Most Forested States

Forests, the lungs of the planet, are simply defined as large masses of land covered with trees. Depending on the region, they vary in type (e.g., boreal, temperate, tropical), density, size, and biome. Regardless of the differences, all forests are essential to the well-being of the population, as they convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, purify water, and help regulate climate. 

The state of the forests in the United States has been improving quickly. For example, the total area of forested land in the country increased by 18 million acres, from 1990 to 2020, according to the Global Forest Resource Assessment (FRA). Trees in the United States continue to be cut down en masse, but forestry companies now do it in a more responsible manner. Turning away from deforestation – which is the process of totally removing a forest from a swathe of land without ensuring the growth of new trees in that area – companies are today implementing the practice of logging, which involves planting new trees in the areas as well as clear-cutting them to harvest timber. 

Forests in the US

The United States, which encompasses a huge landmass covering multiple time zones, has numerous landscapes, from forests to glaciers to deserts and mountains. Due to the vastness of the country, the forests differ substantially according to their location and their size, generating unique ecosystems in the process. One of the most popular, with its unique trees, is located close to San Francisco, California. The Muir Woods is unique in its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean which generates a marine layer of fog and creates a wet environment that helps the plants to grow. The unique ecosystem also helps the development of the redwood trees which are famous for their large size and long life span – some lasting for more than 1,000 years. In other climates, the forests may look significantly different. For instance, the Coconino Forest in Arizona has a drier and arid climate that fosters an ecosystem much different from the wet Muir Woods of California: there are no redwood trees in sight, but ponderosa pines, conifers, and other evergreen plants. 

What is the largest forest in the United States?

The large mass of land that the nation covers has undoubtedly fostered some of the most unique and spectacular ecosystems the world has to offer, notably the forests. There are 154 protected national forests in the U.S. The largest is the Tongass National Forest, located in Alaska, which is not only home to a wide variety of animals and plants but also to a large number of people and communities with approximately 70,000 people and 32 communities residing within the national forest. For the purpose of comparison, the forest is roughly the same size as West Virginia. Furthermore, this forest has been inhabited for more than 10,000 years with Alaskan natives continuously living in this space alongside bears, salmon, wolves, and whales.  

Most Forested States

The most forested states are mostly located in the Northeast and more broadly in the East of the United States. Maine is the most forested state in the country with 88.8% of the state covered in forest. 81.9% of New Hampshire is covered with forest which makes it the second most forested state. Coming in third place with 78.1% of forest coverage is West Virginia. Vermont is ranked fourth with 76.7% of forest coverage. With 71.3% of the state covered with forest, the fifth most forested state is Alabama. Ranked sixth is South Carolina with 66.8% of the state covered in forest. Georgia has 66.5% of forest coverage and is ranked seventh. Mississippi is the eighth most forested state with 63.9% of forest coverage. Virginia ranks ninth with 63.6% of forest coverage. New York is the tenth most forested state with 61.7% of the state covered in forest. 

The 10 most forested states in the country are the following: 

  1. Maine – 88.8%
  2. New Hampshire – 81.9%
  3. West Virginia – 78.1%
  4. Vermont – 76.7%
  5. Alabama – 71.3%
  6. South Carolina – 66.8%
  7. Georgia – 66.5%
  8. Mississippi – 63.9%
  9. Virginia – 63.6%
  10. New York – 61.7%

Forest Coverage by State

Alabama - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

71.3%

#5 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.07%

#4 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

23,105,000

#8 in the US

Alaska - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

35.2%

#29 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.06%

#5 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

114,151,000

#1 in the US

Arizona - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

25.4%

#41 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.72%

#6 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

18,478,000

#17 in the US

Arkansas - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

56.8%

#14 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.05%

#7 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

18,926,000

#14 in the US

California - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

31.7%

#35 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

2.2%

#1 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

31,606,000

#3 in the US

Colorado - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

34.6%

#31 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.07%

#8 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

22,938,000

#9 in the US

Connecticut - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

56.9%

#15 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0%

#9 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

1,763,000

#45 in the US

Delaware - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

28.5%

#38 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0%

#10 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

355,000

#50 in the US

Florida - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

49.3%

#21 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.27%

#11 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

16,970,000

#21 in the US

Georgia - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

66.5%

#6 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.03%

#12 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

24,464,000

#7 in the US

Hawaii - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

35.8%

#30 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.97%

#13 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

1,471,000

#46 in the US

Idaho - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

41%

#26 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.82%

#14 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

21,709,000

#11 in the US

Illinois - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

13.7%

#45 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0%

#15 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

4,855,000

#35 in the US

Indiana - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

20.8%

#42 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0%

#16 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

4,774,000

#36 in the US

Iowa - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

8%

#46 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.02%

#17 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

2,876,000

#40 in the US

Kansas - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

4.7%

#47 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.31%

#18 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

2,458,000

#41 in the US

Kentucky - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

49%

#22 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.09%

#19 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

12,376,000

#29 in the US

Louisiana - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

54.3%

#17 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.03%

#20 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

15,002,000

#26 in the US

Maine - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

88.8%

#1 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0%

#21 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

17,522,000

#20 in the US

Maryland - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

39.2%

#27 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.01%

#22 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

2,448,000

#42 in the US

Massachusetts - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

59.8%

#12 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.02%

#23 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

2,984,000

#39 in the US

Michigan - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

55.7%

#16 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.02%

#24 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

20,167,000

#12 in the US

Minnesota - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

34.7%

#32 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.13%

#25 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

17,675,000

#19 in the US

Mississippi - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

63.9%

#8 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.07%

#26 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

19,204,000

#13 in the US

Missouri - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

34.8%

#33 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.09%

#27 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

15,289,000

#25 in the US

Montana - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

27.8%

#39 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.79%

#28 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

25,869,000

#5 in the US

Nebraska - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

2.9%

#49 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.06%

#29 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

1,402,000

#47 in the US

Nevada - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

15.1%

#44 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.17%

#30 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

10,607,000

#32 in the US

New Hampshire - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

81.9%

#2 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0%

#31 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

4,692,000

#37 in the US

New Jersey - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

42.3%

#25 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.13%

#32 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

1,989,000

#43 in the US

New Mexico - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

31.7%

#36 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.16%

#33 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

24,625,000

#6 in the US

New York - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

61.7%

#10 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0%

#34 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

18,622,000

#16 in the US

North Carolina - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

60.3%

#11 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.08%

#35 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

18,750,000

#15 in the US

North Dakota - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

1.8%

#50 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.11%

#36 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

809,000

#48 in the US

Ohio - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

29.9%

#37 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.01%

#37 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

7,810,000

#34 in the US

Oklahoma - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

27%

#40 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.25%

#38 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

11,839,000

#31 in the US

Oregon - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

48.4%

#23 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

1.33%

#2 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

29,741,000

#4 in the US

Pennsylvania - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

58%

#13 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.01%

#39 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

16,622,000

#23 in the US

Rhode Island - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

54.5%

#18 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.02%

#40 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

361,000

#49 in the US

South Carolina - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

66.8%

#7 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.04%

#41 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

12,857,000

#28 in the US

South Dakota - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

3.9%

#48 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.09%

#42 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

1,897,000

#44 in the US

Tennessee - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

52.6%

#19 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.02%

#43 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

13,882,000

#27 in the US

Texas - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

37.1%

#28 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.1%

#44 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

62,090,000

#2 in the US

Utah - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

34.2%

#34 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.11%

#45 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

18,002,000

#18 in the US

Vermont - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

76.7%

#4 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0%

#46 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

4,523,000

#38 in the US

Virginia - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

63.6%

#9 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.02%

#47 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

16,068,000

#24 in the US

Washington - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

51.9%

#20 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

1.49%

#3 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

22,064,000

#10 in the US

West Virginia - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

78.1%

#3 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.05%

#48 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

12,018,000

#30 in the US

Wisconsin - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

48.9%

#24 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.01%

#49 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

16,960,000

#22 in the US

Wyoming - Forest Coverage

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FOREST COVERAGEhelp

17%

#43 in the US

BURNED ACREAGEhelp

0.09%

#50 in the US

ACRES OF FORESThelp

10,557,000

#33 in the US