Monday, 03 October 2022


Manipur has 78.92 percent of its total geographical area covered by forests according to the ground survey report of the Forest Survey of India in 1995. This accounts for an area of 17,621 sq. km. under forest cover. However, this is variable with reports of various other agencies, which will be discussed in detailed later.

The forest classification according to vegetation types goes well along vertical altitudinal stratifications as can be seen below. A broad classification of forests according to the status of forest cover interpreted from the Land sat imagery is being produced in the Map(Types of Forest)

FSI Classification

Champion and Seth's classification



Cachar Tropical semi evergreen

upto 900 m



upto 900 m

Wet Hill Forest

Khasi-sub-tropical wet Hill Forest

900-1800 m


Assam sub-tropical Pine Forest

900-1800 m

Wet Temperate Forest

Wet temperature Forests

1800- 2700 m

Sub-Alpine Forest


above 2700 m

Semi Evergreen Forests: 

These forests are found in the western part of Manipur adjoining Cachar district of Assam. The climax forests of this type comprise a vegetation of Laurus-Melia Bauhinia association. Family Lauraceae is represented by Phoebe lanceolata, Cinnamom cecidodaphne, C. abtusifolium, Actinodaphne sikkimensis, A. aboyata, Machilus macrantha, M. parviflora, Litsaea salicifolia, Lindera merlastomaea, Meliceae includes, Amoora rohituka, A. wallichii, Toona ciliata, Cedrela febrifusa, Dysoxlum binectariferum and D. hamiltonii.

Bauhinia as a co dominant is represented by B. purpurea and B. Variegata. Other species like, Artocarpus chaplasha, Palagim polyanthum, Cynometra polyandra, Tetrameles nudiflora, Eugenia sp., Vitex sp., Gmelina sp. Pasania sp., Allanthus grandis, Schimavallichii, Ilex khasia, Sapium baccatu, Evodia meliaefolia, Eleocarpus lancifolia, E. aristara, Morus laevigata are also found in abundance.

These forests cover 439.70 of Tree forest and 205.19 of the open forest which together constitute 4.26% of total forest area of the state. Extensive lush growth of Muli bamboo (Melocanna basifera) can also be seen on the abandoned jhum fields.

Teak Gurjan Forests: 

These forests are found along the eastern longitudinal strip of Indo-Burma border at low altitude under a tropical climate constituting 4.03% of total forest area. The dominant species of this belt are Tectona grandis, Dipterocarpus tuburculatus, D. tearbinatus, Melanorrahoea usitata, Dillenia sp., Xylia sp., Langestroemia sp., Terminalia sp., Gmelina sp., Bombax sp., etc.

Area covered by different forest types under Tree Forest and Open Forest, 1976


Tree Forest

Open Forest

Area (

P.C. to Total Forest Area

Area (

P.C. to Total Forest Area

Wet Hill










Wet Temperate





Teak Gurjan















Source : Statistical Bulletin of Forest Department, 1999-2000, Govt. of Manipur.

Wet hill Forests: 

A Saurauja-Belischmiedia-phoebe association is found to cover the upper slopes upto the top of the medium elevations. The dominant species are, Saouraja nepalensis, S. panduana, S. roxburhiana, Phoebe lanceolata, P. paniculata, Beilscmiedia assamica, B. rosburghiana, Schima wallichii, Quercus sp. Nyssa sessiliflora, Cinnamom cecidodaphne, C. pauciflora, Eriobotrya bengalensis, Echinocarpus dasycarpus, Morus laevigata, Litsea panamonja, L. sebifera, Cryptocarea andersoni, Machilus odoratissima, M. parviflora, M. bombycina, Ostodes paniculata, Lithocarpus spicatus, Engelhadtia sp., Vaecinium dominianum, Castanopsis sp. These forests are found extensively in the state cevering an area of 3918.20 of Tree forests and 2,672.09 of Open forests that may account for 43.49% of the total forest area of the state.

Pinus Casia Forests: 

Pine forests are found in the sub-mountain zones of the north-eastern and southern hills of Manipur. These form 10.03% of the tree forests and 6.09% of the open forests. Associated dominant species are, Quercus sp., Pasania sp., Castanopsis sp. etc.

Forest Area According to Vegetation Types, 1976

Vegetation Type

Area in

P.C. to total forest area

P.C. to total land area

Tree Forests




Open Forests




Bamboo brakes




Grass brakes








Source : Statistical Bulletin of Forest Department, 1995-96, Govt. of Manipur.

Wet Temperate Forests: 

Extensive luxurianth prmary forests can be seen between the altitudes 1800-2700 M. the area covered is predominantly by the Tree forest i.e. 8.48% while disturbed open forests account for only 1.10% of total forest area. A vegetation of Quercus Manolia-Acer association is found in these forests. The dominant species are Quercus lamellosa, Q. lineata, Q. glauca, Pasania xylocarpa, P. pachyphylla, P. truncata, Michelia lanugiosa, M. Campbell, Phoeba paniculata, Schima khasiana, Alseodaphane dumicola, Castanopsis tribuloides, Evodia fraxinifolia, Acer campbelli, Betula alnodes, Prunus cerasoides, Pyrus pashia, Osa gigantia, Mohima manipurensis, Manglietia insignis, Illicium griffithii, Bucklandia pupulanea, Michlia manipurensis etc. The high altitude dwarf bamboo, Arundinaria malines is also met with in these forests.

Sub-Alpine Forests: 

Not many ranges reach a height beyond 2700 M in Manipur. a sub-alpine vegetation is observed on sporadic hill tops with characteristic species comprising Prunus sp., Pyrus sp., Taxus sp. Ilex sp., Ternstroemia sp., Bucklandia populanea, Acer campbelli, Magnolia campbelli, Castanopsis aribuloides, Rhododendron madinii, R. johnstoneaum, R. manipurensis, R. Wattii, R. elliottii, Primula sp. etc.

Bamboo Brakes: 

Vast continuous growths of bamboo specially the species Melocanna basifera (Muli), Dendrocalamus hamiltonii (patcha) and Tainostachy dulloa (Duloo) occur below 1700 M in the Western, South-Western and North-Western parts of the state. Besides these, patchy growths occur throughout the state comprising the species like Bambusa balcooa, B. pallida, B. khasiana, B. kingiana, B. vulgaris, B. arundinacea, Melocanna humilis, Cephalostachyum fuchsianum, C. pogracilo. Some species grow as understorey in tree forests. The bamboo brakes cover an area of 3268.00 which is 14.64% of the total geographical area of the state or 21.51% of the total forest area.

Cane Brakes: 

In the shady, wet ill-drained humus-rich clay soils found particularly in the western hills under tropical climates, impenetrable thorny thickets of various species of canes grow along with palm trees such as Livistoinia, Lionia, sp. etc and Duloo bamboos. Important cane species are Calamus tenuis, C. leptospadix, C. floribundus and C. erectus.

Minor Products: 

Various forms of animal produce, Bamboo and Cane, Fodder and Fuelwood, Grass and reeds, Inces and Perfume and Medicinal plants form the minor forest products which account for a total value of 21 lakhs of annual revenue of the state. This is to the tune of about 40 p.c. of total annual forest revenue. Agarwood, Dalchini and Smilax form significant groups among these.

Legal Classification: 

The legal position of forest administration in the state is fluid. The government has extended its control to a small portion of the forest comprising 1,467 of Reserved Forest and 4,171 sq. km. of Protected Forest which together constitute only 25.25 p.c. of the total area or 31.99 p.c. of the total forest area. The remaining 68.01 p.c. of forests are unclosed forests under the control of the tribal populations. These unclosed forests are subject to widespread injudicious exploitation of the hill people who at some area meticulously guard patches of tree growth.

 Important Tree Species:

The state has an annual potential cut of 110,468 cu.m. of plywood quality trees, 40.731 cu.m. of Timber species. Annual cuts of 407, 928 cu.m. and 35.804 cu.m. respectively of pulpwood and coffers can be made for industries like paper and match factories etc. Poles and Bamboos still substantiate this potential. Important tree species of different economic uses.

Annual Potential Cut of Forest Cover in Manipur, 1976


Potential Cut (Cu.m.)

Broad-leaved species (Plywood quality)


Sawn Timber




Pulpwood and fuel


Coniferous wood


Bamboo (lakhs tonnes air dry weight)