Restoring Oak Forests in the Western Himalayas
This guide outlines a technique that both forest officials and community members can use to restore oak trees: direct seeding. Oak trees are a valuable resource in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Oak provides high-quality firewood to heat homes in the state’s winters, it serves as fodder for livestock, and its acorns are a source of food for wild animals that inhabit the area, but due to a number of factors is in short supply.
Forest-PLUS sought to counter the dwindling supply of oak by refining a technique in which acorns are planted directly where they are desired. This technique of direct seeding, or direct acorn sowing, can be managed at under one-tenth of the cost of raising trees in a nursery, and seedlings grown from this method are shown to be better adapted to their local conditions than those grown elsewhere and replanted. The direct seed sowing method is helping to improve forest-people relationships to ensure sustainable forest management.