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close this bookSpecial Public Works Programmes - SPWP - Planting Trees - An Illustrated Technical Guide and Training Manual (ILO - UNDP, 1993, 190 p.)
close this folder1. Planning a plantation
View the document(introduction...)
View the document1.1 What regeneration method to use?
View the document1.2 What species to establish?
View the document1.3 Whether to plant a single tree species or a mixture of several?
View the document1.4 What type of planting stock to use?
View the document1.5 What planting pattern to use and how many seedlings to plant?
View the document1.6 When to plant?
View the document1.7 How to protect the seedlings?
View the document1.8 The plantation plan

1.1 What regeneration method to use?

You have to decide whether to plant seedlings, to seed directly on the site or to rely on natural regeneration and coppicing.

If natural vegetation exists on the site and the main objective is fuelwood supply or soil conservation, protecting and helping the vegetation to recover might be the cheapest and quickest way to ensure reforestation. This is especially true in dry, hilly and eroded areas. The area should then be closed from grazing and micro-catchments might have to be constructed to ensure that the shoots get enough water. After a cover of bushes and small trees has been established, the less desirable competing plants should be cleared away to promote sprouting in the more valuable species.

This method might be combined with enrichment planting. This means planting seedlings in groups or lines inside a growing stand between existing trees and bushes. Shade-tolerant tree species have to be used. Enrichment planting is not likely to succeed at sites with rich vegetation where the seedlings will not be able to compete with the herb vegetation.

Direct sowing on the site is sometimes used to establish a new stand. This may be a simple way of establishing tree cover but often the increased need for site preparation and weeding make it more expensive than planting. Direct sowing can be used for species with very rapid initial growth when seeds are plentiful and cheap and germination is reliable. Species possible to establish in this way include Acacia Senegal, Acacia nilotica, Acacia mearnsii, Cassia siamea and Neem (Azadirachta indica).

Where natural regeneration is not possible or too unreliable, or where the tree species that are to be established are not found in the natural vegetation on the site, trees have to be planted.

This booklet will mainly focus on the planting of trees.

Regeneration methods


Natural regeneration

Enrichment planting

Direct sowing