Tree seed quality guide uri icon


  • The drive to plant trees is on the increase as the values of trees and forest are being appreciated the world over. The pressure has led to a marked increase in demand for forest seeds and other planting materials in many countries . In most tree species, seeds are critical for production of seedlings. The majority of afforestation and agroforestry programs depend on seed as a planting material . In Kenya, the need for availability of quality tree planting material to support afforestation involving government, NGOs and farmers has been emphasized in the Forests Act 2005 . Many field surveys have indicated that the available tree planting materials are of poor quality in terms of genetic , physical and physiological qualities (Muriuki 2005, Mbora et al. 2007, and Imo et al. 2006). The poor quality germplasm has led to poor performance of most trees and tree populations thus eroding the incentive to plant trees. Afforestation and tree planting is therefore losing out in competition with other land uses. Therefore the provision of adequate high quality seed is critical in promoting agroforestry and tree planting in general. Most farmers are encouraged to plant trees by the high chances of attaining the expected tree related goods and services. The time interval between planting and realization of benefits is usually long in most tree species making it necessary to ensure that quality propagules are used.Quality factors that must be considered when producing or procuring seeds for agroforestry are genetic, physical and physiological. The farmers and even extension staff need to understand role and importance of these factors in seed quality and the resultant tree population performance. Tree seeds are often regarded as inferior to crop seeds, a misnomer (mistaken belief) that needs to be rectified to promote tree planting . This guide is an attempt to raise awareness on the basic principles on how to produce or access good quality tree seed. Therefore ,the authors prepared this guidelines in order to emphasize on the importance of using good quality seed and also to use it as a platform for all seed users e.g. farmers, NGOs and extension agents.The main objective of seed quality awareness rising developed in this guide is to enhance the understanding of different elements of tree seed quality to farmers, and find out measures which can be taken to produce or access the best available material for planting

publication date

  • 2009