Forestry technical education started in Nigeria with the establishment in Zaria in 1939. In the same year, the school was moved to Moor Plantation, Ibadan from where it was finally moved to the present site, Forest Hill, Jericho Ibadan in 1941. As at 1941, the Federal School of Forestry was the only Higher Institution of Forestry Education in African Sub-region until the early sixties.
Since its establishment, the School has trained and is still training students from other African countries notably Ghana, Cameroon, Sierra-Leone, Liberia, Gambia, Uganda and Kenya.
For very many years until recently, the trainees were candidates sponsored by various State Government Agencies of Foreign Countries and as such at the beginning, many trainees were serving officers with sponsoring agencies.
From 1939-1956 the only course, run by the College was a one calendar year Forest Assistant programme. This was changed to an eighteen month course between 1956 and 1961. From 1961 to the present, the programme has been a two level programme, now designated the National Diploma (ND) and the Higher National Diploma (HND) programmes, with students running each level of 2 academic years on full time and 3 academic years on part time.