Cypress trees growing and it’s economic potential in Kenya

Cypress benefits

Cypress tree is an evergreen tree which grows to a height of about 40 m and 70cm in its diameter.

The trees can be intercropped with other plants while they’re still young and maturing. Cypress are very lucrative and they always acts as wind breakers and can be used as life fence.

Tree value of cypress

  • Provide soft wood timber
  • Produces building poles
  • Produces pulp
  • Branches can be used as firewood
  • Acts as life fence

Economic value of cypress

Trees in general has a very lucrative economic value so long as you have got the patience and determination required.

All you need to start cypress planting in Kenya is a piece of land and some capital for purchasing seedlings and for the minimum labour requirement.

Financial breakdown according to Kenya Forest service

  • Cost of seedlings (approximately 700seedlings-8,000/=
  • Cost of fertilizers-7,000/=
  • Fertilizers and spraying-3700/=
  • Labour and transport-63,200/=
  • Fencing cost-50,400/=
  • Total cost @132,200/=

expected yields of Cyprus increases each year as the trees mature.

Expected revenue per acre is; 2,347,000/=

Planting process

Dry cypress tree seedlings are picked from mature trees if not completely dry make sure to dry the seedlings on the sunlight. Make a raised nursery bed where there is good soil and minimal sunlight.

Propagate the seedlings on furrow-like lines on the nursery bed and cover with thin soil. The nursery should be mulched and watered daily for 3 weeks to 4 weeks until they germinate.

Thinning of the cypress by removing the excessive seedlings on the nursery is done. After thinning, care of the trees in the nursery continues until five months when they can be moved to be planted on the field.

If not so, the seedlings when germinated for 8 weeks, tubes can be used. Tree seedlings can be moved to tubes where care by irrigation can continue before being transplanted to the field at maturity.

This process can be tedious but it ensures the cypress seedlings mature properly.

For more information on the benefits and how to plant the cypress trees visit the Kenya forest service offices for more tips and professional advice.

Important farm practices tips

Weeding: This is getting rid of unwanted plants that grows alongside planted crops and compete with them for nutrients and water, they also harbour pest and diseases which might be harmful to plants and also reducing the yields.

Nutrition: nutrients helps plants in good growth and high yields there are various fertilizers types that can be added to plants, they include the basal,foliar through the macro and micro nutrient elements

Basal fertilizers; these are available in Argostores countrywide they include DAP,CAN,NPK and UREA.

Manure; these are nutrition added to soil to increase nutrients they include animal droppings and decomposed Waste from grass and plant waste.

sheep goats and cows waste can be dried to make manure then added to soil to add nutrition decomposed waste can also be added to the soil to provide maximum nutrition to plants.

manure is widely used and available in Kenya with cheap price.

Irrigation:this is a common practice by farmers especially in areas that receive minimum or no rainfall at all. It has proved to be an effective method in crop production especially in semi-arid areas like Perkerra irrigation scheme in Marigat area Kenya. High-yielding crops are produced in this area with irrigation practice.

Types of irrigation method include.

  • Drip irrigation
  • Canal irrigation
  • Overhead irrigation

Mulching: this is a practice of adding materials like grass Waste or husks on nursery beds or on top of root seedlings covered by soil after planting.

Mulching helps to conserve moisture in the soil as it reduces evaporation of water from the soil, mulching helps to suppress weeds also. When mulching is done soil gets exposed to minimal sunlight hence discourages the growth of unwanted plants called weeds.

This practice is effective on nursery beds and newly transplanted crops.

Pruning: some plants develop Overgrown branches, buds and also yellow or withered leaves, it is important to pluck off these leaves and branches to make a clean plantation and also to reduce infection to other leaves which may occur with infected or withered leaves.

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