  • Erosion control: Forests help to prevent erosion by holding soil in place.

Forestry is the management of forests. It includes activities such as:

  • Planting trees: Foresters plant trees to create new forests or to restore damaged forests.
  • Harvesting trees: Foresters harvest trees for timber, pulp, and other products.
  • Thinning trees: Foresters thin trees to improve the health of the forest.
  • Prescribed burning: Foresters use prescribed burning to reduce the risk of wildfires.
  • Wildlife management: Foresters manage forests to protect wildlife habitat.

The main difference between a forest and forestry is that a forest is a natural ecosystem, while forestry is a human activity that involves the management of forests. Forestry can have a positive or negative impact on forests, depending on how it is practiced.

Sustainable forestry is the practice of managing forests in a way that ensures their long-term health and productivity. Sustainable forestry practices include:

  • Protecting old-growth forests: Old-growth forests are forests that have not been logged for a long time. They are important for biodiversity and carbon storage.
  • Using selective harvesting: Selective harvesting is the practice of only harvesting mature trees, leaving younger trees to grow.
  • Replanting trees: Foresters replant trees after they have been harvested.
  • Using non-destructive harvesting methods: Foresters use methods that do not damage the forest ecosystem, such as cable logging.

Sustainable forestry is important for ensuring the future of forests. It provides a way to meet the needs of people for timber and other forest products while also protecting the ecological functions of forests.

Here are some additional points of difference between forest and forestry:

  • Forests are natural, while forestry is a human activity.
  • Forests provide a variety of benefits, while forestry is focused on the management of forests for human use.
  • Sustainable forestry is the practice of managing forests in a way that ensures their long-term health and productivity.



These are found in the tropics, equatorial regions like in the Congo Basin, Amazon basin.

Caribbean islands, pacific islands in countries like DRC, Gabon, Argentina.

The following are characteristics of equatorial tropical rainforests:

  • They have buttress roots to support the heavy and tall trees.
  • Arranged in layers known as canopies like the top, middle and lower layer.
  •  They have broad or big leaves to help in transpiration.
  • They are ever green because the areas receive rainfall throughout the year. No shading leaves

  •  They have tall trees growing to a height of 30-50 metres because of fertile soils, wet climates in order to get sunlight.
  • They are dense, thick and concentrated, luxuriant because of fertile soils and wet climate.
  • The species are mixed up (not in pure stand) because they grow according to natural conditions.
  • They have small plants like mosses and algae which grow on stems, branches because of wet conditions.
  • They have hardwood species, mvule, mahogany, ebony, musizi, rose wood, ironwood.
  • They have a long gestation period of 30-50 years because they are hardwood species.
  • They have limited or no undergrowth because of dense canopies.

  • They have climbing plants like lianas, cucumber, epiphytes.
  • The trees have no wax, but they have gum, glue and rubber.
  • They have very many species making them good for tourism and for environmental protection.
  • They grow according to physical and natural conditions like wet climate, fertile soils, relief like lowlands, highlands and Mt. slopes.
  • They have smooth barks (stems and branches).