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.
Once again, let’s think about trees. And why should we do that? With the answer, here’s George Atkins.
– for firewood and all the other uses we have for wood
– for fruits, nuts, leaves, sap, and bark that we use
– for shade from the sun and protection from wind
– for the way they help to keep our soil from washing away, and
– for many other good reasons as well.
Have you ever really thought about all those things that trees provide for us?
If you have, perhaps you are one of the many farmers who has decided to plant trees to replace all the trees that you and other people have been cutting down. Maybe you’ve decided to plant trees in areas where there aren’t any now. One thing that everyone who plants trees must remember though is that there’s a lot more to growing trees than just planting them.
This is something I talked about with Andy Kenny and David Coyle, two foresters in Botswana. They told me this:
So somehow we have to keep the animals away from the trees that we planted. I think it’s very important that we put up strong fences to protect our young trees.
Now there’s another way of protecting young trees from poultry and animals. It’s very effective but you have to keep doing it season after season.
Have you ever noticed that animals won’t eat anything that has their manure or urine on it? Well I know of farmers who keep animals away from their trees by using these animal wastes. Here’s how they do it:
In Ghana, they mix fresh manure from the animals with water to make a soupy mixture. They leave it for three days to ferment (rot or go bad). Then they paint this thick strong-smelling liquid on their seedling trees.
On an island in the eastern Indian Ocean, there’s a man who mixes up fresh goat, chicken and cow manure with a bit of mud and diluted urine. He paints the trunks, branches, and twigs, even of bigger trees, with this mixture. He also applies it lightly to leaves and buds; and even during the heavy rains in the rainy season, his trees are safe from goats. He always paints the trees again after a month, however, because the heavy rains will eventually wash the mixture off the trees.
But now, there’s one other thing we must do to be sure that our young seedling trees get a good start. This hint comes from David Coyle.
First: If your trees are planted properly, at the right season of the year, they shouldn’t need much watering. But if it gets very dry, give them water if you can; and if you do water them, give them enough to really soak down to where the roots are.
Second: Young trees must be well protected from livestock and poultry; and
Third: Be sure to keep weeds and grass from growing around each seedling tree you have planted, at least until they’re well started.
Finally, a couple more thoughts from our two foresters:
If you see the value of planting trees both for you and your children in the future, certainly planting trees continuously as you cut them is always a good idea.
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.
This is an item that you could easily break up into two shorter ones. The first would deal with the long-term aspect of an individual farmer or group of farmers undertaking and caring for trees in a tree-growing project. The second deals specifically with the care of trees right after transplanting.
Information on protecting newly planted seedling trees from animals by applying animal urine and manure was found in the following:
a) ECHO Development Notes No 9, September 1984, (page 4), Published by ECHO, North Fort Meyers, Florida, U.S.A. Downloadable at https://www.echocommunity.org/en/resources/e1aa1982-6bcc-4fe6-bc74-d5634991f547
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.), 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