The Forestry Research Institute of Ghana was established in 1963 under the name Forest Research Unit and placed under the CSIR (then Ghana Academy of Sciences). A year later in 1964 the name was changed to Forest Products Research Institute. By an Act of Parliament (Act 405) the Institute was transferred from the CSIR to the Forestry Commission in 1980 with the same name.
In 1991, the name of the Institute was changed to Forestry Research Institute of Ghana to reflect the widening scope of its research activities. In 1993, by another Act of Parliament (Act 453) the Institute was reverted to the CSIR.