Tree List for Environmental Nurseries



The trees listed below are being planted in the Environmental Nurseries which Sebastian Chuwa and his community partners are establishing in northern Tanzania with the support of the African Blackwood Conservation Project. This document was compiled by Bette Stockbauer from information provided by Sebastian Chuwa and Internet resources such as the ICRAF "Agroforestree Database" and FAO's "Indigenous Multipurpose Trees of Tanzania."

Acacia tortilis — Acacia umbrella

IMPORTANT USES

Food: In Kenya, the Turkana make porridge from the pods after extracting the seed; the Maasai eat the immature seeds.

Fodder: Leaves and seed and flowers are an important source of fodder for cattle.

Fuel: Starts producing fuelwood at the age of 8-18 years, at the rate of 50 kg/tree. Its fast growth and good coppicing behavior, coupled with the high calorific value for its wood (4400 kcal/kg), make it suitable for firewood and charcoal.

Timber: It is used for planking, boxes, poles, moisture-proof plywood, gun and rifle parts, furniture, house construction and farm implements. It is believed that Noah of the Old Testament made his ark from the wood of A. tortilis.

Dyes: The bark is reported to be a rich source of tannin.

Poison: Is a powerful molluscicide and algicide; in Sudan, fruits are placed in fish ponds to kill the snail species that carry schistosomiasis, without affecting the fish.

Medicine: The dried, powdered bark is used as a disinfectant in healing wounds; used as an anthelmintic; stem is used to treat asthma; seeds are taken to treat diarrhea.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Erosion control: Due to its drought hardiness and fast growth, the species is considered highly useful for afforesting shifting sand dunes, refractory sites, hill slopes, ravines and lateritic soils. It has a long taproot and numerous side roots to adapt it to arid climates.

Shelter or shade: In India, it has been grown successfully with Azadirachta indica in shelterbelts. Nitrogen fixing: Acacia tortilis nodulates and hence is nitrogen fixing.

Boundary, barrier or support: The thorny branches are suitable material for erecting barriers.

Intercropping: Is moderately successful with mungbean and sorghum.


Albizia gummifera

IMPORTANT USES

Medicine: Pods, roots, and bark are used for medicinal purposes.

General purpose wood: The wood is useful as a general purpose timber and is used to make beehives, mortars, water troughs, and boats.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Land improvement: Tree is nitrogen fixing and can be used for soil stabilization. Its leaves form a good mulch and it is a good shade tree. It is recommended for alley farming systems, mixed cropping, and for plantation crop plantings with coffee and bananas.


Albizia schimperana

IMPORTANT USES

Medicine: An infusion of the roots is added to porridge and drunk for headaches and as a pain reliever. The stem bark is also used in a preparation to treat warts.

General purpose wood: The wood is fairly strong, works easily and is termite proof. Wood is suitable for tool handles, needles, and building materials.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Land improvement: A. schimperana is believed to fix nitrogen, is used to improve soil conditions, and for shade. Can be planted in lines along contours separating strips of grass or food crops on slopes.


Annona senegalensis — Custard tree

IMPORTANT USES

Food: A. senegalensis is a well-known fruit that is sold in local markets. When eaten fresh, it is said to be

one of the preferred fruits of Africa.

Medicine: The leaf tips and bark are used to treat colds and pneumonia, the fruits are used against diarrhea, dysentery and vomiting, and the root is also used for stomach problems. The bark is prepared to treat intestinal worms as well as dysenteries and the gum is used to seal cuts.

Fodder: The leaves are sometimes used as fodder and are browsed by elephants. The fruits are eaten by baboons.


Annona squamosa

IMPORTANT USES

Food: Annona squamosa is distributed throughout the tropics and is preeminently a desert fruit, normally eaten fresh. The pulp can be used as a flavoring in ice cream. The vitamin C content is appreciable (35-42 mg/100 g) and slightly higher than in grapefruit. The nutrient value of thiamine, potassium and dietary fiber is also significant.

Fuel: The tree is a good source of firewood.

Timber: The light yellow sapwood and brownish heartwood are soft, light in weight and weak. Poison: Green fruits, seeds and leaves have effective vermicidal and insecticidal properties.

Medicine: Leaves, shoots, bark and roots have been reported to have medicinal properties. The unripe fruit is astringent, and the root is a drastic purgative.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Shade or shelter: It can be planted as a shade tree.

Ornamental: The attractive tree is grown in gardens.

Intercropping: Trees are grown with mango, banana and coffee trees.


Azadirachta indica — Neem tree

Neem tree is used in reforestation projects in hot, dry regions. In this century, knowledge of the tree has spread to the West, where it has been hailed as a "wonder plant." Neem-based pesticides have been developed, and the potential health uses of chemicals extracted from the tree are being studied. It has been introduced and established throughout the tropics and subtropics for its highly valued hardiness, its almost year-round shade, and its multiple wood and non-wood products.

IMPORTANT USES

Food: Fruits are eaten fresh or cooked, or prepared as a dessert or lemonade-type drink. The young twigs and flowers are occasionally consumed as vegetables.

Fodder: The leaves, though very bitter, are used as a dry season fodder. Fruit is an important source of food for some wildlife, especially birds and bats.

Fuel: Charcoal made from A. indica wood is of excellent quality and the wood has long been used as firewood. Its oil is burned in lamps.

Timber: The wood is used to make wardrobes, bookcases and closets, as well as packing cases because its insect repellent quality helps to protect the contents from insect damage. The main stem of the tree is also widely used to make posts for construction or fencing because the wood is termite resistant.

Gum or resin: An exudate can be tapped from the trunk by wounding the bark. This high-protein material has potential as a food additive and is widely used in Southeast Asia as ‘neem glue’.

Tannin or dyestuff: Tree bark contains 12-14% tannins. This compares favorably with conventional tannin chemicals.

Lipids: Neem oil has long been produced in Asia on an industrial scale for soaps, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and other non-edible products. The seed oil yield is sometimes as high as 50% of the weight of the kernel.

Poison: Is known for its use as an insecticide in a wide variety of applications.

Medicine: Used against malaria. Used to treat certain fungi and pathogenic bacteria that infect humans. Various parts of tree have anthelmintic, antiperiodic, antiseptic, diuretic and purgative actions, and are also used to treat boils, pimples, eye diseases, hepatitis, leprosy, rheumatism, scrofula, ringworm and ulcers. Twigs used as toothbrushes, effective against periodontal disease. Oil is a powerful spermicide and can therefore be used as an inexpensive birth control method. Also used for skin diseases in humans and livestock.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Shade or shelter: Large crown makes it an effective shade tree, planted widely as an avenue tree in towns and villages and along roads in many tropical countries. Because of its low branching, it is valuable for use as a windbreak.

Soil improver: Farmers use neem cake (the residue left after extracting oil from the seeds) as an organic manure and soil amendment. It is believed to enhance the efficiency of nitrogen fertilizers by reducing the rate of nitrification and inhibiting soil pests including nematodes, fungi, and insects. Leaves and small twigs are used as mulch and green manure.

Intercropping: Intercropping with pearl millet has given good results in India.


Cassia spectabilis or Senna spectabilis

IMPORTANT USES

Apiculture: Tree provides forage for bees.

Fuel: Tree provides firewood and is used to produce charcoal.

Timber: The sapwood is whitish and the heartwood is brown. It is described as hard, heavy, durable, termite resistant; it is used to make tool handles.

Medicine: Bark, berries and root bark used to treat malaria, cough, colds.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Shade or shelter: Tree casts a useful shade.

Soil improver: Tree provides mulch.

Ornamental: S. spectabilis is an attractive tree, suitable for planting along small roadsides and in between buildings.

Boundary or barrier or support: In Uganda, it is widely cultivated as a boundary marker.


Coffea arabica — Coffee tree

IMPORTANT USES

Food: Dried seeds (‘beans’) are roasted, ground, and brewed to make 1 of the 2 most popular beverages in the world. In its native Ethiopia, it has been used as a masticatory since ancient times. Cooked in butter, it can be used to make rich flat cakes. Coffee is widely used as flavouring in ice cream, pastries, candies, and liqueurs. In Arabia, a fermented drink from the pulp is consumed.

Fodder: Pulp and parchment are occasionally fed to cattle in India.

Apiculture: Honeybees collect nectar and pollen from the flowers.

Timber: Wood is hard, dense, durable, takes a polish well, and is suitable for tables, chairs and turnery. Poison: Coffea arabica seeds contain caffeine, which has been described as a natural herbicide, selectively

inhibiting germination of seeds of Amaranthus spinosus.

Medicine: Reported to be analgesic, an aphrodisiac, anorexic, antidotal, cardiotonic, CNS-stimulant, counterirritant, diuretic, hypnotic, lactagogue and nervine. Coffee is a folk remedy for asthma, tropine poisoning, fever, flu, headache, jaundice, malaria, migraine, narcosis, nephrosis, opium poisoning, sores and vertigo.

Other products: Coffelite, a type of plastic, is made from coffee beans. Coffee with iodine is used as a deodorant.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Soil improver: The pulp and parchment are used as manure and mulches. Annual litter fall from both shade and crop trees, including pruning residues, maintain soil organic matter levels and hence the cation exchange capacity; this reduces the risk of leaching losses and permits a more efficient use of any inorganic fertilizers applied.

Intercropping: Coffea arabica is often intercropped with food crops, such as corn, beans or rice, during the 1st few years.


Combretum molle — Velvet bush willow

IMPORTANT USES

Medicine: A root decoction is use to treat abdominal pains and sterility. It is used to treat hookworms, stomach pains, snakebites, leprosy fever, and general body swelling. It is regarded as a medicine for both humans and animals.

Apiculture: Tree provides forage for bees

General purpose wood: The wood is hard and used as building posts, poles, tool handles, and in construction. It is also termite resistant.

Fodder: The leaves are browsed by cattle.

Fuel: Wood burns slowly, giving intense heat, and is suitable for firewood and production of high quality charcoal.

Timber: Combretum wood is yellow, hard, coarse, brittle when dry and rots easily. It is said to be reasonably termite resistant and is suitable for implement handles, poles, stools, construction and fence posts.

Tannin or dyestuff: A red dye can be obtained from the leaves and yellow dye from the roots.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Soil improver: Leaf fall is a source of mulch and green manure for the soil.


Croton macrostachyus — Broad-leaved croton

IMPORTANT USES

Fodder: Leaves can be used as fodder.

Fuel: Mainly used for firewood and the production of charcoal.

Timber: The wood is of medium weight, moderately soft, perishable and susceptible to attack by wood borers. It is used for heavy-duty flooring, poles and tool handles.

Poison: Seeds and resin are poisonous.

Medicine: Boiled leaf decoction is drunk or ashes taken orally as treatment for cough; juice from fresh leaves is applied on wounds to hasten clotting. Root decoction is used as an anthelmintic for tapeworm, as a purgative, and for malaria and venereal diseases. Bark from the stems and roots is boiled in water and newly born babies are bathed in the mixture as a remedy for skin rash.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Erosion control: C. macrostachyus is employed in soil conservation.

Shade or shelter: Trees are commonly planted for the useful shade that they provide.

Soil improver: Leaf fall provides mulch and green manure.

Ornamental: The attractive tree can be planted in amenity areas.

Intercropping: Croton macrostachyus is suitable for intercropping.


Dalbergia melanoxylon — African blackwood, Mpingo

D. melanoxylon is a national emblem protected by law (UNEP 1988). It is the national tree of Tanzania, and one of the world's most expensive timbers.

IMPORTANT USES

African crafts: Carvings from African ebony made by the Makonde tribe are well-known outside Tanzania. The heartwood is very suitable for traditional carvings and musical instruments which are for sale throughout the country. The trade offers revenue to those who live near otherwise unproductive sites.

Timber: The wood is slightly oily, exceptionally hard and heavy, extremely durable and resistant to all forms of biological deterioration. It is among the finest of all turnery timbers, cutting exactly and finishing to a brilliantly polished, lustrous surface, dry and cold to the touch. The wood has considerable potential to earn foreign exchange from carvings and for use in Europe for woodwind instruments, such as clarinets, piccolos, bagpipes and flutes. It is also used to make piano keys. Other products made from the timber include ornaments, inlays, chess pieces, walking sticks, bearings and many other products.

Medicine: The roots can be used to treat abdominal pain, hernia, gonorrhea, and in abortion. The bark from the root and the stem is an antidiarrhetic and the smoke of burning roots is inhaled to treat headaches and bronchitis. The juice from leaves can be used to treat sore throats, heart problems, dysentery, syphilis, and gonorrhea. A decoction of the bark is used for cleaning wounds.

Fodder: The pods and leaves can be used as animal fodder.

Fuel: The calorific value of the sapwood and heartwood is more than 49,000 kcal/kg. Heat generation is so high that fires of D. melanoxylon have been reported to melt cooking utensils. Used for charcoal.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Land improvement: The leaves make good mulch, are used as green manure, and for fodder. Roots are nitrogen fixing.

Fodder: African plains animals browse leaves.


Ficus ThonningiiStrangler fig

IMPORTANT USES

Food: A good jam can be made from the ripe fruits.

Fodder: Livestock eat the dry leaves on the ground and to a lesser degree fresh leaves.

Medicine: The bark is quite important in local medicine as it can be used to treat colds, sore throats, diarrhea, wounds, and to stimulate lactation. Latex is used for wound fever, while an infusion of the root and fiber is taken orally to help prevent abortion. Powdered root is taken in porridge to stop nosebleed; the milky latex is dropped into the eye to treat cataracts.

Fiber: Bark cloth is obtained by cutting out a strip or cylinder of bark which causes the tree to produce a fine matted covering of red, slender roots over the wound. Bark fiber is used for making mats; the twined bark produces a strong rope, which is mostly used for fastening bundles of firewood before they are carried to the homestead for fastening slates onto a roof.

Timber: The wood is creamy brown, has a fairly uniform structure, is light, soft to moderately hard, with a rough texture, tough, strong, easy to work; it finishes smoothly and holds nails firmly. Its durability is low, and it is easily attacked by termites.

Latex or rubber: A considerable amount of useful latex is produced by the tree.

Fuel: Branches are used for firewood.

Other products: The sticky juice from pounded roots is used to trap small animals like hares and birds.

Ceremonial: The tree is used for ceremonial and sacred purposes.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Land Improvement: It is planted as a live fence with the intention of using the leaves as mulch or green manure. Leaf litter also helps in the improvement of the nutrient status and water-holding capacity of the soil.

Erosion control: Truncheons can be planted close to each other to help control erosion The tree is highly regarded for its ability to store water and conserve soil.

Shade or shelter: F. thonningii is often planted to offer cover from the scorching sun in recreational areas, market centers and schoolyards. It can also be planted to provide shelter during the cold winter months.

Ornamental: This tree makes an ideal shade tree in a large garden or park, and it makes a successful container plant for the patio. It is also ideal for use as a bonsai specimen.

Intercropping: In Uganda, the tree is intercropped with coffee and bananas.

African wildlife: Leaves and twigs are eaten by bushbuck, dikdik, elephant, giraffe, impala, kudu and nyala. Dropped fruits are eaten by baboon, bushbuck, bushpig, civet, dikdik, grey duiker, rock and tree hyrax, impala, kudu, slender mongoose, samango and vervet monkeys, nyala, porcupine and warthog. The ripe fruits are eaten by bats, barbets, bulbuls, louries (turacos), parrots, pigeons, and starlings.


Grevilla robusta — Silk oak

IMPORTANT USES

Apiculture: The golden flowers are attractive to bees, making it an important honey plant.

Fuel: It is popular for firewood and charcoal. It is also used to fuel locomotives and river steamers, power boilers and small industries.

Fiber: The wood is suitable for pulping and for producing fiber.

Timber: G. robusta yields a medium-weight hardwood which is used in making railroad ties, plywood, paneling, air-freight cases and furniture, parquetry, turnery, boat building, interior trim, cabinet work, parquet flooring, boxes, toys and novelties.

Gum or resin: By virtue of their solubility, viscosity and relatively high resistance to hydrolysis, G. robusta gums may have some industrial applications.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Shade or shelter: Can be grown as a shade tree in coffee and tea plantations. Its spreading branching system makes it ideal for windbreaks or shelterbelts against wind-induced mechanical damage, high rates of transpiration and surface evaporation.

Reclamation: Grevillea robusta is a pioneering colonizer of disturbed sites.

Soil improver: Provides abundant quantities of leaf mulch, which may accumulate to a depth of 30-40 cm. This thick layer protects the soil and maintains soil temperature. The leaves and twigs are apparently rich in aluminum.

Ornamental: Its majestic height, attractive shape and beautiful foliage make it an ideal tree for landscaping of private and public gardens. The cut leaves are used in flower arrangements, and young plants are grown as indoor pot plants in Europe.

Intercropping: A deep rooting system causes little interference with shallow-rooted crops, and it can be successfully intercropped with banana, tomato and other agricultural crops.


Khaya nyasica — African mahogany

IMPORTANT USES

Timber: Used for framing, paneling and veneer. Large logs are used to make dugout canoes.

Fuel: Suitable for firewood.

Medicine: Bark infusions containing a bitter substance are drunk to treat colds and oil from the seeds is rubbed into the hair to kill lice.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Shade or shelter: Casts a dense shade, hence suitable as a shade tree.

Ornamental: Used as an ornamental tree because of its dense canopy.


Kigelia africana — Sausage tree

IMPORTANT USES

Food: Ripe fruits are inedible, although slices of baked fruit are added to beer to aid in fermentation of local honey beer, for example throughout East Africa. In times of food shortage, the seeds are roasted in hot ashes and eaten.

Fodder: When the flowers and leaves fall to the ground they are eaten by game and livestock.

Apiculture: The large, maroon flowers attract bees and are a source of bee forage.

Timber: Wood is moderately heavy, easy to work and produces a good-quality timber for general use. The sapwood has been used for planking, yokes, fruit boxes and shelving. Heartwood is used for drums, utensils and cutlery. In South Africa, inhabitants of the areas along larger rivers, especially the Chobe and Zambezi, make their dugout canoes from K. africana.

Tannin or dyestuff: A black dye can be produced from the fruit. Tannin can be extracted from the roots and stem bark.

Medicine: Bark and leaves are used for bladder trouble/kidney disease, an enema or drink of the boiled root and stem bark for piles; wounds, sores and cuts are treated with a leaf and bark decoction or bark; bark and leaf decoctions are antidotes for snakebite. The unripe fruits are said to be poisonous but are taken as a remedy for syphilis and rheumatism, and boiled fruit is massaged into the body for lumbago. In South Africa, the fruits are used as a dressing for ulcers or to increase the flow of milk in lactating women. In northern Nigeria, the fruit is used in some districts as a purgative, and in others to treat dysentery. The leaf alone, or with other ingredients, is useful for diarrhea and dysentery. The fruits and bark, ground and boiled in water, are taken either orally or as an enema in treating children’s stomach ailments. The fruits and roots of K. africana are boiled along with the stem and tassels of a plantain for postpartum hemorrhage. Decoctions of the stem bark are used for spleen infection, gonorrhea and syphilis. A cream made from fruit extract is used to remove sunspots known as ‘solar keratosis’, particularly on the face and hands.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Erosion control: The sausage tree is suitable for riverbank stabilization.

Shade or shelter: It makes a good shade tree, casting dense shade, though it is not advisable to park a vehicle or to put up a tent underneath a sausage tree during the fruiting period. The ‘sausages’ that drop every so often weigh up to 12 kg and can cause considerable damage.

Ornamental: With its fast growth rate, spreading canopy and interesting flowers and fruits, it makes a good street tree and is popular for this purpose in various towns in the countries north of South Africa and in Australia. It can be used successfully for bonsai, the thick stem being an attractive feature.

Other services: In Nigeria pieces of fruit soaked in water, together with small pieces of metal and sprinkled with young palm fronds, stimulate the germination of yam tubers as well as promote a good harvest.


Moringa oleifera

IMPORTANT USES

Food: The leaves, a good source of protein, vitamins A, B and C and minerals such as calcium and iron, are used as a spinach equivalent. They are an excellent source of the sulphur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine, which are often in short supply. Young plants are eaten as a tender vegetable and the taproots as an alternative for horseradish. Young pods are edible and reportedly have a taste reminiscent of asparagus. The green peas and surrounding white material can be removed from larger pods and cooked in various ways. Seeds from mature pods yield an excellent cooking or lubricating oil. The flowers can be eaten or used to make a tea.

Fodder: Leaves are mainly used for human food and not to any great extent for livestock, but branches are occasionally lopped for feeding camels and cattle.

Apiculture: The flowers are a good source of bee forage.

Fuel: The soft and light wood is an acceptable firewood for cooking but makes poor charcoal.

Fiber: Bark, when beaten, produces a fiber used to make small ropes and mats. Studies have shown that it is suitable as a raw material for the production of high alpha cellulose pulp for use in cellophane and textiles.

Timber: The wood is very soft and light and is useful only for light construction work.

Gum or resin: When the tree is injured, the stem exudes a gum that is used in calico printing, as a condiment, and for stomach and bladder ailments. The mucilaginous gum has a bland taste and belongs to the hog series of gums.

Tannin or dyestuff: Bark used for tanning hides and wood yields a blue dye.

Lipids: Oil extracted from the mature pods (oil of Ben) is yellowish, non-drying, good keeping qualities but eventually turns rancid. It is used as a lubricant, in cosmetics and perfumes, and to some extent is a substitute for sperm-whale oil.

Medicine: Moringa seeds are effective against skin-infecting bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. They contain the potent antibiotic and fungicide terygospermin. The alkaloid spirachin (a nerve paralysant) has been found in the roots. A decoction of the flowers is used as a cold remedy. The gum is diuretic, astringent and abortifacient and is used against asthma. Oil of Ben is used for hysteria, scurvy, prostate

problems and bladder troubles. The roots and bark are used for cardiac and circulatory problems, as a tonic and for

inflammation. The bark is an appetizer and digestive. The iron content of the leaves is high, and they are reportedly prescribed for anemia in the Philippines.

Other products: In the Sudan, powdered seeds are deemed more effective than slices of okra for treatment of bee honey; they can be used without boiling and can also be used to clarify sugarcane juice. The crushed leaves are used to clean pots and pans, and the Hausa and Yoruba of Nigeria even use them to clean walls.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Erosion control: Moringa oleifera is suited to areas where strong winds and long, dry spells occur simultaneously, causing serious soil erosion.

Soil improver: The green leaves make a useful mulch. The press cake left after oil extraction from the seeds can be used as a soil conditioner or as fertilizer.

Ornamental: The species is widely planted as an ornamental.

Boundary/barrier/support: Planted as a hedge in courtyards, M. oleifera provides wind protection, shade and support for climbing garden plants. Widely used for live fences and hedges in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, India, and elsewhere. Stakes root easily and are stable, and cuttings planted in lines are used particularly around houses and gardens.

Intercropping: The tree provides semi-shade, useful in intercropping systems where intense direct sunlight can damage crops.

Pollution control: Suspension of the ground seed of M. oleifera, the benzolive tree, is used as a primary coagulant. It can clarify water of any degree of visible turbidity. At high turbidity, its action is almost as fast as that of alum, but at medium and low turbidity, good clarification is obtained if a small cloth bag filled with the powdered seeds is swirled round in the turbid water. To prepare the seed for use as a coagulant, remove the seed coat and wings. The white kernel is then crushed to a powder, using a mortar or placing it in a cloth and crushing it with a stone. The powder should be mixed with a small amount of water, stirred, then poured through a tea strainer before being added to the turbid water.


Newtonia bachananii — River newtonia

IMPORTANT USES

Harvested for timber.


Ocotea usambarensis — Camphor tree

The Camphor is a reserved tree in Tanzania

IMPORTANT USES

Fuel: The tree is a good source of firewood and charcoal.

Timber: The tree yields one of the most valuable timbers of East Africa. It is resistant to fungal decay, wood borers, and moderately resistant to termites. The timber is important for home construction, furniture, paneling, veneer, plywood, and heavy constructional work.

Medicine: Bark or roots are pounded, water added and the resulting paste applied on swellings such as those on the throat and other tumors. Inner bark may be pounded, mixed with Brucea spp. and Myrica salicifolia and taken in a meat soup as a remedy for abscess, whooping cough and measles. In Kenya, the Taita people boil the bark in water and use it to treat a fatal childhood disease called ‘nyago’ characterized by strong muscular contractions, stomach pains and disturbed breathing, or it may be scraped and the resulting powder used to dress wounds. Malaria and backache are treated using juice obtained from roots that have been pounded and soaked in water.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Land improvement: It is a suitable species for certain types of agroforestry practices including planting along contour strips, farm boundaries, roadsides, and in small woodlots for soil improvement.


Olea welwitschii or Olea capensis — Olive tree

IMPORTANT USES

Fuel: Firewood from O. capensis is reported to be the best in Tanzania. It also makes excellent charcoal.

Timber: The timber is heavy, strong, durable, and termite resistant. It is used extensively for heavy

construction purposes, veneers, building materials, and furniture. Planting in groups at close spacing produces a good source of withers, and well formed trees can be used for timber.

Fodder: It is a useful fodder tree as the pods, seeds, and leaves can all be used for this purpose.

Medicine: The bark is used in local medicine.


Podocarpus milanjianus or latifolius — Yellow wood tree

IMPORTANT USES

Timber: The trees yield a fine timber of a uniform pale yellow color, which seasons and saws well, works easily and takes a good finish. It has been used more than any other indigenous timber and most of the beautiful floors in the finest lodges in Tanzania were made of this wood.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Erosion control: Trees were formerly plentiful in the Kilimanjaro area, but overuse and removal has resulted in erosion and land degradation.

Ornamental: The receptacles and seeds are very showy and striking when a tree is bearing heavily. These tree are slow-growing but are worthwhile garden subjects.


Rauvolfia caffra — Wild mango

IMPORTANT USES

Apiculture: It is an important plant in beekeeping in Tanzania due to its small white pleasantly scented flowers.

Fuel: The tree is a good source of fuel.

Fodder: Leaves browsed by nyala, and the leaves, flowers and fruit eaten by vervet monkeys.

Timber: An excellent wood for making fruit boxes and is ideal for kitchen furniture and shelving. Household utensils are sometimes carved from this wood.

Alcohol: The root and stem bark is added to a local alcoholic beverage made from banana to increase the potency of the drink.

Medicine: The pharmacological studies of the plant show it to be an anti-depressant; it has sedative action and an anti-hypertensive effect and has been very useful in the treatment of hypertension and psychoses. The root of the plant is used for treating insomnia and insecurity. A bark decoction is drunk for general body swellings, rheumatism and pneumonia. The stem and root bark can be used as an ascaricide and the powdered unopened inflorescence as a local application to sores on the legs. The root juice, mixed with honey, is applied to fractures. The bark has been used as an astringent and as a colic remedy. The root bark is dried and ground or pounded while fresh and an infusion prepared for the remedy of roundworms and tapeworm. It also acts as a purgative and/or an emetic. The bark is used as a cure for coughs and toothaches.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Shade or shelter: It is used as a shade tree in coffee plantations.

Ornamental: This is a fine, fast-growing tree for sheltered gardens, easily raised from seed and unusually decorative.


Sterculia appendiculata

IMPORTANT USES

Commercial timber species, also used for making paper.

 

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