Silvicultural Systems in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

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Some practical tips are being given to understand the application of these systems on the ground. It may, however, be mentioned that at present there is a general BAN since 1993 on an application of Silvicultural systems which entail clear fellings.


Ø  As a traditional approach, and true to the silvicultural demands of the species, the silvicultural system to be applied the SHELTER wood COMPARTMENT system.
Ø  It is being applied in the chir forests of Manshera District, with good success.
Ø  The system can be continued to be applied to chir forests with certain modifications:
a)     Large clear felled areas are no longer favored. If will be desirable to create smaller compartments/sub-compartments/ Stands and apply shelterwood.
b)     Protection against fires/grazing must be ensured.
c)     Where forests are under severe biotic pressure, fencing should also be provided.

Ø  It may be noted that the system depends on Natural Regeneration is not applied.


Ø  Blue pine and Deodar are also light-demanding trees.
Ø  The system to which such forests have so far been subjected is the SINGLE SELECTION system, except in KAGHAN Valley where a modified uniform system has been initiated for such forests.
Ø  It is Recommended that such forests should be brought under the following Silvicultural system.
a.   Forests which are on slopes less than 70% are uniformly mature and away from habitations, can be brought under a modified uniform system having the following features:-
i. The system will be applied on smaller compartments or sub-compartments/Stands. For this purpose smaller units can be created;
ii.   Protection against grazing will be ensured.
ii.   Artificial Regeneration will be carried out.
b.     Forests which are on slopes of more than 70% are not uniformly mature are near habitations can be treated under a SELECTION SYSTEM with the following features:-
i.    Where mature trees are scattered, selecting   single trees, say one out of 4 mature trees;
ii.   Where mature trees are standing in a group selecting the whole group of mature trees. This is particularly true in 9 situation where beneath or side by side with mature trees, a good crop of poles is available and which is need of Release from the overhead canopy, for its growth.
iii. Both the single tree and group selection can be combined within the same compartment/sub-compartment/Stand.


Ø  These forests are mostly mature and over-mature and in most of the cases open and also lacking Regeneration.
Ø  They have been treated under the single tree selection system, except the Reserved Forests of Kaghan Valley where eth Group felling system has been initiated.
Ø  Since these species are shade demanding in their early age, the group felling system should be more appropriate. The main features of this system are:
i.       The plot of about one tree length diameter say 30-meter dia are laid out in the forest which may be circular or Elliptical in Shape.
ii.     All the trees are clear felled within the plot except for some trees to be Retained as advance growth. The DBH of the advance growth is to be kept quite low so that the crop is integrated with the new Regeneration easily (in any case less than half the exploitable Diameter);
iii.   In the first felling cycle, only as much area is covered by the plots as allowed in the area-based yield control.
iv.   During each felling cycle, certain improvement fellings in the periphery of the plots can also be carried out so as to keep the crop in a good growing condition and dead/dying trees, if any, are Removed well in time.
v.     Felling plots should not be laid out more than 3 per hectare and they should be started from the Ridges.
vi.   The system aims at encouraging Natural Regeneration. Therefore Artificial Regeneration will not be relied upon. In exceptionally difficult conditions where the biotic pressure is serious, Fencing or any other protection arrangements are to be restored to.


 Geology, Rock & Soils

Ø  The Range comprises two distinct portions: the Triassic and Jurassic limestone ridge along the North and the sandstone hills to the South-west.
Ø, In fact, the name Kalachitta is derived from these two very distinct formations, the sandstone at a distance appearing BLACK (Kala) and the limestone WHITE (Chitta).


Ø  The climate of Kalachitta is one of the extremes; great heat and drought in summer and severe cold with a bitter north wind in winter.

 Rainfall: (Annual)

i.    Rawalpindi     =          32.57″
ii.   Attock             =          20.15″
iii. Fatehjang        =          25.09″
iv.  Pindigheb        =          18.10″

 Absolute Temperature

Ø  The average monthly maximum temperature occurs in June 103.50 and the minimum in December 37.40.

 Distribution of Area

Ø  The kalachatta forest is a compact block of 91463 Acres distributed by Tahsils as follows:-
S. No.
Area (In Acres)
91,463 Acres
= 143 Sq. Miles.
Ø  Species
The predominately species are:
i.    Olea cuspidata
ii.   Acacia modesta
iii. Montheca buxifolia
iv.  Gymnosperia royleana
v.   Dodonea viscosa
Ø  Fodder Grass are:
i.    Elionurus hirsutus (sin)
ii.   Hetropogon contortus (Spear grass or Sarala)
iii. Andropogon faveolatus (ghirji)
iv.  Iseilena laxum (Gandi)
Ø  Retrogression of Olea cuspidate forests, mutilated by man and animals.
Ø  Protection of the tract commenced in 1871.


Ø  The so-called standards are so poor in quality that they cannot yield timber of commercial importance. The clearfelling of the coppice exposed the ground unnecessarily and yield much small wood that was un-saleable.
Ø  Consequently the system was modified is practice the standards were merely older stems scattered over the area and from the coppice clumps were cut only those stems which could yield firewood billets.
Ø  The system followed resembled the ordinary coppice selection system.


Ø  The main management objectives in these forests is to protect the watersheds and at the same supply some fuelwood.
Ø  They are growing under rather adverse conditions and will never produce a large volume of wood per Acre.
Ø  SELECTION COPPICE SYSTEM is applied to the Olea cuspidate and Acacia modesta and Dodonea viscose scrub forests and exploitable diameter fixed is 15-20 cm, 20 cm & 5-7.5 cms respectively of these species.
Ø  Soil and water conservation are the important part of the management of the scrub forest and check-damming and gully plugging etc is done to protect and perpetuate these forests.
Ø  Afforestation of “dry zone aforestation techniques”.
Ø   The personal forest & establishment of new ones under the semi-arid conditions of the scrub zone would have to be undertaken on an extensive scale.
Ø  Past abuse overgrazing and heavy firewood exploitations have eliminated many of the forests and degraded most of the existing ones.
Ø  Marking officer ensure before going to markings:-
i.       Marking officer organize the camp for marking.
ii.     Working plan copy and Maps Calipers, Tapes, Field Books, Pencils, Papers, Calculators, Hammer Marks, Caving Chesal, Colour Markers, Coaltar, Axeman, Carving Person, Forest Shoes, First Aid Materials, Boarding and Loading Arrangements.
Ø  Marking rules will be as Follows:-
1.         All marking should be carried out by D.F.O. personally.
2.         The marking officer first to make a reconnaissance of the marking coupe before starting of the marking to apprise the general condition and distribution of various age classes particularly mature and over-mature trees which facilitate equal distribution of marking of trees so required.
3.         All Dead, Dying, Diseased Malformed, Wind-Fallen Dry, Moribund and suppressed trees will be removed on the priority basis.
4.         In marking prescribed volume is the criterion for a marking officer.
5.         The exploitable size has been fixed 2.4″ and above for main selection felling.
6.         Broadleaved should no be marked due to the limited number in coniferous forests.
7.         Keeping in view ecological balance marking will be tilted towards inferior species e.g.
i.    Retention of Deodar will be preferred over Kail, Fir, and Spruce.
ii.   Kail over Fir and Spruce.
8.         Trees adjacent to cultivation and habitation or on the border of the compartment up to 30 – 40 meters should not be marked.
9.         Trees will not be marked near Road, Hamlet water-course, Graveyard and Shrine.
10.       No tree shall be marked on steep slopes subject to soil erosion or where regeneration has no chance after removal of the existing trees.
11.       Marking of trees will be systematically started from uppermost boundary gradually coming down the whole compartment shall be traversed and evenly distributed.
12.       Felling shall be made in groups of 2 – 3 trees to create gaps for natural regeneration.
13.       Under the principle of the single tree selection system, one tree out of four (4) of Kail and Deodar and out of Five (5) mature trees of Fir and Spruce will be marked.
14.       The marked trees properly numbered. Serially with a year of marking carved and hammered with marking number at stump height and entered in the field book thereof.
15.       The marking shall be evenly spread over the entire well-stocked part of the compartment.
16.       Healthy trees with clean boles, better crow, suitably located for seed dispersal will be retained at the compartment.
17.       Thinning should be carried out with a new to eliminate unhealthy competition, encourage the normal rate of growth to develop vigorous stand.
18.       Felling will primarily bear on trees of 24″ d.b.h. and over diameter.
19.       Calliper will be put from the upper side of trees at d.b.h.

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Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani

NJMH is working as Deputy Conservator of Forests in Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department (BFWD). He is the CEO of Tech Urdu ( Forestrypedia (, Majestic Pakistan (, All Pak Notifications (, Essayspedia, etc & their YouTube Channels). He is an Environmentalist, Blogger, YouTuber, Developer & Vlogger.

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