Although the idea of trees being conscious seems counter intuitive, we mustn't forget that consciousness as everyone would call it emerged out of non conscious organisms. That in itself is fascinating and mind boggling.
Although forests do not think self reflexively, there is a lot we can learn from them. What is sad is that at least in the Boreal and Temperate regions, we no longer have the types of forests we used to. Even in Canada and Russia, most frontier forests have been logged. Climate Change will furthermore burden the already overstrained forests of the world as you can see happening with the Mountain Pine Beetle in Alberta and B.C., CA. invasive species are another huge problem for forest health and although there has been a lot of research done into Sustainable Forest Management (Mainly thinaks to pressures from society, ENGOS and the United Nations), most attempts at moving from Maximum Sustained Yield harvesting to ecoforestry are not regulated and enforced by those governments orgnaizations responsible.
The greatest hope for the world's forests comes, I would argue, from certification and making responsible consumer choices. I would strongly urge anyone on this forum concerned about the state of the worlds forsts to only buy Forest Stewardship Council certified wood. If you want to know why, read my blog. There are other certification bodies out there but they aren't as rigorous environmentally. For instance, the Sustainable Forest Initiative isnt as independant as the FSC and receveis lots of industry funds. Not surprisingly it is the most commonly used, particularly i the US, which incidentally also consumes most of CAnada's forest products.
The basic idea behind New Forestry (aka Ecoforestry and Sustainable Forest Management) is that the silvicultural objectives forest owners have attempt to mimic or "emulate" natural disturbances such as fire. The idea is sound and the way it is done failry clever, but the problem is that stands are still cut in too short a time frame, even when these are accepted by third parties such as the FSC. Normally, forests will suffer from disturbances such as forest first anywhere from 20-500 years. Timber Licences, which are granted by the provincial governments in Canada, enable companies such as Weyerhauser or Bloedel to harvest leased lands in anywhere from 70-140 years of "rotation". This does not provide forests with enough time to reach a climax stage and hence we have too many forests at early successional stages which in turn means that species which require Old Growth forests are endangered.
Forest fragmentation, also due to road building, is another huge problem for the worlds forests, since logging roads open up the forest to morons such as hunters and ATV users that should be shot in my books. A single road, when used regularly, can repel animals for up to 40 km away, since the sound of car engines frightens them. And so their habitat is decreased. The Spotted Owl, for instance, requires a huger amount (I cant remember the exact number ifn hectares but it is large) or undisturbed land for a single breeding pair to survive. The forest industry simply cannot accommodate for this and we will probably loose that species also in the next five years or so. A census about a decade ago showed that there were only about 300 breeding pairs left. Wolves are also threatened here in Canada since they are only protected on about 5% of their natural range. The same for the Woodland Caribou, the wolverine etc etc etc.