Skip to content Skip to cookie consent

Tools and guides

Qualities needed for agroforestry trees

Tips for choosing trees to grow with crops

2005

  • The best trees to grow together with crops are those with deep roots so they do not compete with crops for water and nutrients.
  • They should allow light through their leaves to allow crops to grow.
  • They should survive regular pruning and cutting back.
  • They should add nutrients to the soil.
  • Their leaves should provide either animal fodder or soil mulch.
  • They should have uses that help the farm family.
  • What local trees may have these qualities? How could you find out more? Do you know of any local trees which make the soil nearby good for crops?
  • What exotic trees do you know which have these qualities?

Discussion

  • If possible examine some examples of good agroforestry trees such as leuceana, cassia, prosopis, calliandra, acacia, sesbania and moringa. Do participants agree that they meet the suggested qualities for agroforestry trees?
  • Examine their leaves, the way in which they grow and the amount of shade they give. If possible, dig up a young tree and examine the root structure.
  • Compare examples of good agroforestry trees with trees such as mango and eucalyptus, which do not allow crops to grow nearby.
  • Remember that the trees you decide to select need to provide the benefits agreed as priorities in an earlier discussion.
Illustration of a tree full of leaves

Similarly Tagged Content

Share this resource

If you found this resource useful, please share it with others so they can benefit too.

Get our email updates

Be the first to hear about our latest learning and resources

Sign up now

Cookie preferences

Your privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We are committed to keeping your data safe. We only collect data from people for specific purposes and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

For further information, including a full list of individual cookies, please see our privacy policy.

  • These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

  • These cookies allow us to measure and improve the performance of our site. All information these cookies collect is anonymous.

  • These allow for a more personalised experience. For example, they can remember the region you are in, as well as your accessibility settings.

  • These cookies help us to make our adverts personalised to you and allow us to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.