A story telling placard of Gamhar trees at the Shivalik Arboretum.(HT PHOTO)
A story telling placard of Gamhar trees at the Shivalik Arboretum.(HT PHOTO)

Uttarakhand sets up first arboretum for Shivalik range with 210 species of trees

  • The Shivalik Arboretum has over 210 tree and shrub species, making it one of the biggest arboretum in Uttarakhand.
PUBLISHED ON JAN 31, 2021 05:50 PM IST

A first of its kind arboretum conserving over 210 species of trees found in the Shivalik range of Himalayas was inaugurated in Uttarakhand's Nainital district on Sunday, officials said.

Sanjiv Chaturvedi, chief conservator of forests (CCF) and in-charge forest research of state forest department said Shivalik range or Outer Himalayas spreads across states and union territories like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and seven states in the country’s northeast.

“The range has an altitude ranging between 500m and 2500m above sea level, and owing to high rainfall, varying gradient and abundant sunshine, these mountains have rich floral and faunal biodiversity. With the Shivalik Arboretum, we have tried to conserve these species while spreading awareness about them,” said Chaturvedi.

The arboretum was inaugurated by Ajay Singh Rawat, a noted environmentalist from Uttarakhand.

The Shivalik Arboretum has over 210 tree and shrub species, making it one of the biggest arboretum in the state, officials said. Some of the trees preserved include, Kafal (Myrica esculenta), Buransh, (Rhododendron arboretum), Tejpat (Cinnamomum tamala) and Sanjeevani (Sellaginella bryopteris).

“Our aim is to ensure proper nature education among people and that they should be able to feel an emotional connect with the trees, making them more active towards conservation. For this, we have tried to place story telling placards, where every tree tells its own stories of origin, importance and significance,” added Chaturvedi.

The placards showcase information like scientific information about particular species, cultural significance, medicinal use, country of origin, type of habitat in which it is found and all possible uses including as timber, dyes or any other peculiar use.

The forest department has also tried to link poems and other literary pieces written about trees found in the Shivalik ranges.

“There are famous poems or couplets written by lyricists like Gulzar or famous poets like Sumitranandan Pant about trees found in the Shivalik ranges. We have put up posters of these literary pieces along with the trees, to make it more engaging for people. This will help people remember about the trees and they can further spread awareness among their peers,” he added.

Last year under its biggest conservation initiative to protect Himalayan flora, the forest department’s research wing, following three-year-long fieldwork, had created a repository of 1145 plant species, including 68 threatened, rare and vulnerable species, aimed at their germplasm conservation so that these species remain conserved in case they disappear from the wild due to any reason.

Apart from trees, the arboretum also conserves species of cane, moss, lichen and ferns found in the Shivalik range.

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