Silviculture Division with headquarter at Shillong is responsible for forestry research activities in the whole of the State. There are 3 (three) Forest Ranges under the Division through which research activities are implemented. The Range headquarters are located at Shillong, Umsaw (Ri Bhoi District) and Rongrengiri (East Garo Hills District).
Scheme 1: Establishment of Research Division and Laboratory - The Scheme is intended for maintenance of staff i.e. payment of salaries (4 units) and wages (3 units) including their traveling expenses and some office expenses of the Division.
The Scheme is aimed at supporting continuity of various forestry activities of Silviculture Division and also for maintenance of research works on conservation programmes of orchids by tissue culture technique in the laboratory.
Scheme 2: (a) Protection of Area with Rare and Endangered Plant Species - The Scheme is aimed at protection of rare and endangered plants of the State through creation of nurseries and plantations in order to ensure their protection and conservation ex-situ through artificial means.
The Scheme "conservation of rare and endangered plants" is being implemented by Silviculture Division and so far we have successfully raised and maintained 55 hectares plantation area of some rare and endangered plant species in different centres of the State. The prominent species planted are Taxus baccatta, Carpinus viminea, Podocarpus nerifolia, Rhododendron arboreum, Acquilaria agallocha.
(b) In-vitro Multiplication of Orchids - The State of Meghalaya is famous for its beautiful orchids. The climatic condition and topography of area is very suitable for the growth of different species of orchids of which about 300 species have been reported. However due to the disturbances caused by many adverse factors the number of orchids found in the natural habitat have been drastically reduced.
A research laboratory was set up at Shillong with the objectives of multiplying and propagating orchids by adopting tissue culture techniques. Even though the laboratory has minimum facilities and equipments, yet we have been able to successfully germinate seeds of some species of orchids and many of them have developed into seedlings and matured plants. Approximately about 250 matured plants and 250 seedlings of Paphiopedelum hybrids, Cymbidium hybrids and Vanda coerulea are at present being cultivated in the green house.
Scheme 3: Gene-Pool Conservation of Medicinal Plants - The importance of medicinal, aromatic and oil bearing plants as economic natural resources is well established and the State of Meghalaya is richly endowed with large varieties of these valuable plants on account of its wide range of climatic zones.
It is however unfortunate that the resource base of these medicinal plants is fast getting depleted due to random destruction of forests in private areas and there has never been any proper attempt by the users of these plants to cultivate them in a regular manner. As of now, the medicinal plans are being collected by the herbal plant practitioners from the forests in different parts of the State without replenishing them and it is felt that unless and until these plants are scientifically cultivated, many of them will disappear in no time.
The Scheme "conservation of medicinal plants" is being implemented by Silviculture Division and under this Scheme 96 nos of gene-pool conservation plots and 5 hectares plantation area have so far been successfully raised and are being maintained at different locations in East Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi and East Garo Hills. The gene-pool plots are of 3 dimensions - 6m x 6m, 8m x 8m and 12m x 12m for herbaceous, shrub and tree species, respectively. The plants species collected in these plots are - Rhus semialata, Myrica nagi, Gaultheria fragrantissima, Rubus ellipticus, Panax ginseng, Potentilla fulgens, Mentha arvensis, Swertia chirata, Solanum nigrum, Acorus calamus, Abroma agusta, Azadirachta indica, Averrhoa carambola, Nepenthes Khasiana, Terminalia arjuna, Terminalia chebula, Terminalia ballerica, Rauwalfia serpentina, Asparagus racemosus, Acquilaria agallocha, Rhododendron arboreum and Taxus baccata.
Scheme 4: Development of Bamboo - Meghalaya is well endowed with bamboo resources. According to literatures, 38 species of bamboo from 11 genera are found in Meghaaya (Biswas 1988). Difference bamboo species naturally grow in almost every parts of the State and due to prevailing varied physiographic and climatic conditions, there is diverse species distribution of bamboo in different part of the State.
- Establishment of Bambusetum - An area of 10 (ten) hectares each in Rongrengiri, East Garo Hills District and at Lumsohpetbneng in Ri Bhoi District is being taken up for setting up of bambusetum wherein about 20 to 25 species of bamboo, both indigenous and exotic will be collected and conserved ex-situ.
- Bamboo Planting Stock Production Centre - An area of 2 (two) hectares each in Rongrengiri, East Garo Hills District and at Lumsohpetbneng in Ri Bhoi District is also being taken up for setting up of bamboo nurseries to produce quality planting stock for future bamboo plantation programmes in private/ community wasteland through Social Forestry and for free distribution to the public.
Scheme 5: Establishment of Botanical Garden - An area measuring about 145 hectares at Lumsohpetbneng (Umiam), Ri Bhoi District has been acquired during the year 2001 and taken over by Khasi Hills Wildlife Division, Shillong and subsequently handed over to Silviculture Division for the purpose of setting up a Botanical Garden cum Biodiversity Conservation Centre. A Project proposal is being prepared in this regard to be implemented under the Twelfth Finance Commission Award.