I've checked in a couple of dictionaries already, and they describe bot 森林 and 森 as "forest." Are there any major differences in meaning between these words?
it's a matter of synonyms, mostly, but there is one contextual difference. Both can be translated as "forest", in general, but 森林 can also be translated a "the woods" or "woodlands" or "timberland" with the added connotation that such an area, besides being a forest, is also considered a source of wood. Whether 森林 specifically refers to a managed woodland, I'm not exactly clear on.