Change of Tree Plantation Pattern over Time

Growing of different types of tree species (fruit, timber and fuel wood, medicinal, and aesthetic species) over time has been changing gradually. The fruit trees dominated much more over timber trees a few decades ago but the gap between them has diminished over time remarkably. A recent study conducted across the country showed that about 50 years ago, proportions of fruit and timber trees were 86% and 7%, respectively, which are now closer to 60% and 34%, respectively (Basak 2002).

In the same period, the proportion of medicinal plants decreased from 3% to 1%. The author also reported that such trends have been noticed in case of resource poor farmers as compared to rich farmers. The relatively quick returns from the multipurpose tree species might influence the resource poor farmers for planting more timber and fuelwood species. Anam (1999) reported that during the last 10 years, planting of jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), guava (Psidium guajava), jujube (Zzyphus jujube), drumstick (Moringa oleifera), pomegranate (Punica granatum), and lemon (Citrus spp.) had increased both in peri-urban and rural areas, while proportion of palmyra palm (Borasus flabettifer), date palm (Phoenix sylvestris), jamun (Syzygium cuminii), etc. reduced drastically. Of the forest species, akasmoni (Acacia auriculiformis), mahagoni (Swietenia mahogoni), sissoo (Dalbergia sissoo), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus cameldulensis) and koroi (Albizzia lebbeck) were not usually planted in the homesteads 10 years ago, but recently their plantation has been intensified, whereas the population of indigenous species like pakur (Ficus infectoria) and shimul (Salmalia malabaricum) have reduced gradually during the same period. This is an indication that farmers are more interested in multipurpose trees having timber and fuel values.

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