LEH: After year-long deliberations, the union territory administration has finally declared Juniperus semiglobosa—the Juniper Tree or Shukpa as it is known locally, as the State Tree of Ladakh.
“The Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Ladakh is pleased to declare “Juniperus semiglobosa” (Juniper Tree/ Ladakhi- Shukpa) as State Tree of the Union Territory of Ladakh,” said an official order issued by Dr. Vasanthakumar Namasivayam, Commissioner Secretary for Forest, Ecology & Environment on Monday.
In December last year, the State tree and flower committee had proposed ‘Shukpa’ as the state tree, besides ‘Tsersnon’ as the state flower and had placed their names in the public domain for suggestions and comments from experts and the general public.
Shukpa is from the cupressaceae family and is commonly known as “Himalayan pencil cedar”, officials said.
The plant is locally known as ‘Shukpa’ in Buddhist communities and ‘Chilgi’ among the Brokpa tribes of Ladakh.
The tree, which is confined to dry tracts of western and north-western Himalayas between 2,800 to 3,800 meters above sea level, is declining in its population due to low germination of seeds and over-exploitation, they said.
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