Notes to broadcasters
Information on this topic was requested by DCFRN Participants in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Dominica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Kenya, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Uruguay.
Presenter: George Atkins
Interviewees: David Coyle, Andy Kenny.
Through this Network, we bring you information on ways to increase food supplies for your family, or to sell—ways that other farmers have used successfully.
Today, let’s talk again about planting trees. Here’s George Atkins.
First you must prepare the place where you’ll be planting the trees—and remember, you’ll be planting them out after the rainy season has begun. Here’s what forester Andy Kenny told me about that.
If you have some compost or manure, you could put some of that in the bottom of the hole and then mix in some of that good soil from the topsoil pile until the hole is about half full. Be sure the soil is moist. If it isn’t, add water and let it soak in. It should be moist but not wet by the time you’re ready to plant your tree. I asked Andy Kenny about getting the seedling trees from your nursery.
If your seedling tree is growing in a container that will rot in the ground, just slit the sides of the container from top to bottom with a knife. Then you can plant the whole thing in the planting hole. If it’s a container that won’t rot right away—a plastic bag, bamboo cup, coconut shell, or something like that, carefully remove it—but DON’T DISTURB THE SOIL MASS AROUND THE ROOTS.
Gently place your tree, roots, soil mass and all, in the middle of the planting hole. As you do this and as you fill in soil around the roots and soil mass, you must be sure that the tree will not be planted too deep or too shallow. It’s important that it be the same depth at which it was growing in its container.
When you fill in around the roots and soil mass, first use up the rest of the pile of good topsoil you dug out of the hole. After it’s all used, push it down firmly with your hands around the soil mass your seedling tree is growing in. Then fill in the rest of the hole with soil from the other pile you made earlier—the poorer soil you dug out from lower down in the hole.
Now here’s more advice from the two foresters Andy Kenny and David Coyle.
But what if you have no flat stones like that? Is there anything else you might do to help the tree get started? I asked Andy Kenny this question. Would it be worthwhile to put some other kind of mulch, like grass or leaves, on top of the soil in that area?
We’ve been chatting here at the Rural Industries Innovation Centre in Kanye in Botswana with Andy Kenny and David Coyle, two agroforesters.
Serving Agriculture, the Basic Industry, this is George Atkins.
This item is one of a series on “Planting Trees” in DCFRN Packages 9 and 10. They are:
Why Plant Trees? – Package 9, Item 1D
Planting Trees – (Part 1 – First Steps) Package 9 Item 2
Planting Trees – (Part 2 – Growing Your Own Seedling Trees) Package 9, Item 3
Planting Trees – (Part 3 – Where and When to Plant Trees) Package 10, Item 4
Planting Trees – (Part 4 – Transplanting Seedling Trees) Package 10, Item 5
Planting Trees – (Part 5 – Care of Trees after Transplanting) Package 10, Item 6
The information in this series should be used in the correct sequence.
Information sources for items 4, 5, and 6
Techniques and Plants for Tropical Subsistence Farms (56 pages), “Trees”, pages 33-39, by Franklin W. Martin and Ruth M. Ruberte, Agricultural Reviews and Manuals, ARM-S-8 July 1980, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Science and Education Administration, Washington, D.C. U.S.A. https://www.ars-grin.gov/may/documents/1980%20-%20Subsistence%20Farm.pdf
Additional sources of information
1. Reforestation in Arid Lands (248 pages), by V.C. Palmer, available from Volunteers in Technical Assistance (V.I.T.A.), Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A. Also available from Peace Corps, Information Collection and Exchange, Office of Program Development, Washington, D.C., U.S.A. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED242563.pdf
2. Firewood Crops: Shrub and Tree Species for Energy Production Vols. 1 (236 pages) and 2 (92 pages), published by the National Academy of Sciences, available from BOSTID (JH-217D), National Research Council, Washington, D.C., U.S.A. Downloadable at https://www.nap.edu/catalog/21317/firewood-crops-shrub-and-tree-species-for-energy-production
3. Manual of Reforestation and Erosion Control for the Philippines (569 pages), GTZ series No. 22, compiled by H.J. Weidelt, published by the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), Eschborn, West Germany. https://wocatpedia.net/wiki/File:GIZ_(1975)-_Manual_of_reforestation_and_erosion_control_for_the_Philippines,_full-version.pdf