Welcome to the "Trees of Kenya" website!
To search for trees useful to agroforestry, click on the "Trees" link in the left menu bar.


 


Our Mission:

It is our purpose to provide the knowledge of good tree planting and management practices to help prevent the further deforestation in Africa.

When it comes to trees, Kenya is a rich land. According to the botanical reference, Kenya Trees and Shrubs, published by the National Museum, Kenya has over 1100 species of trees.

This is due in part to the wonderfully diverse habitats in the country, extending from the dry, barren regions of Lake Turkana and Mandera, to the lush high country around Mount Kenya and the Rift Valley highlands.
 
Kenya is also poor, due to poor resource management extending back to the colonial days and government actions of the immediate past, the country has seen extensive environmental degradation, habitat conversion and loss of forest cover. This has left the land vulnerable to erosion and drought, and the people with fewer resources for their survival. The forest, and the trees, have not received due credit for their contribution to the land. Trees protect soil, provide food and protection for people and animals, fuel for cooking, medicine, fiber, mulch, green manure, fencing, and much more. Losing these services has cost Kenya greatly.

 

Thinking about trees? Find more information in this series of articles:

About Trees

Important Considerations

Trees and Water in the Soil

Trees and Rain

 


Dr. Joe Marchal

At the same time there is hope, a hope rising from people acting at the local level. Not long ago the people of Machakos faced declining tree resources, increasing soil erosion, and loss of water. Something had to be done, and was. The countryside of the Kamba people now has more trees, lower erosion, and better water supply than it did 20 years ago, and the credit goes to local residents. They planted trees, instituted new land and livestock management strategies, improved erosion control methods, and built sub-surface dams and spring protection systems, all of which contributed to improved local environments.
This achievement can be repeated throughout Kenya, and even more broadly in Africa.
 
This website intends to be a small part of that process, providing an electronic resource for information about trees. This website was developed from material produced in association with KENGO, MCC Kenya, and numerous other organizations and people involved in growing trees in the country in the 1980's. The first attempt to provide this information was in a small book called A Pocket Directory of Trees and Seeds in Kenya by Wayne Teel, with illustrations by Terry Hirst.




Dr. Joe Marchal
Since then, new illustrations and more information have become available, and we want it shared as broadly as possible, with no expense. The website is under construction with materials produced by Wayne Teel, now a professor at James Madison University in the USA, and illustrated by Terry Hirst. This website was developed with the participation of Haruhiko Kutsukake, William Reichert, and Renee Parilak, and is hosted by James Madison University.
 
Copying and using this material is encouraged, we just ask that you credit the source.