Direct Sowing of Tree Seeds Trial: Case Study of Kuani Hill in Meru County Kenya

Jesse Lugadiru, Gordon Armstrong


World climate change is as a result of greenhouse gases emitted into atmosphere. The gases remain in the atmosphere because of limited actively growing plants to sequestrate main culprit of greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide. This then calls for consolidated efforts to make trees start growing in a big number. Tree planting is expensive undertaking requiring funds and human energy. Some sites are so vast and others not accessible, this then requires simpler and less expensive mechanisms to do afforestation. An experiment was done to study possibilities of removing one stage in tree nurturing activities before transferring to planting spots. The nursery practice was removed which meant seeds are sown direct in ground and observation made. The aim of the trial was to attempt to establish trees by the direct sowing of seeds at planting site. If trees can be successfully established by this method then establishment costs would be greatly reduce by the elimination of nursery work. 12 different species were included in the trial. Some of the seeds required pretreatment which was done. There were two sowings in different seasons, the first was done when there were little rains and it failed prompting a repeat during next rains which were favorable. Results were, the first sowing was a failure with all germinated plants dying after sprouting.  The second had some limited success with sprouting saplings surviving. This was limited success due to the site condition being semiarid. Among the best performers were drought resistance plants of Acacia albida (69%), Albezia lebbek (8%), Acacia aulacocarpa (3%), Acacia auriculiformis (1%), Senna siamea (1%), and Gravellea robusta (1%). The rest that is Acacia mearnsii, Acrocurpus fraxinfolius, Senna spectabilis, Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus saligna and Leuceana leucocephala, scored zero percentage. The results indicate that direct sowing need to be done in high potential areas and if done in semiarid, then choose a good rainy season. Species to be used should match the site. This experiment need to be repeated in many different sites with many tree species.

Keywords: Tree Seeds Trial, Kenya

DOI: 10.7176/JNSR/9-2-06

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