The Korean forests are classified into warm
temperate, cool-temperate, and boreal forests. Around 85% of them are
identified as cool temperate forests.
WARM TEMPERATE FORESTS
The warm temperate forests are in the south coastal region including Jeju Island and a number of smaller islands where the annual mean temperature is higher than 14℃. Broadleaved evergreen forests are common in this region, but due to over-exploitation and forest fires, majority of natural forests has turned into deciduous, mixed, or coniferous forests. Dominant species include Quercus actua, Castanopsis cuspidata, and Camelia japonica.
COOL TEMPERATE FORESTS
The cool temperate forests exist north of the warm temperate zone up to Gangwon, Gyeonggi, and Hamgyeong provinces excluding the mountainous highlands. The annual mean temperature ranges from 6℃ to 13℃. Broadleaved deciduous trees are predominant in the area, however, most of them are destroyed by agricultural activities leaving only pines forests. Main species are Quercus spp., Zelkova spp., Fraxinus spp., Pinus densiflora and P. koraiensis.
Sub-boreal forests cover the northern end of the Korean peninsula and some high mountainous area where the annual mean temperature is 5℃ and lower. Most of the forests indigenous to this region were coniferous, however they were vastly destroyed by over-exploitation and fires. Currently, mixed forests are widespread in this region and dominant species include Abies spp., Picea spp., Larix spp., Juglans mandshurica, and Betula platyphylla.