African Journal of Range and Forage Science

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Effect of cutting height and frequency on Leucaena leucocephala forage and wood production

JP Muir


Leucaena leucocephala is a fast-growing tree that can provide both high quality forage and firewood. The objective of this trial was to determine the optimum height and frequency of cutting for both wood and forage production. Cutting heights at 0.3m, 0.6m and 1.0 m were superimposed on 3-month and 6-month cutting frequencies on mature rows of L. leucocephala for three years. Effects of year or its interaction with the other factors were not significant (P > 0.10). There was an increase (P = 0.07) in wood production but not forage production (P > 0.10) with the longer interval. Cutting height had an effect on forage (P < 0.001) production, with 5.47t-1 ha a-1 for the 0.3-m height, 7.62t ha-1 a-1 for the 0.7-m height, and 8.71t ha-1 a-1 for the 1.0m height. Cutting height also had an effect on wood production (P < 0.001, with 7.22t ha-1 a-1 for the 0.3-m height, 9.33t ha-1 a-1 for the 0.7-m height, and 11.55t ha-1 a-1 for the 1.0-m height. In this experiment, the six-month interval produced more wood than the three-month interval, but there were no differences in quantity of forage dry matter in L. leucocephala; there were advantages in both wood and forage production with the taller trunk base.

Keywords: agroforestry; botany; crude protein; cutting frequency; cutting height; forage production; in vitro digestibility; Leucaena leucocephala; Mozambique; trees; wood; wood production; dry matter; firewood; forage; frequency of cutting; production; quality

African Journal of Range & Forage Science, Vol. 15(1 & 2), pp.7-10

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