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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 folder6. Maintaining plantations
View the document(introduction...)
View the document6.1 Weed control
View the document6.2 Protection from grazing
View the document6.3 Fire prevention
View the document6.4 Protection from insects, diseases and rodents
View the document6.5 Fertilizers
View the document6.6 Replacement planting

6.2 Protection from grazing

Tree seedlings may also be harmed by animals. Cattle, sheep, goats and sometimes wild animals must be kept out of the plantation until the trees are big enough to withstand grazing. This problem is most acute in dry areas with sparse vegetation where animals turn to planted trees for food. Without the cooperation of the livestock owners protection will be difficult. It is therefore essential to discuss the problem very early during planning and to meet regularly after planting to sort out problems.

When bigger areas representing a large portion of the accessible grazing lands are being planted and where grazing is scarce, it might be necessary to divide the planting area into compartments and to plant them one at a time. The livestock is then allowed into the first compartment when the second one is being planted some years later, and so on. In this way the area where grazing has to be avoided is minimized. It may also be necessary to use species that are not readily grazed by the animals (for example prosopsis, ailanthus and some eucalyptus). If these measures are not sufficient, fences should be built before or during planting.

For smaller plantations fences can be built with branches cut from thorny trees or other suitable material to protect the plants for the first couple of years. However, these lands of fences require a large quantity of branches and may put an additional pressure on an already stressed forest or bushland.

Hedges of closely planted bushes and trees (live fences) can also be created. Thorny plants such as Cactus, Euphorbia, Aloe, Sisal, Acacia or Juniperus can be used. Species that can be grown from large cuttings are preferable. Live fences must, however, be planted some years before the trees are planted and be given time to reach a sufficient size to keep out the animals.

All types of fences have to be maintained. Where fences alone do not protect the plantation, a watchman can also be used to look after the plantation.

Protection from grazing

To be planted next year

Planted this year

Planted last year

Planted 2 years ago

Planted 3 years ago

Planted 4 years ago - grazing allowed


Thorny branches

Bamboo fence combined with thorny branches

Bamboo fence combined with hedge

Live hedge