Collaborative tree improvement expands – species/clonal hybrid trials and breeding populations copy of new

FDT is working with several members of the Tree Improvement Research Working Group to trial new species and hybrids of Eucalyptus, Pine, Corymbia and Casuarina across different sites in Tanzania. This will allow us to see which potential trees perform best in the various agro-climatic conditions, while giving growers a clearer idea of their potential returns should they invest in different species or hybrids. Click here to download a table showing what is being trialled where.

During the 2016-2017 planting season, additional species and clonal hybrid trials were established, including a broader selection of genetic material and covering lower altitude, drier sites.  Collectively the trials now represent >110 types species and clonal hybrids (with many sourced from multiple locations) on 14 sites ranging in altitude from 200-2400 m, making them an advanced portfolio in East Africa in terms of species diversity and ecological representation.

Breeding populations of the two flagship species, Pinus patula and Eucalyptus grandis, were also established with Tanzania Forestry Services Agency during 2016-2017.  FDT plans to establish seedling seed orchards during 2017-2018.

Species trials screenshot_Jun17

Summary of species and clonal hybrid trials established by FDT with Tree Improvement Research Working Group, May 2017

Forest Plantation and Woodlot Technical Guidelines, 2017

These new Forest Plantation and Woodlot Technical Guidelines, published by the Forestry and Beekeeping Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, present best practices for three main commercial plantation tree species grown in Tanzania – Pine, Eucalyptus and Teak. The guidelines cover topics including species and site selection, nursery management, plantation and woodlot establishment, maintenance, pruning, thinning and forest health.

The intended audience includes large and small tree planters, extension agents and whoever is engaged in preparing extension and training materials on commercial forestry.

The guidelines were prepared with the support of the Forestry Development Trust, lead by Prof. Shabani Chamshama from Sokoine University of Agriculture, and received contributions on latest developments from private forest companies and public institutions including New Forest Company, Kilombero Valley Teak Company, TANWAT, Green Resources Limited, Tanzania Forest Research Institute, Tanzania Tree Seed Agency, Tanzania Forest Services Agency, Forestry and Beekeeping Division and the Private Forestry Programme.

Kisolanza plantation demonstration site – 2016 growth measurements

Kisolanza plantation demonstration site was established in 2014 by the Forestry Development Trust in collaboration with Kisolanza Farm. This dynamic training resource is an important landmark in the southern highlands to showcase productivity gains from good planting materials, plantation establishment and management. It is also part of an extensive network of tree improvement sites.

The strategic location on the Mbeya-Iringa highway enables a range of forestry stakeholders to easily access the various learning areas on offer, including tree growers of all scales, traders, policy makers, educators, prospective investors and opinion leaders. The site is also used for organised training and networking events.

Kisolanza plantation demonstration site has five learning areas: plantation management, plantation maintenance, coppice management, clonal hybrids and species trials. This leaflet provides an overview of their purpose and early results, while this presentation provides a useful training resource.

Map of Pine and Eucalyptus Plantations and Woodlots in the Southern Highlands

For the first time, FDT has produced a map of woodlots and plantations in the Southern Highlands that distinguishes the two dominant species, pine and eucalyptus. This information is critical in understanding the true extent of tree planting, particularly useful both for investors and wood processors who are interested to secure raw material supply and link to smallholders.

While the extent of public plantations and industrial-scale public and private plantations has been well documented, the area covered by smaller scale private forestry in the Southern Highlands has been subject to great uncertainty for many years. These recent developments are an important step towards estimating the planted area and potential wood supply volumes across the landscape.  The information will be used as part of a wider market study being undertaken by FDT that is calculating updated supply-demand scenarios for different wood value chains.

Kiswahili Training and Extension Materials for Commercial ForestryLeaflet extract

A range of high quality training and extension materials have been produced by FDT, covering key steps from site and market considerations when selecting species all the way through to final plantation management.  The two formats – leaflets and videos – target private tree growers, with consistent delivery of core messages possible as the content is based on national technical guidelines developed by public and private stakeholders (and currently being finalised for publication by the Forestry and Beekeeping Division).

Nursery management         Woodlot establishment       Woodlot management

Leaflet module 2   Leaflet module 3   Leaflet module 4

YouTube videos:YouTube video screen capture2

• Module 1: Species-site-market considerations

• Module 2: Nursery management

• Module 3: Woodlot establishment

• Module 4: Woodlot management (YouTube link coming soon)


Tree Improvement Strategy for the Southern Highlands

TI strategy extract

Click here to view the strategy

The Tree Improvement Research Working Group, consisting of major public and private sector forestry actors, have finalised a Tree Improvement Strategy for the Southern Highlands.  The strategy covers introduction, breeding, commercial production and conservation, marking a milestone in collaborative efforts to help ensure the availability and application of high quality and diverse genetic material to maintain competitiveness and resilience of the commercial forestry sector.

Drawing on experience from other countries worldwide, a critical part of success in tree improvement is to ensure a collaborative approach for the benefit of all sector players, including the sharing and pooling of expertise, resources and information. The Tree Improvement Research Working Group was established in April 2015 with completion of the strategy as one of its first tasks.


Baseline Tree Grower Survey Report

Click here to download this report, which sets out the findings from FDT’s two major farmer surveys conducted to date. These surveys collected key data on tree-growers’ scale of planting, access to information, membership of associations, non-tree crops and greatest constraints.

Example findings within the report include:

Graph showing 73% of farmers have unused land, and a breakdown of reasons why land is unused

Graph showing that more than 4 in 5 Tanzanian growers have seen a fire in their village in the last 5 years

Graphs showing how few Tanzanian growers are using vital inputs, with the problem much worse for smallholders

Advisory Panel Newsletters

Our Advisory Panel includes forestry stakeholders from the public and private sectors, and meets periodically to act as a guide and critical friend to FDT. We periodically produce a newsletter to keep Panel members up-to-date with our activities. Click below to download the latest newsletters: