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Tibet Guide

Shigatse Forest and Grassland

Author:tibetbest.net     Last updated:2013/12/17 17:52:05     Onclick:1293

Xigaze has a territory of 17.6 million hectares, of which 79,500 hectares are cultivated. About 75,000 hectares can grow crops year round, mainly along the valleys of the Yarlung Zangbo River, the Nyang Qu River and the Penqoi River.

About 33,000 hectares of wasteland are waiting to be cultivated. In Xigaze, 9.466 million hectares are grasslands, and 7.333 hectares of that can be used. Apart from a few grasslands around lakes, most are alpine grasslands. The southern Tibet valley boasts the finest grasslands in Tibet, which provide the best quality grass upon which the famous Gamba sheep feed. About 20,000 hectares of grasslands are suitable for growing trees and grass. Due to rich water resources and premium grass, the river valleys have immense potential for cultivating human-made grasslands and developing modern animal husbandry grass. Zongba, Saga and Ngamring counties, located west of Xigaze, are important pasturelands.

Xigaze boasts a total forest area of 41,600 hectares, with a lumber reserve of 10 million cubic meters. Most of the forest is grown on the southern slope of the Himalayas in Yadong, Zham, Chengtang and Rongxa. The river valleys are farming areas, suitable for growing poplar and willow trees. There are now human-made forests, but, on the whole, the forest area in Xigaze covers only 0.24 percent of the whole region.

Xigaze is a traditional farming area in Tibet, with a long history and a variety of crops. In river valleys, lakeshores and places with pleasant weather, people grow different kinds of crops. Main crops include barley, wheat, canola and beans, and barley is grown in the largest areas. The valleys of the Himalayas in Gyilung, Tingri and Yadong grow corn, millet and buckwheat. Main vegetable crops include cabbage, radish, lotus, asparagus lettuce, spinach, celery, Chinese chives, hot pepper, tomato, cucumber and garlic. Some places also grow fruit crops such as apples and nuts. Local people also like to grow flowers, such as zholma flower, galsang flower, Chinese rose, rose, Chinese flowering crabapple, among dozens of others.

Commonly seen species of trees in Xigaze area include the alpine pine, the Himalayan fir, the Himalayan dragon spruce, the birch, and the Tibet larch. The long-leaf dragon spruce, the Chinese hemlock, the long-leaf pine, the Himalayan ormosia fir and the snow pine are rare and special species of this area. Xigaze is also home to many typical alpine plants that grow in the shape of cushions with highly developed stems and leaves. Huge, resplendent and vital, they brave the gusts and snow. Among the varied wild plants, more than 300 species possess herbal value, the most famous of which are the bulb of fritillary, dangshen (Codonopsis pilosula), Chinese caterpillar fungus (Cordyceps sinensis), tuber of elevated gastrodis (Gastrodia elata), root of membranous milk vetch (Astragalus membranaceus), coptis root, rhodiola root, Chinese angelica, fleece-flower root, Chinese ephedra (Ephedra sinica), Asiatic plantain (Plantago asiatica), and wild aconite root and aster.

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