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Comparative growth of some multipurpose trees and shrubs grown at Machakos, Kenya

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Growth rates of 29 multipurpose trees grown in an agroforestry arboretum for six years at a sub-humid to semi-arid climatic zone are presented. Exotic species such as Grevillea robusta, Sesbania grandiflora, Leucaena leucocephala, Cassia siamea and Sesbania sesban, some of which were outside their traditional climatic zones, had higher diameters, heights and bole volumes/tree (upto 130% more in certain cases) than of the indigenous species. However, poor performance of several species (both exotic and indigenous) would limit their agroforestry potentials at the evaluation site or other similar areas.

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