Tree Farming in Uganda

Tree farming in Uganda is a profitable business and you can make millions from it but only if you are patient since it is a long term venture. Selection of the types of trees that you can grow depends on various factors and these include the following:

  • The period it takes for the trees to grow for example if you are planning on growing trees for timber it will take you 15 to 20 years, construction poles take 3 to 4 years whereas transmission poles take 8 to 15 years.
  • The size of the land that you have
  • Market demand for the tree species chosen

Some of the most common trees that are grown in Uganda include eucalyptus trees, mahogany trees, pine trees, teak and Maesopsis Eminii trees. The main reason as to why some of these trees are that they are fast growing trees and they have a high market demand. Currently the largest market for the trees grown in Uganda is local and potential clients include construction companies, industries and furniture workshops. Many individuals have engaged in commercial tree farming due to the high profits that are obtained after harvesting the trees.

tree planting in Uganda

Pine trees in Uganda

these are common and more in demand from the farmers because they grow faster than the rest of the tree species. Pinus patula is the main type of pine species that are grown in Uganda and it grows best in areas that have a high altitude.

Cypress trees in Uganda

these are slow growing tree species and mainly used to make timber. It is mainly grown for commercial timber and they also act as hedges that help with wind breaking.

Terminalia in Uganda

this is a fast growing soft tree species and grows best in soils that are well drained and receive a lot of rainfall. The wood from this tree species is used to make furniture and it is also known as the umbrella tree.

Eucalyptus trees in Uganda

this is one of the most grown tree species in the country and it grows at a faster rate as compared to the rest. It is grown for transmission poles, sawn timber and wood energy. Examples of eucalyptus trees that are grown in the country include Eucalyptus urophylla, Eucalyptus grandis and the Hybrid Eucalyptus clones.

Teak Trees in Uganda

This is mainly grown in the northern part of Uganda in Gulu because of the weather conditions experienced in the area. It is mainly planted for hardwood timber.

eucalyptus trees in uganda

What do you need to start tree farming in Uganda?

Procuring land

just like any other farming venture, the first step is buying the needed land for tree planting. Make sure that the land that you bought has proper documentation and you have sole ownership of it. It is better if you purchase a bigger land like an acre and then get ready to start tree farming.

Design the farm and the tree species

the design of the farm includes the different tree species that you plan on farming, how the trees are to be planted, and the labour needed to plant the trees and then start preparing the land. It is better if you prepare the land during the dry season and then check on the soil quality to find out if it is compatible with the tree species that you intend to plant.

tree farming in Uganda

Planting and caring for the trees

There are many places where you can buy the tree seedlings across the country but it is better if you buy from a genuine and certified supplier. Make sure to check the seedlings before planting and find out if they are healthy before purchasing the batch. Plant the trees while giving them enough space, especially the types that take time to mature like the pines. The best time to plant the tree seedlings is during the wet season because the rain helps the trees to become firm in the ground.

Part of what makes a successful tree planting is the care given to trees right from the time they are planted until you harvest them. Pruning is an essential step in getting thicker and better trees and this is done the moment the tree seedlings take seven months and after this, you can prune the trees every two years to help you grow straight and thick trees.

More than 700 trees can be planted on an acre of land however this all depends on the spacing that is put between the trees while planting.

Another farming venture that you can join with the tree farms is bee keeping. Since the bee hives are best placed among trees, this will earn you more income as you wait for the trees to reach maturity stage.

Tree growing is expected to be on the rise in the next four to five years because it is a lucrative business and there is an increase in the demand for trees within the country. Venturing into tree farming is quite easy especially if you already own land but you will need to be a little more patient since the trees take time to grow making the venture a long term investment.

Things to note about tree planting in Uganda

  1. An acre of land can accommodate about 400 species. and more depending on the spacing
  2. You should get the seedlings from a certified nursery bed
  3. Eucalyptus trees take less than 3 years to reach maturity
  4. Initial cost for clearing the land is about shs600, 000 and planting of the seedlings can reach an estimation of shs400, 000.
  5. You should prune the trees to get good quality trees upon harvesting.