Experiments on Growing Eucalyptus Wood Fuel in the Semi-Deciduous Forest Zone in Kenya

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Date
1973
Authors
Dyson, W.G.
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Abstract
This paper describes experiments carried out between 1961 and 1972 on growing Eucalyptus wood fuel at the E.A.A.F.R.O. Estate, Muguga which lies in the semi-deciduous forest zone in Kenya. A six year rotation, with regeneration from coppice for the second and subsequent rotations, has been adopted to produce 210 m3/ha (stacked volumes) of 10 cm diameter billets. Eucalyptus grandis from New South Wales, Australia is the most satisfactory and productive species. A hybrid developed in South Africa and Kenya X E. saligna X grandis, is almost as good but gives 6 to 8 per cent lower yields. The first crop is established with seedlings raised for five months in a nursery and transplanted as early in the rainy season as possible into cultivated land. After felling at 6 years old about 90 per cent of the stumps produce coppice shoots which are grown on for the next crop. Neither the method of felling, nor the height of stump left, significantly affect coppicing ability. The coppice crop may be reduced to two or three stems per stump at about 18 months, or later, after felling. Reduction of coppice reduces yields but increases the diameter of the remaining poles. It is of no advantage unless there is a local demand for the withies produced. Yields are variable, depending in part on the rainfall received during the growing period. First rotation crops average 178 m3/ha at age six and subsequent coppice crops 277 m3/ha (stacked volume). A seven year rotation and closer initial espacements are recommended to achieve the objects of management.
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East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, XXXIX-No. 4 (April 1974), pp. 349-355
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