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Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science

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Early growth and survival of Acacia galpinii after planting in a semi-arid environment in Zimbabwe: research note

D Mlambo, P Nyathi, P Mlilo

Abstract


Acacia galpinii grows naturally on the riverbanks and smaller drainage lines in semi-arid areas of Southern Africa. Trial planting of the species as a decorative tree commenced in 1993 along urban roads in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Early growth and survival of the species after planting was investigated in order to assess its suitability for afforestation in semi-arid environments. Growth and survival of trees were measured 3 to 9 years after planting. A significant positive correlation between crown height and stem diameter was observed in all the trial plantings. Growth rate was fast with trees reaching a mean diameter of 10 cm and height of 3 m over 3 years and a diameter of 16 cm and height of 5 m over 9 years. Such growth rates were reached under frequent drought conditions. Average stem height growth was 0.6 m year-1 and diameter growth (at 30 cm above ground) was 2 cm year-1. Survival of A. galpinii was more than 86 percent. Foliage transparency was in excess of 80% for all age groups while crown dieback and stem damage was below 5%. A. galpinii was found to be suitable for dry-zone afforestation.

Key Words: Indigenous tree planting; Acacia galpinii; Growth rate; Survival rate; Tree health

Southern African Forestry Journal Issue 202 2004: 61-66



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