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A tree nursery can be established by a farmer to grow young trees seedlings in optimum conditions, and in appropriate numbers and species. Hence they will be ready to transplant at the appropriate time.
Some farmers and community group have made businesses of tree nurseries by producing a large variety of trees and selling them to customers
- Thatching material for shade (napier grass, banana leaves, spear grass, palm leaves, papyrus)
- Potting material (polthene, tins, containers, banana fibres or bamboo stems)
- Soil (compost/forest soil)
- Sand (airation /drainage),
- Flat site, near water source due to amount of watering requires
- Good fertile soil and protected from intruders (livestock and humans)
- Needs to have a permenant caretaker so that good management is applied.
- Avoid poorly drained valley bottom and very high places (cold)
- From the tree. Select a good tree with good fruit and is growing straight.
- Active germination by putting seeds in water
This is the bed which allows optimum conditions for germination. Requires a good bed (very smooth) for high germination
- The seed bed can be raised (wet areas) or sunken (dry areas). A double dug bed will increase germination
- Remove the seed when it has 2-3 roots and transfer it to a pot bed
Pot beds allow the seeds to further grow strong. Pot beds can result in 80% production rate of trees from the seed bed
- Fill a pot as shown in diagram. Appropriate pots can be made from many materials, for example a banana fibre looped around is adequate
- Water the and transfer the seed.
- Pot beds need to watered twice daily
- The seed is kept in the pot bed until it reaches 1ft (this can be from 1month to 1 year)
- Seeds are shaded initially by putting them unercover. This is done by using poles (can be branches) which are attached together and then covered with the thatch material.
- As the seed grows, slowly reduce the amount of shade (remove the thatch) & watering to harden the plants
- Do root pruning/turning to stimulate the roots to grow within the pot and not into the soil
Agroforestry - Uses of trees in agroforestry arrangements