The Forest Research Institute was established in 1928 as specific Service for Forest Science, studying management and utilisation of forests in Bulgaria. Phenological observations on the growth of some native and introduced forest tree species were initiated; the first field sample plots and meteorological stations in forest ecosystems were established.
In 1940 the Service has been renamed into Institute for Forest Investigations and Experiments. After the Second World War, research investigations began in the field of establishment of forest plantations, utilisation, inventory and forest protection, erosion control, etc. In 1954 the Institute differentiates as independent structure unit at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
Numerous distinguished researchers with significant achievements in the field of forest biology have worked in the Forest Research Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences through the years, among them the academicians Boris Stefanov, P. D. Petkov, Mako Dakov; the corresponding members V. Stoyanov, N. Penev; professors Asen Biolchev, Boyan Zahariev, Ilia Radkov, Marin Marinov, Simeon Nedyalkov, etc.