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Approximately, 1.2% of Saudi Arabia's land, is covered by natural woodland forests. Woodland forests are concentrated on the South-western of the kingdom, extending from Yemen bordered on the south to Taif city on the north. Despite the small area they occupy, forests in Saudi Arabia play a major role in the welfare of people living in their vicinity. They provide food and shelter for wildlife, understory forage for livestock, watershed and recreation site for humans. Recently, forest conservation became a global issue as forest clearing began to threaten the global climate. In Saudi Arabia, forests  have been the focus of the Government because of  the concern that increase in human activities is putting tremendous pressure on forest resources and signs of deterioration such as Juniper die-back are beginning to be visible.

As a leading academic department in Saudi Arabia, Plant Production Department at the College of Food & Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University recognizes the importance of forest conservation and improvement as early as three decades ago through teach, research and extension in the field of forestry.

Wild fires are major problem facing woodland forests in Saudi Arabia


  • preparing and rehabilitation Trained
  • Conducting researches and studies related to forest maintenance and sustainability
  • Follow-up and supervision of the cases of forest health and viability
  • Rehabilitation of existing forests to contribute to the environment and society
  • evelopment of future plans and studied and how to deal with  emergency update

Research Members

Dr. Ibraheem M. Aref

Dr. Hammad A. Almefarrej

Dr. Thobayet S. Alshahrani

Dr. Saeed S. Hegazy

Dr. Ramadan A. Abdulnasser


Juniperus procera has attracted the concern scientists at the Plant Production Department


Forestry research unit benefits from several laboratories of in the Plant Production Department. These include forestry lab., wood technology lab., growth chambers and facilities provided by the Agricultural Research and Experiment Station. Researchers also have access to open and managed sites around Riyadh city where several trees and shrubs grow naturally. 


  • Thorough examination of tree species whether domestic or imported and identify their main parts such as crown and roots, as well as identify such trees by flowers and Fruits. And study the ability of these trees or shrubs to reproduce under local environment and their suitability to the circumstances surrounding. The possibility of identifying tree species  and their benefits and rate of risk  where species turn into invasive.
  • Isolation, counting, and  identification, viability and germination testing of forest tree seeds. As well as seed treatments to assist in facilitating germination and providing instructions for handling and storage of seeds.
  • Full examination of wood samples for classification and identification, estimating its density , anatomical structure, and the rate of growth of its belonging tree.
  • Estimating moisture content of wood as well as the proportion of  shrinkage and swelling, and wood hardness (Litheness and fragility (wood mechanical properties). Also, study woody cell dimensions and how its role in making quality  properties for wood, as well as assessing the chemical components of wood.


Diverse habitat resulted in diverse tree and shrub forest species


Graduate Students



Thesis Title

Graduation Year

A. Al-Harbi

Dr. L.I. El-Juhany

Effects of water deficit on the growth and physiological performance of Conocarpus erectus and Eucalyptus microtheca under field conditions


A. M. Ahmed

Dr. I.M. Aref

Response of Three Eucalyptus Species to Irrigation with Saline Water.


M.D. Al-Otabi

Dr. I.M. Aref

Ability evaluation of some tree species to absorb heavy metals in Riyadh city.




Research Projects

I.       Projects funded by KACST & Ministry of Agriculture

  • Forest inventory in Saudi Arabia
  • Possibility of utilizing some lignocellulosic residues (agricultural & wood processing mills by-products) in manufacturing wood composite boards.

II. Projects funded by Research Center of the College of Food & Agric. Sciences

  • Planting some local forest species and evaluation of their wood as a source of fuel-wood in Riyadh region
  • Planting Juniper trees in the natural forests of the Southwestern region of Saudi Arabia
  • Spacing effects on growth of Conocarpus erectus L.


Scientific Papers

Extension Bulletins

  • Nurseries
  • Suitable trees for the local environment and their uses
  • Juniper: The first tree in Saudi Arabia
  • How to grow a tree
  • Halophyte forests (Mangrove) in Saudi Arabia
  • Conocarpus trees and the environment of Saudi Arabia
  • Handling of forest tree seeds
Last updated on : January 12, 2023 1:00am