The Book gives information about nurseries and plantation techniques of the species in general, with special and detailed reference to 100 important Indian Forest Tree species; briefly covering Bamboos and Tropical Pines. The object of this publication is to familiarise the foresters as well as other enterprising individuals, voluntary organizations and institutions, involved in tree planting activities, under various afforestation schemes. Each of the 100 species is dealt with, Distribution: Particulars about Seed(e.g. time and methods of collection, storage, weight, pre-sowing treatment, germination capacity and plant percent, etc.). Nursery Technique : Methods of Natural and Artificial Propagation. Tending: Rate of Growth: Injuries (biotic and Climatic) to which liable: Silvicultural Characters, Utilization and Management, in brief, under a general paragraph. A Chapter on Forest Types of India has also been added, particularly for the benefit of Forestry Students. It is hoped that the book will serve as a useful reference and guide for the Students of Forestry at the Forest Colleges as well as the Agricultural Universities, and also for the personnel engaged in tree planting.
It has been estimated that more than one third of the world population depends on wood for cooking and heating, and 86 % of all the wood used in the developing countries is used as fuel, about half of which is used for cooking energy. However, during the recent past, with the rapid increase in population, excessive inroads have been made into the hitherto unspoiled forests-the renewable reservoir of wood-for fuel, fodder, timber, and industrial raw material in the name of economic development. This is true of India as well, wherein the forest cover is dwindling at an alarming rate and we are facing the spectre of startling shortage of wood. We have just about 22 % of land area under forests, against the stipulated 33 % of its geographical area for sustainable and balanced national economy, consistent with conservation of environment. This deficiency is further compounded by non-uniform distribution of the forests and their low productivity. The situation is bound to worsen with the galloping increase in population, both human and cattle, and the consequent demands on forest produce. A vicious cycle of spiralling demand against diminishing forest resources has thus set in, which must be halted.
The imbalance between the demand for wood and the need for adequate forest cover for productive, protective as well as aesthetic cosiderations, calls for serious attention. The solution lies in intensive forestry practices in the conventional forest areas, and extension forestry by involving the people also-the users and consumers of forest produce-individuals, organisations and co-operative institutions, thereby making tree planting and conservation a mass movement, beyond the hitherto exclusive domain of the Forest Departments only.
Fortunately, human conscience is steadily awakening to this situation. At the global level, we now celebrate World Environment Day, World Forestry Day, Earth Day, etc.; at our national level we celebrate Van Mahotsava (the tree festival) annually, have constituted National Wastelands Development Board and formed a separate Ministry of Environment and Forests at the Centre, to provide a much-needed thrust to our tree planting programmes. A number of voluntary organisations, such as "Friends of Trees", "Society of Indian Foresters", "Environment Society", "Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development", in addition to several Forest Co-operative Societies, have also come up, from time to time, with the ostensible prime objective of popularizing, initiating and propagating tree planting. Further impetus and incentive has been provided by various Govt. Schemes, launched from time to time, such as Social Forestry, Farm Forestry, Integrated Rural Development, Rural Employment, etc.; sponsored or aided by Central and State Govts. through Forest Departments, and/or other Community Development and Welfare Departments.
Under extension forestry, numerous tree species are being raised on the farmlands as agro-forestry practices, in public wastelands along rail, road and canal banks, in village Common/Panchayat lands, compounds of public buildings and Educational Institutions, in various agro-climatic zones, to meet aesthetic, ecological, social and economic requirements of the Society. All these extension activities also call for basic knowledge of selection, propagation, tending, utilization and management of trees and crops. In this context, appreciating the usefulness of a practical guide for forestry students at the Forest Colleges and Agricultural Universities, practicing foresters, enterprising individuals and voluntary organisations engaged in tree planting activities, information on silviculture, propagation, tending, utilization and management of 100 important Indian Tree Species has been compiled in the form of this publication. Chapters on Forest Nurseries and Plantation Techniques have been added for general Information relevant to the text; in addition, a Chapter on Forest Types of India has been added, which may be useful, particularly to the forestry students.