Tree selection- Factors to consider.

  • Category: Management
  • Author: Fabrice Feyton
  • Published: June 21, 2020
  • Views: 562

The tree species you select will dictate your overall production, costs and yield. That is because you choose the species mainly based on the end use of the forest, but unlike other factors in forests managements, species selection can not be tempered with that easily after establishment. Check out common tree end uses

It is recommended to consider different determining factors which can affect your production quality and quantity before species selection as species productivity is a reflection of site quality, energy inputs, climatic conditions, and a wide range of others. Whether the end use is Timber production or charcoal production, each species have it’s specific demands. Factors to consider during tree selection are explained here.

1. Need

This is the beginning point. The question to ask is why do I need to plant? Is it for timber, fuelwood, building poles, fodder, fruits, soil improvements and so on. This is dictated by the market demands for market oriented production. Check out article about common tree uses to get an insight about species suitable for different end uses

2. Climatic factors

This is among those factors that can not be manipulated to met the needs of forests manager. To understand the climatic factors and the requirements of the trees species is important because trees will not grow in climatic conditions which are not favorable for them. The climatic conditions include rainfall amounts and distribution, soil types, temperature regimes, sunshine, humidity, and so on. It is therefore important to the agro-ecological information and match this information with tree species.

Most countries including Rwanda, have managed to produce maps showing the various agro-ecological zones of the country. The agro-ecological zones describe the extent of each zone, the climatic factors, suitable crops, and even suitable tree species that can be grown.

Suitable trees which can be grown in arid and semi-arid are also considered. These areas are characterized by insufficient and low moisture and only can tolerate those conditions.

3. Ability to serve various purposes

Some trees can serve many purpose. This give the forests manager an insurance room to adjust the management plan if the end use changes. Trees which can provide different kinds of benefits are normally preferred by many farmers. The term used to describe such trees is “Multipurpose” a tree for a wide range of uses.

4. Ease of management

Management means manipulating trees in order to reach your goal. This exercise is expensive, therefore trees which are easy to manage are favorite for farmers. Farmers like trees which are easy to prune, thin, pollard, lop, and so on. This exercise involves manipulation of some other factors by forest manager to achieve the desired yield by maximizing productivity and minimizing costs. Want to manage plantation for timber production.

5. Tree growth rates

Fast growing trees are preferred because they provide the products earlier. This, however, will depend on the care one provides when the trees are growing. My experience is that many people do not take of their trees and even go ahead to complain that trees are slow growing. my advice is this do not care for your trees and do not complain.

6. Resistance to pests and diseases

Pests and diseases are threats to our forests, trees which show abilities to resist to them are good candidates for selection for farmers. However, pests and diseases can be controlled by simply maintaining good hygiene around the tree be grown. Such activities as weeding, clearing bushes, spreading ash can enhance the growth of the trees.

7. Cost of establishment

Trees that can regenerate naturally through such mechanism as coppicing, pollarding are more preferred since the cost of establishing them is kept to a minimum. Nursery being a key to successful forest establishment, still it needs a large budget for its establishment, that is why species which can be propagated through direct sowing of wildlings are preferable, but at some point, nursery establishment is inevitable when planting on large scale. Use our nursery budget template to plan for nursery establishment

I am student in Forestry and am happy to contribute to the available knowledge regarding this field. I am interested in use of data and technology to improve how forest sector is perceived and to improve investments in the sector....

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