The plant growers in Kashmir prefer variety of seeds and plants which have a quick growth. They cultivate such forest nurseries in their forms, which are fast in growth and better in quality and as well as demand. While choice for planting traditional plants has reduced due to their slow growth, people have shifted their preferences to hybrid seeds and plantations and interestingly government department including agriculture and forests are also advising use of experimental seeds that reach here from across the world. For this purpose Rousi (Russian) and Bulgarian varieties of Popular are being preferred over locals varieties of Popular due to their fast growth. Though such, varieties of foreign origin trees have also found hospitable weather and soil conditions here in the valley and are grown here in large numbers but the pollen falling from these trees have attracted lot of criticism and government is now tending to launch a fast track drive for felling of such plants for the purposes of the health safety of the people. Though drive for local plantations is suitable for local environment and also for the growing consumption of wood but people themselves are not interested in local plantations. While the present trend of encouraging foreign varieties of trees has affected the local tree culture of the land, the valley is fast loosing its centuries’ old local varieties. Their propagation has already collapsed while the standing ones’ are also left without care. In this context mention may be made of local varieties of Popular called “Kashur Phras. There were several varieties of this tree which were cultivated here in the valley including the most beautiful of them, the Kabuli variety. This variety was most famous and elegant with its white bark and silvery leaves it gave a fine look and was considered suitable for the local environment.
Though local trees are not still preferred by the local populations in Kashmir but irrefutable fact is their survival is also must for the local environment. As such plant growers and the government agencies involved in plantation should not forget the local trees altogether but should provide more and more space for local plants in their forms, and nurseries.
It was grown more commonly in rural areas and believed to have been introduced here by later Mughal or early’ Durani Shah’s. Unfortunately these varieties of the popular tree have almost disappeared from valley lands and rarely are found standing anywhere. One another favourite tree of Kashmir is called Brenn (Elm) which usually grows at all elevation up to 9,000 feet. Like Kashmiri pharas it also attains a great height and girth and is also used for wood and constructions. It has also remained saints tree in Kashmir, many such trees are still regarded in great esteem and believed to have been planted by some Sofi saints of Kashmir. Although still quite a number of trees of Elm are seen standing on several valley lands, but no attention is being paid on its positive propagation. Bremiji, the centuries old tree of the valley was usually grown in graveyards and in the vicinity of shrines. It has a slow but natural growth to the extent of a magnificent tree. Few specimen of the tree are still seen in olden Mazar’s (Graveyards) of the valley. The historical graveyards of Malkh’a, Mazari Qalan, Mazari Sulateen exhibit a few rare magnificent Breimji trees. Though local trees are not still preferred by the local populations in Kashmir but irrefutable fact is their survival is also must for the local environment. As such plant growers and the government agencies involved in plantation should not forget the local trees altogether but should provide more and more space for local plants in their forms, and nurseries.