Notes to broadcasters
These spots encourage farmers to integrate tree planting into their farming practices. They can be used to introduce agroforestry topics, or to promote special radio programs about farming with trees. The spots can be separated by musical interludes, and used together in a series; or they can stand alone and be played separately, at different times of the day, week or month.
Planting trees is one way we can ensure a steady supply of wood.
Where is the best place to plant a new tree? First decide what kind of tree you want. Then observe where that kind of tree grows naturally. Plant the tree seed or seedling in a similar place. If you find tree seedlings sprouting by the roadside or in fields, then plant those kinds of trees in sunny, open areas. Trees that are seen growing on the forest floor – those kinds of trees should be planted in shaded areas only.
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Planting trees is one way for us to ensure a steady supply of wood. Here’s an easy way to plant some kinds of trees.
You can use the branches of some kinds of trees to grow new trees. Simply cut a branch from a tree. A good size for a cutting is about two metres long – about the same height as an adult man. When planted, one third of the cutting should be below ground and two thirds should remain above the ground. Choose branch cuttings from trees that grow well in your region to make living fences and green borders.
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Did you know that you can plant trees in pasture?
Some farmers plant fruit trees in pasture. By this I mean that trees are growing in the same fields where their animals graze. The farmers protect the trees from the animals at first, until the trees are bigger. Some popular trees are avocados, oranges, mangoes, mangosteen, and papayas. It’s a good idea to plant the trees in rows. There should be about twenty or twenty-five metres between each row of trees. This way the trees will not shade the pasture too much, but you’ll still have enough trees to get a good crop of fruit. Experiment with the spacing between the trees. For example, if you want to harvest plenty of fruit, plant the trees close together.
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A living fence is a row of trees or shrubs planted together to form a barrier. It can be used the same way as other fences – to mark boundaries or to contain livestock. Living fences last longer than regular fences. And you don’t have to cut down trees to make this kind of fence. Instead you plant more trees! To make a fence, grow trees in a line and then attach wire to them. Or grow trees very close together – so close that animals can’t pass through them.
The branches from a living fence can be used for fuelwood. The leaves can be used for livestock fodder. Some trees provide fruit and medicine.
There are many tree species that can be used to make fences. Grow a fence for every purpose.
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If you want to grow trees successfully, listen to this. Be early and plant trees in the opening rains. Don’t wait until the final rains. If you plant trees early in the first rains they will survive drought and dry weather. Their roots will grow deep and strong. Weed the trees and then weed them again and then weed once more!
Weeding trees by yourself is hard, hot work, but if you plant rows of crops between the trees, then as you weed the trees you are also weeding the crops. Finally, just as the rains are ending, weed again.
We call this system P.W.P. – Plant early, Weed constantly, Plough again. And remember, before you plant trees, thoroughly plough the area – trees and grass are an impossible combination!
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- These spots are adapted from Developing Countries Farm Radio Network Package 55, number 6, which was originally published in April 2000.