Pakistan Forest Institute
Peshawar, Pakistan


This branch is one of the oldest branches of the Institute which was established in 1956. It consists of a Central Silviculturist, two Assistant Silviculturists, two Forest Rangers and five Field Assistants. Its research activities are field oriented and it has been engaged in the following research areas over the years.

  • Introduction of fast growing multi-purpose tree species so as to increase wood production in the country within short time.
  • Development of scientific nursery and field planting techniques for indigenous and exotic tree species.
  • Development of suitable tending and cultural techniques for management of plantations of different tree species.
  • Development of technologies to afforestate problem areas like arid, semi-arid, saline and waterlogged areas.
  • Investigation on physiological and bio-economical aspects of tree species plantations.
  • Teaching silviculture and research methods to B.Sc. and M.Sc. forestry classes.

Significant Achievements:

  • Development of nursery techniques: Studies have been conducted on the viability, germination, scarification, stratification, time and medium of sowing of seed of different tree species and seedling obtained for a number of species such as Chir pine, Juniper, Kail, Deodar, Fir, Spruce, Kikar, etc. Methods of vegetative propagation of poplar clones, shisham and olive were also developed.
  • Introduction of fast growing species: Poplars, eucalypts, and willows are some of the important species which have been successfully introduced through research in government plantations and on the farmlands on a large scale. Their nursery and field planting techniques, spacing and water requirements, management techniques, methods of clonal selection and fixing of rotation for optimum growth have been successfully determined through research. Research on a very useful and fast growing species from China, namely, Paulownia has been started and nursery and field trials are in progress. Research is also under way to determine water requirements of a number of tree species in the irrigated plantations.
  • Tree planting on marginal lands and difficult sites: By using water harvesting and moisture conservation techniques in conjunction with selection of several tree species, it has been possible to plant Acacia tortilis, A. modesta, A. aneura, A. victoriae, Prosopis cineraria, Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Tecoma undulata successfully in rainfall zones of 250-300 mm. The best performance in this regards has been given by different seed lots of Acacia nilotica.
  • Afforestation in waterlogged and saline area: A number of local and exotic species considered to be suitable for such areas have been tested. Several Acacia and Casuarina species of Australian origin and Prosopis species have given encouraging results along with Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Tamarix aphylla, Acacia nilotica and Acacia modesta.
  • Tree fertilization: To improve the rate of growth, fertilization studies have been carried out on coniferous as well as broad leaved species. Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Cedrus deodara and Pinus roxburghii responded well in the field.
  • Management of forests:Management studies on Eucalyptus camaldulensis have indicated that over a period of four years, the species can give three times the yield if planted at 1.5 x 1.5 m as against 3 x 3 m spacing. Similarly in the case of poplars it has been found that close spacing gives maximum yield on a short rotation for pulp and paper.
  • Farm forestry: Experimental cum demonstration studies were conducted at different places to find out the inter-relationships between trees and agricultural crops and to increase the farm income through trees and agricultural crops and to increase the farm income through tree growth on the farmlands. The tree species used in these studies were poplar, simal, shisham, ipil ipil and eucalypts and the crops commonly raised were wheat, cotton, sugarcane, maize and clovers etc. As a result of campaign started by the Pakistan Forest Institute the farmers of Peshawar and Mardan valley are growing poplars on a very large scale. Similar is the case with eucalypts, which are extensively planted on irrigated and barani farm lands. The studies indicated that though trees on the farmlands cause depressing of agricultural crops near the shelterbelts but the income from sale of trees compensated any loss to the farmers.
  • Increase in resin yields:It has been possible to raise the yield of resin from chir pine trees from the existing level of 1.5 kg to 3.7 kg per tree in one season of tapping under the new method which involves use of 40% sulphuric acid solution in conjunction with American bark hack chipping method. Further, with the conventional method the butt long was damaged resulting in about 10% loss of valuable timber. The new method does not damage the wood at all.
  • Increased production of biomass:Some species are planted, specially by farmers, to get maxium biomass in a short time for domestic use. A number of species like Acacia nilotica, Acacia modesta, Leucaena leucocephala, Prosopis cineraria, E. camaldulensis. Poplar species and clones were evaluated for biomass production. In some cases biomass of a species was also determined when planted at different spacings. The results are a useful guide for both field foresters and farmers.

Species Recommended for Different Edaphic Climatic Sites and Method of Planting:

The Site Species recommended Method of planting Remarks
Sandy soils/sand dunes Inland hot sand dune Acacia senegal, A.tortilis, A-victorae, Calli-gonum polygonoides, Prosopis cineraria, cineraria, P.juliflora, Saccharum munja, Tamarix aphylla, Zzyphus mauritiana, Znummularia, Parkinsonia. 15-20 cm cuttings in case of Calligonum, Tamarix, Arundo donax, Vitex negundo, with winter rains. Other species 6-9 month old plants in polythene tubes. In parallelsstrips or chess board design from crest to the heel of the dune. If irrigation available plant Acacia modesta, Dalbergia sissoo and Eucalyptus camaldulensis around the toes of sand dunes.
Inland cold sand dunes Arundo donax, Calligonum polygonoides, Robinia pseudoacacia, Tamarix gallica, Vitexnegundo. Plant cuttings, tube plants with winter rain/snow.
Coastal sand dunes Prosopis juliflora. Plant one-year old tube stock. Use sub-soil water to irrigate, daily for one month and later on as and when necessary.
Saline Alkali soils Acacia nilotica, Casuarina equisetifolia, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, E.microtheca, Leucaena leucocephala, Phoenix dactyh'fera, Pithecolobium duice, Populus euphratica, Prosopis cineraria, P.juliflora, Sesbania aculeata, S.aegyptiaca, Tamarix aphylla. Sesbanea aculeata for 1-2 years and plough it back. Plant 6-9 month old plants in polythene tubes either on flat ground or on the berm of 0.3-0.5m deep trenches. Replace salty soil with sweet soil in pits. Plough and dibble seed of A. nilotica Provide hand watering or flow irrigation, if possible, otherwise plant with the onset of rainy season.
Waterlogged swampy lands Acacia nilotica, Casuarina equisetifolia, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, E.microtheca, Leucaena leucocephala, Phoenix dactyh'fera, Pithecolobium duice, Populus euphratica, Prosopis cineraria, P.juliflora, Sesbania aculeata, S.aegyptiaca, Tamarix aphylla. Use one year old poly bag plants. Plant on raised beds, mounds and along deep continuous channels dug for drainage. Channels should be dug in herring bone design i.e. channels at 45° angle leading into one main bigger channel.
Calcareous soils Acacia nilotica, Albizzia spp. Azadirachta indica, Eleagnus hortensis, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Melia azedarach, Tamarix aphylla. Plant 6-9 month old polythene tube plants in 30 cm deep pits in monsoon season or with winter rains, if any. Breaking of the hard pan layer is essential. In areas below 250 mm annual provide hand watering in the first year if no flow irrigation is available.
Shallow/stony soils Acacia cyanophylla, A.modesta, A.tortilis, A-victorae, Ceratonia siliqua, E.camaldu-lensis, Zizyphus mauritiana. Plant 6-12 month old polythene tube stock in winter with rains and again in monsoon season in 0.3 m deep pits. Hand water or irrigate for a year.
Drought prone areas Acacia albida, A.aneura, A.nilotica A.modesta, A-victoria, A.tortilis, Tamarix aphylla, Tecoma undulata. Adopt techniques for water harvesting/ moisture conservation such as trenches with catchment, mulches, deep planting, drip irrigation. Use 6-9 month old tube plants. Hand water for one year in areas with less than 250 mm rainfall, Hand water in other areas also if summer rains fail. Use drip irrigation system
Flood prone areas Hills and Foot hills Ailanthus altissimia, Amorpha fruitloose, Bauhinia Variegata, Cassia fistula, Dalbergia sissoo, E.camaldulensis, E.tereticornis, Impmoea carnea, Robinia pseudoacacia, Saccharum munja, Salix tetrasperma, Poplars, Wex negundo. Dig 30-50 cm deep pits of 30 cm Use 6-9 month old tube plants in other cases. Use entire plants of Ailanthus, Robinia, Amorpha, Bauhinea and Eucalyptus. Use root-shoot cuttings of Dalbergia sissoo and rhizomes or tufts of Saccharum munja. Plant cuttings of Ipomoea, Vitex and Willow in moist soil. Plant one year old poplar plants in deep moist soil.
Plains Acacia nilotica, Dalbergia sissoo, E.camaldulensis, Populus euphratica, Prosopis cineraria, Tamarix dioica Bamboos. Broad cast seed of A. nilotica from boats during inundation. Do aerial seeding with A; nilotica and P_ cineraria seed. Plant 6-9 month old tube plants of other species. Use root-shoot cuttings of Dalberpia sissoo. Plant bamboo culms. Hand water tube plants/ root-shoot cuttings by digging small wells; 16-18 waterings In the first year, 10-20 in the second.
Northern dry mountains eroded rainfed lands, foot hills Acacia nilotica, A-modesta, Arundo donax, Broussonetia papyrifera, Dodonaea viscosa, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, E.microtheca, Ipomoea carnea, Saccharum munja, Tamarix aphylla, Prosopis juliflora, Zizyphus mauritiana, Agave sissalana, Dendrocalamus strictus. Sow/plant on berms or beds of trenches/troughs in monsoon season/winter rains. Dig trenches along the contour. Prepare staggered ridges. Give one or two hand waterings after planting.
Western dry mountains and dry western plateau Cupressus arizonica, Fraxinus xanthoxyloides, Gleditschia triacanthos, Juniperus excelsa, Pinus elderica, Pistacia khinjuk, Prunus eburnea, Ephedra nebrodenses Two year old tube plants in 0.3m deep pits with stone mulch in one metre radius eitherm early spring with the start of snow melt or in monsoon. Snow fencing is helpful to retain moisture for a longer period. Irrigate twice a month, for survival of plants for first six months.
Northern moist mountains
  • Conifers:
  • Abies pindrow, Cedrus deodara, Picea smithiana, Pinus roxburghii, P.wallichiana.
  • Broad Leaved:
  • Acer caesium, Aesculus indica, Ailanthus excelsa, AInus nitida, Cedrela serrata, Celtis australfs, Gleditschia triacanthos, Juglans regis, Platanus orientalis, Populus ciliata, P.deltoides, P.nigra, Quercus dilatata, Q.ilex, Robinia pseudoacacia, Salix babylonica, S.tetrasperma.
One to two year old poly bag plants in 0.3m deep pits in early spring or monsoons. or Direct sowing of seed. Plant rooted plants of Poplar and Willows, others raised in polythene tubes, all one year old. Land may have to be terraced along contours. Mulching would be helpful.

Project Objectives:

  • To cater for the research needs of forests and allied natural resources of moist and dry temperate ecological zones of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
  • To provide educational and training facility for forestry students of PFI and Field Officers of Forest and Wildlife Departments inside the high hills forests.
  • To test and demonstrate effective technologies and approaches for Sustainable Forest Management, Biodiversity Conservation, Watershed Protection, Range Management, and Agro-Forestry under the local climatic conditions.
  • To build the capacity of local communities for forest conservation and Sustainable Natural Resource Management in the area.


Date of commencement July, 2015
Date of Completion June, 2018
Total Duration of the Project 03 Years
Total Cost of the Project Rs. 48.47 Million

Project Activities:

  • Signing of MoU between Forest Department and PFI for the handing/taking of defunct KIDP complex to be utilized as Field Station, Kalam.
  • Repair & maintenance of PFI Field station including construction of boundary wall, provision of drinking water supply and electricity.
  • Trainings and Capacity Building of staff of Forest and Wildlife Department’s officers in Sustainable Management of Medicinal Plants, Biodiversity Conservation, Seed Collection & Storage Techniques, Nursery Raising and Soil Conservation Techniques.
  • Integrated research cum demonstration activities, including:
    1. Afforestation, field experiment trials for application various Silvicultural treatments.
    2. Assessment of climate change impacts on dry temperate forests.
    3. Development of Integrated Pest Management techniques for dry temperate forest pests.
    4. Direct sowing.
    5. Intra specific Grafting of Chilghoza Pine.
    6. Medicinal plants surveys and research and demonstration trials of medicinal plants cultivation.
    7. Raising of bare rooted (broad leaved nursery).
    8. Raising of tube nursery (Deodar, Kail, Fir/spruce).
    9. Range management trials and establishment of a range research nursery.
    10. Seed collection of important coniferous and broad leaved trees species Wildlife Surveys.