The history of BFU dates back to the forestry specialty of the agronomy department set up within the Peking Imperial University that was established as early as 1902.
In 1952, through the nationwide wave of college & department adjustment, an independent Beijing Forestry College (BFC) was set up via the combination of the Forestry Department of Beijing Agriculture University(predecessor of China Agriculture University) and the Forestry Department of Hebei Agriculture College(predecessor of Hebei Agriculture University). BFC became one of the earliest Forestry Colleges in China.
In 1956, the Gardening Department of Beijing Agriculture University and some sections of the Architecture Department of Tsinghua University integrated into BFC.
In 1960, it was list as a key national college or university.
In 1969, it relocated to Yunnan Province.
In 1979, it was back to Beijing and recovered its running.
In 1981, it became the first batch of colleges or universities to confer master’s degree in and doctoral degree.
In 1985, it officially changed its name into BFU.
In 1996, it was listed as the first batch of colleges or universities of “Project 211”(the Higher Education Reinvigoration Project 211).
In 2001, it was jointly supported and built by the Ministry of Education(MOE) and the State Forestry Administration(SFA).
In 2004, it was authorized to formally establish the Graduate School by MOE.
In 2008, it was listed as a pilot university in the national program of “the Innovation Platform for Prioritized Academic Disciplines”.
In 2011, it was honored as a member of League of Hi-tech & Science for Universities with other 10 featured universities.
In 2012，it initiated Systematic Innovation Center of Efficient Cultivation and Utilization of Forest Resources, the first forestry coordinative innovation center in China.
In 2016, BFU’s Advanced Innovation Center for Tree Breeding by Molecular Design was approved by Beijing Municipal Government.
In 2017, it ranked among the construction of World-class Discipline Universities and its two disciplines, Forestry and Landscape Architecture, were on the shortlist of“Double First-class”discipline.
Up to 2019,its 7 disciplines have entered the top 1% of ESI global ranking.