Tree of the Year Nepal

Photograph • Preserve • Publicise

Asian Tree of the Year Nepal 2019

Winner 2019 - 1st Position

Tree of the Year Nepal, 2019

Photo credit: Rajib Kharel

In the Himalayan landscape, one encounters natural and cultural heritages that are sometimes overwhelming. Standing tall at the backdrop of some of the tallest mountain peaks of the world, this tree sets an example to the enduring capacity of life. Believed to have survived for hundreds of years in the harshest climate, she still stands tall and provides in numerous ways to mountain people, birds, animals and other creatures who live in close vicinity. The village of Chhoser is approximately 4000 meters above sea-level. This portion of the Himalayas is called the ‘rain shadow area’ or the ‘Himalayan/alpine desert’ where there is hardly any rainfall. Winter covers the landscape in thick blanket of snow and summers are hotter. But beating all odds, this tree has grown, attained maturity and continues to surge higher.

Very near to the village of Chhoser lies the famous sky-caves of Mustang. It is quite certain that this tree has provided much needed relief and shade to the pilgrims and travelers that have walked beneath her for millennia. The mountain people feature her in their rituals, worships and daily life. The local legend speaks of the tree highly as it ‘personifies the Divine’.

The immediate landscape surrounding this tree is dry yet colorful. The fragile soil that gets blown away by the powerful winds finds strength in her large roots. At a time when the mountain creatures have started to witness and experience the challenging impacts of climate change, an age-old narrative of endurance of this tree offers hope and inspiration.

This beautiful tree is an inspiration to life.

Winner 2019 - 1st runner up

Tree of the Year Nepal, 2019

Photo credit: - Binita Karki

Life cannot be found in noise and restlessness.

Nature is the friend of silence.

It amazes me when I reach to this beautiful tree far from the city at a hilltop which is living in Peace and understands my soul even without speaking a word. I often travel to this place to get rid of the city life and encounter a friendly ambience. It has seen so called development and urbanization of cities which have almost devastated the essence of nature, but has continued to stand still and adamant. It is the time we acknowledge that "NATURE" is always at the top which is made evident by this "TREE". Besides, this Peepal tree holds a religious importance which is also a key factor for its survival.

Winner 2019 - 2nd runner up

Tree of the Year Nepal, 2019

Photo credit: - Sanju Raut

In the middle of the mustard plant field of Khokana, Acacia Catechu (Khaari) tree stands alone for around 200 years as estimated by the locals. The tiny Newari village at Lalitpur District is famous in the country for the mustard oil it produces. It is recorded that Khokana’s Traditional Mill produces about fifty metric tons of mustard oil every year.

Moreover, according to the 77-year-old resident, the Khari tree is believed as the incarnation of god, it is said the tree grew on its own. If the tree is cut down there will be chaos of death. It is worshipped by the locals, every year Guthi of Khokana organize event to worship and banquet to make the god happy.

Under its shades, it holds small house for farmers to store tools or protect them from rain and water tank which is built by people for clean drinking water for farmers. It is the only place in Khokana where people come together and grow their crops every year.

Photo credit: - Aditya Pal

I was in the field for Environment Impact assessment (EIA) of high-tension extension line of electricity in remote village of Dhading. On the way, I came across this beautiful tree of “Titri”. I was mesmerized by the fruit at the top. As I was trying to fall “Titri” by throwing the stones over, an old man came across and asked me the purpose of me being there. I explained him about EIA, old man requested to sit with him on that bench for a while. I gracefully sat, then he started explaining about the tree, “This used to be the place of gathering. Children were fond of this place, we have hanged rope swing on the tree. It used to be the garden of joy. But now, youngsters and children left the village”. At present the tree is lonely as only old people gather. Most of the youth have migrated towards cities for better opportunities. Then the most heart touching words that came from the old man was his wish to see the tree at the same place despite of development activities necessary for the village. We villagers have a lot of memory attached with this tree.

Photo credit: - Bikisha Shrestha

A tree so high, thick strong trunks, deeply rooted into soil surviving for decades. It has changed its appearance with change in seasons over past many decades, some months failed with green leaves while remain naked for months only with dry branches. Tired farmers rest under its shade enjoying slight breeze of wind on a sunny day. Birds make chirping sounds while resting in the branches after long hours of travelling. Some build their home between branches flying and collecting small sticks to provide a safe place for raising their children until they are grown enough to fly. What if this tree would not have been planted? Where would have this birds rested? Could we enjoy cool breeze coming from this tree? As a matter of fact, this tree was planted by my grandfather to separate lands of two different owners. Though he is not with us today, he left this tree for us, for these birds reminding us about his presence.

Photo credit: - Grishma Singh

When I am here I can think about all the good things coming my way. All the paths are clear and easy to start. I hope there is a place like this tree for all of us because every tree gives you oxygen but very few gives you the courage to go back and actually live.

Photo credit: - Yangzum Lama

I never really valued this tree until it wasn’t in my garden anymore. Up until 12 years old, I played around our garden often circling this tree and others surrounding it. My dad told me that my grandfather planted it after getting the land from his father. He passed away when I was 2 years old so I have no memories of him but this living, breathing tree.

Unfortunately, we had to sell our garden because of financial pressure and lure from high paying businessmen who convinced my dad that keeping a garden in a “business” area meant ultimate loss. It makes sense when you think from that perspective but ever since a wall was built between “their” garden and our home, I realized I had formed an inexplicable attachment to this tree. While all other trees were cut down, this one still stands tall, proud and (maybe) betrayed. Its early spring and the leaves are gradually showing up. I enjoy looking at the wind pass through the leaves to tickle them and remind myself that change is eternal and to live in the moment. Because, eventually, a house will be built where the tree stands now.

Photo credit: - Akita Thapa

In the fall, we sympathize with the trees when nobody talks about the leaves And how they wander far into a foreign land.
Unknown of the fate, the breeze beholds.
Yet, we only talk about the tree having to withstand the bitter cold.
Bare and naked.
When it’s the leaves that leave the land, only to be taken to a faraway land And the trees grow green only the next spring.
But the leaves are crumbled deep within, forgotten and never to be seen.
It is tragic how it is always about the trees and never the leaves!

Photo credit: - Sadikshya Devkota

This tree is standing nearby a narrow street of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. Its native name is Peepal. In Nepal, more than 80% people follow Hindu religion and they worship Peepal tree considering it as the manifestation of Lord Vishnu. When I was approaching to click a photo of this silent tree, my open eyes disclosed an amazing reality. The tree was standing on the roof of a small shrine of Lord Krishna, another incarnation of Vishnu. Its stretched roots were holding the roof and walls of the shrine as if Krishna is the ultimate protector of a tree. This is the posture of the peepal for hundreds of years. ''Oh human being, I'm safe till the date just because I took shelter on the shrine of my own embodiment otherwise you would have already fell down for your free space. I'm safe on my own but protect other trees from you!'' Isn't it the plead of this peepal tree towards us? When will we pay attention to the alarm before losing our own beat and breathe in the planet!

Photo credit: - Nahir Shrestha

"I see hundreds of people every day – some local, some native and some from different parts of the world. Each day I embrace the scenic beauty of my home, of Nagarkot with them at an altitude of 2,175 meter. However, my home,where these people come to seek tranquility, is not always a place of serenity for me. At times I wish I could move as freely as them, especially in the winters when the winds lash my branches blow after blow. Just imagine, 'to be able to travel and see different parts of the world?' Oh, how wonderful it would be!"

Photo credit: - Upendra Shahi

This rubber plant grown up inside Rani Pokhari is the eye witness for what's happening in this Heritage after it was completely destroyed from 2015 earthquake and is still under construction. It's been long that this plant haven't seen water for a long time.

Photo credit: - Manish Jung Pulami

People there can't remember how old the tree is. The old people remember the tree with the same grace and youngness as they did in their childhood days. The tree has been standing still and greener than previous years after local government announced Halesituwachung Municipality as "Dry Area or Dryland". People and cattle have been struggling for drinking water and irrigation totally depends upon the rain. Rs 1/liter is the rate to carry water down from Dudh Koshi, but the tree has been managing to find itself water from the top of the hill.
It also carries great religious importance. It is considered the form of Lord Bishnu. Though there aren't any temples made nearby, but on special occasions like "Baisakh Purnima" and "Mangsir Purnima", people worship the tree with great devotion. Back in the Panchayat system, the tree has witnessed and its shades have given chill breezes to local Panchayat meetings and the whole era as people can remember.But a question that this tree reflects is, "how can a tree stand so green and firm with no sign of falling?" where all other living beings around it are dying of thirst.

Photo credit: - Mukta Gurung

"The Chaupari" combination of three giant trees shami, banyan and peepal. It was totally covered by dense jungle seventy years ago. Nobody knows who planted it. First people to migrate here were Kumal cast, they had seen in same height and further bigger size. All the people have questions, who planted it? But answer is mysterious.
Hindus have great religious value of these trees, every morning, mostly women come and worship these as symbol of God. Once in a year women gather here to sing and dance in teej song to celebrate great Teej festival of Nepali woman. It cast about an area of 1500 square meter shadow so summer is more funny here for gathering people. It is dwelling place for many birds and wild bees too.
The middle banyan tree once tilted at 60 degrees due to overload towards right because of the earthquake , soon some people cut down the heavier branches of right then it raised somewhat and it is still tilting at about 86 degrees to the right. People of this village have special care living long to this Chaupari as it is show piece and ornament of the village.

Photo credit: - Adarsha Maden

In the countries around the world where pine trees grow, many legends, beliefs, and folklore surround this magnificent tree. To some people around the world, the pine tree is a symbol of peace. To others, it is a symbol of fertility, masculinity, and winter. But no matter where it grows, it will always be a tree that gives birth to legends and a tree that gives as much love and nurture to us as we've given to it. It is also used for the manufacture of high-quality particle board and turpentine obtained from the resin of pine trees is antiseptic, diuretic, rubefacient and vermifuge.
As other trees, pine are also grown in a large group making the hills more greener but this pine tree has found its life on top of the giant rock which is near to my house. I have seen it standing alone and growing strong through winds and rains. Yet it never felt alone but alway stand like a candle on a cake, lighting its beauty on that giant rock. I spent most of my childhood playing around on that rock where the view of the entire town looks mesmerizing to me. No doubt that I am an introvert as I have made that pine tree my friend. However, I never tried to speak to it. I was a child not a mental. But this pine tree have gave me so much lesson to learn in my personal life. I still visit there ones in a year, things have changed and so do I. Civilization have been taken place around that giant rock, but people managed to preserve it. By seeing it still standing there just like decade ago makes me smile and please my mind recalling my memories with it.
“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”

Photo credit: - Rajdip Lama

This tree’s name is LAKURI. Soon, the tree will be blossoming with red flowers all over. The flowers are juicy and have a sweet taste. My grandpa planted this tree, so it’s been around even before my birth. It’s probably about eighty years old.
This tree doesn’t earn me anything. I once asked grandpa why he’d planted the tree. I learnt from his response that my grandpa was a kind man- he’d planted the tree so that people could rest in its cool shade, while birds could find an abode and food at the same time.
Today, children play around the tree, and both the youth and the elderly regularly gather around the tree and chat and rest. Seeing all this activity, I feel proud of my grandpa.
My 9 year old grandson has already planted a similar Lakuri tree at back yard of our house, following the footsteps of my grandpa. Since last year, he has been taking good care of the tree. I am hopeful that my future generations, wherever they may be will give continuity to my grandpa’s ideals, says Rup Bahadur Khatri, 52, local resident.

Photo credit: - Niten Lama

This is Khari tree. This tree was almost slashed down completely but was saved from being cut down by Amrit Maan Singh Pradhan, for whom the tree was more than just a normal tree. Since generations, his family has been worshipping the tree as the incarnation of Goddess Kumari. If the tree hadn't hold the status of a Goddess, the tree would have already been cut down as for surrounding corporate houses, the tree only overtook the unwanted space and stood there as a burden. The credit goes to Mr.Singh that the tree still stand upright to this day.

Photo credit: - Iresh Hamal

Sal(Shorea robusta), is a very useful tree. Sal is one of the most important sources of hardwood timber in Nepal. The wood is resinous and durable for constructing frames for doors and windows. It is strong like iron and used in place of iron somewhere. Leaves of sal are a major source for the production of local leaf plates and vessels called "tapari"and"doona" which are mostly used in ritual occasion. Most of the old buildings, temple, and wood craft are made up of sal wood and can be reused after 100 of years. Carpenters are making good income making furniture from this wood."Hariyo Baan Nepal ko Dhan" probably these words represents tree Sal.

Photo credit: - Sunita Parajuli

BUDDHA CHITTA(Ziziphus budhensis) is one of the most valuable tree mainly found in timal village of Kavre Palanchok district. "Mala"garland made from the fruit of this tree is highly demanded among Buddhist of Nepal, China and other countries. "Buddha mala" made of small size 108 beads normally costs upto 3 lakhs . 55 year old, Ramlal shrestha is selling one tree upto ten to twelve lakh every year. He explains this tree planted by his ancestor is taking care of his children as a big source of income. A good production of a tree can cost upto 1 crore every year. Because of very good source of income most of the people in this village and nearby villagers are planting Buddha chitta every year in large numbers.

Photo credit: - Saru Basnet

This Chap tree was planted on 15th of Falgun 1910 B.S by a local named Udaya Bahadur Khatri. Many ancient trees are being cut down due to development projects and construction of buildings, but this tree has stood still for more than seventeen decades. The “Chautari” around the tree continues to provide space for the public to discuss their concerns on key issues of the society. According to the road-expansion plan, the tree was supposed to be cut down three years ago however; the admiration and affiliation of the local public prevented authorities from demolishing this special tree.
Only if this tree could speak today, it would regale us the struggles of the locality and other historical tales ranging from Rana Regime to Panchayat. It is the silent witness of our past and has witnessed all socio-economic as well as cultural transformations through different phases. It is the living link to the past that no man has recorded.
Besides the societal aspect, no Hindu religious functions including marriage are conducted without the leaves of the Chap tree. But such is the irony that Chap is listed among the rare plants today whose significance and existence is in the verge of disappearance.

Photo credit: - Bipendra Basnet

As a part of my internship, I had to visit farmers of and around Rajbiraj. During one of these chores, I visited Mr. Chandra Shah. My work there took almost half an hour, so I had the pleasure of talking with him. A man in his 60s, who served as a secondary school teacher for 25 years, he explained about his difficulties during his twenty five years at Far Western Hilly Region (Manma). He was the black sheep, mocked and mimicked by his fellow colleagues and students because of his origin and accent. At first, he disliked the people and taught students, of whom he was very proud of and was very fond of talking about. Now, when he looks back into that life, he vividly enjoys it. After retiring as a teacher he works as a farmer and lives all by himself in the farm and looks after it. He planted this tree after his wife died and now, has a bed under its shade. And this tree like him doesn’t regret being the black sheep of the herd, taller and bigger than other greens, it lives to serve it purpose and dangles with other greens to provide shade and helps other grow. Like Chandra did being a teacher for twenty five years.

Photo credit: - Ranju Thakur

Located at the middle of Duwakot area, surrounded by houses and other trees of Bhaktapur, lies the Peepal tree which is approximately and 200 years old.
The most attractive of that place is we can see beautiful scene like sunset everyday which is awesome scenery and sometimes rainbow at the same time of raining which provides peace to our eyes and environment, the people of that locality used to sit and talk there, children play there feel good and think about positive thoughts. Based on the location of tree the area called “Milan Chowk”
One day when people of that locality were gathered together and discussed about how to protect our oldest “Peepal Tree” And they decided that instead of cutting tree, we should implant more trees we cut one tree implant two or more, so that our environment and our family remain safe from harmful substances or things. There is a saying that it is gives more oxygen than any other trees. It is important host plant for summer brood of lac insect.
Up to now the mentality of people is to protect and conserve the environment so they have planted a lots of trees there. But I hope this tree and the mentality people remain same as today. As the construction of new houses going on around it.

Photo credit: - Dirgaman Gurung

After returning back from Kathmandu, I decided not to go back and work in my own village. This is the initial phase of my work and I think I am doing very good at it. I am happy living with my family and working, producing and selling oranges. Beside this , Saving Green is Important meanwhile , I am also endgaged in other agricultural activities and farming in Gorkha.

Photo credit: - Biplav Karki

During my short trek , I witnessed this beautiful tree. The trees around it was destroyed sothat the owner could sell the land as it touched the highway. This are the few last of them standing in the corner and watching the event. They are safe because they lives at the corner.

Photo credit: - Anita Lama

Dravya Devi Than Temple lies behind my house in Balthali at a hilltop. I have grown up playing around it . The land was surrounded by forest now there are these few protected in the name of God. I wish all of them were here. I miss them whenever I go there and also feel good that few are still there.

Photo credit: - Mohan Jaishi

This tree has its own scientific importance as well as religious value in Hindu religion because of which it was safe during the construction of new road in the village.

Photo credit: - Swopnil Ghimire

This two trees in the middle of the junction of thamel holds the name for place as "Thamel Peepal Boat" . They acts as pole for wires passing through them. Resting place for dogs and they are at the oldest age possible. Their base are broken already. They have been protecting themselves from growing city.

Photo credit: - Arun Chettri

This tree stands in the hilltop watching Bhaktapur valley and me along with my family and friends lives next to this beautiful tree. It just a tree but when I go and sit around it. It's often peaceful. It has been our playground. Growing up next to this tree has taught a lot in life. It's like significant to life. Beside this, the only reason for it's being safe is that , it holds the soil at the edge of the land. People are afraid of sinking land so, this is safe.

Photo credit: - Bibek Poudel

My great great grandfather had seen a dream in bahundangi of a plant in which time tiger used to attack to cows, later on the people of particular location came to realize that it’s due to the haphazard deforestation of forest for living and households the tiger used to attact cows, later on my great great grand father consulted a priest and talked about the dream and found the tree in northeast part in banundangi and protection was done. People of bahundangi came to know this tree was around 200 years old; its believed to be tallest tree of Nepal by the locality also might be listed in Asia’s tallest. The interesting part is that new plant have been born from the hoist of this tree.