Total area of forest plots in Ukraine is 10,4 million hectares. Forests of Ukraine according to their purpose and distribution within a country perform mainly ecological (water protection, protective, sanitary and hygienic etc.) functions and have limited commercial significance.
Forest ratio according to the whole country area is 15.9%. Forest distribution is unequal in Ukraine. Forests are concentrated mainly in the Polissya and Ukrainian Carpathians.
Forest ratio is different in different natural zones, and it does not reach the optimum level (20%) when forests have an optimal positive impact on the climate, soil, water resources, mitigate consequences of erosion and can improve forest productivity.
During the last 50 years forest ratio increased in 1,5 times and growing stock in 2,5 times.
Growing stock is estimated to be within 2,1 billion m3. Total average change of growing stock reaches 35 million m3. Average annual change of growing stock is 3,9 m3 per hectare in State forest Resources Agency of Ukraine forests, varying from 5,0 m3 in Carpathians up to 2,5 m3 in Steppe region. It is carried out gradual increasing of growing stock, which confirms the significant economic and environmental potential of forests in Ukraine.
The largest share in age structure has middle-aged stands – 45 %. Share of mature and over mature stands is only 17 %. The average age of forests is around 60 years. It is taken place a gradual aging of forests, leading to deterioration of sanitary conditions.
Ukrainian forests compose of over 30 tree species. The prevailing species are: pine (Pinus silvestris), oak (Quercus robur), beech (Fagus silvatica), spruce (Picea abies), birch (Betula pendula), alder (Alnus glutinosa), ash (Fraxinus excelsior), hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), fir (Abies alba).
According to the Land and Forest Codes of Ukraine forests may be in state, communal and private ownership. The majority of forests are state-owned. During the division of land between state and communal ownership to communal property there transferred about 1,3 million ha (12.5%) of forest land which are in constant use of enterprises subordinated to local governments. The share of private forest ownership is less than 0.1% of the total area of forest land.
About 0,8 million ha of state-owned forest lands is not given for use and assigned to reserve lands.
In Ukraine historically formed situation with subordination of state forests to numerous permanent forest users (For forest management forests are given for permanent use to enterprises, institutions and organizations of several dozen ministries and agencies).
The major part of Ukrainian forest is under subordination of State Forest Resources Agency enterprises (73%).