As an important part of national natural resources, forest has important research value. The construction of virtual forest realistic model has economic and social benefits such as film and television special effects, game entertainment and forest ecology, and is conducive to the accumulation and arrangement of world digital forest resources. At present, different virtual forest modeling methods still have some deficiencies in expressing the reality of the model. Based on the analysis of the research status of virtual forest, this paper gives different classifications of realistic modeling methods, and summarizes the theoretical basis, application fields, advantages and disadvantages of reconstruction methods based on real world data, interactive modeling methods and system modeling methods based on rules or procedures. In addition, the most popular modeling software with strong applicability was summarized and compared. Finally, the existing problems and further development trend of realistic forest modeling methods are discussed.