The book provides an overview of the various types of forests occurring in the Indian state of Karnataka. Some of the most magnificent tropical forests of the Western Ghats are found here, including evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous, dry deciduous, thorn, shola, swamp and mangrove. Although scattered information about these forests is available, such information for the whole state is not available in the form of a comprehensive document. The book, while providing district-wise information about Karnataka's forests, also dwells upon the interplay of different factors that have led to the formation and transformation of these forests. It critically analyzes the salient features about tropical forests, their past management and present status; this is relevant not only to Karnataka's forests but also to the tropical forests of peninsular India, in particular, and Indian forests in general.
Forests of Karnataka provides a brief description of some 325 tree species – some endemic to the Western Ghats, some stretching from Australia to Africa and many pan-India – touching upon their ecology, habitat, field characteristics, tips for identification and utilization, including traditional medicinal uses. These trees represent a very wide spectrum of the trees from tropical forests.