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Tools and guides

Trees for farm boundaries

Tips and discussion points about suitable trees with multiple benefits

2005 Available in English and French

Pillars magazines on a desk

From: Pillars guides

Practical, discussion-based learning on community development for small groups

  • Some trees are useful to plant on the edges of fields and farms. They can be used to mark boundaries and to provide protection from strong winds.
  • Choose trees which are fast growing and which allow crops to grow nearby. They should be trees that will allow pruning or use as fence posts. If possible plant trees that have many uses: for fuel, fodder, timber and fruit production.
  • Many local trees will make good boundary trees. It is often good to use a number of different species, especially if hedges are being planted. Boundary hedges help prevent soil erosion.


  • Discuss what plants are often used to mark boundaries (such as sisal, euphorbia or date palm) and whether other trees would make good replacements.
  • What local trees would be useful as boundary trees?
  • Discuss what exotic trees could be used. Where could seed or seedlings be obtained? Some useful examples include cashew, gliricidia, sesbania, acacia, casuarina, calliandra and moringa.
  • Discuss how trees on the boundary can protect the soil from erosion.
Illustration of a cultivated field

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