The Himalayan region also has a reasonable number of tree cover besides its lush green forest outside the reserve forest areas. Maximum numbers of trees have been found in Jammu and Kashmir with as many as 3511 sq km of areas with tree followed by both Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh (1001 sq
km each), Himachal Pradesh (675 sq km) and lastly Sikkim (39 sq km). These trees are normally found on roadsides, canals, water bodies both in rural and urban areas, the FSI report found.
Mango trees contribute to 13 per cent of the total volume, followed by neem with seven per cent, mahua (4.65 per cent) and coconut (4.51 per cent). The sal tree contributes about 11 per cent to the growing stock with a volume of 476 mcum, followed by teak with 191 m cum (4.37 per cent). Chir pine and silver-grey wood contribute around four per cent each.
Forest cover is defined as any piece of land over 1 hectare with a tree canopy cover of more than 10 per cent, including plantations like bamboo, tree orchards, and oil palm. Tree cover refers to patches of trees in an area less than one hectare, including isolated trees outside recorded forest areas.
Incidentally, these trees also provide essential timber, firewood, and other forms of forest produce. Many people depend on such trees for livelihood too. These three covers play a big role in the ecosystem and act as major carbon sink even if these are outside recorded forest areas, the FSI survey said.
Source: Himalayan News Chronicle