FMNR: pruning for natural regeneration

Video transcript

Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration: how to prune trees and stumps.

Step 1: Survey the land. Note how many and what species of trees are present when selecting the stumps you want to regenerate. Choose trees that best suit your specific objectives. Do you want to produce fruit firewood fodder for livestock or do you need trees that will improve crops? You should know the answer to these questions before selecting the stumps that you will regenerate.

Step 2: Pruning. For each stump select at least five of the best stems to keep and prune using a sharp tool such as a sore axe machete, harvesting knife or hoe so that you can make clean cuts. This will help the stems recover more quickly. When pruning it's important to cut using an upwards motion to avoid bruising, splitting and stripping the bark. When pruning do not cut down the trees' ability to regrow and wounds can become an entry point to disease and pests. Cut off all the stems you don't want to keep so don't discard your cuttings they can be used in many ways. Prune side branches off the selected stems - halfway up their trunk. Don't prune stems too high up as this will make them more prone to damage from livestock or strong winds.

Step 3: Follow up. It is best to prune every two to six months. This stimulates faster growth and produces straighter stems. Regrowth is fairly hardy however if possible it's best to keep livestock away for six months to one year after first pruning to promote stronger growth. It's important to plan your pruning for a time of year when conditions are best. For tree regroup on farmland trees prune just before planting season will be better protected against livestock and growth will be faster due to increased soil moisture. You'll also need to consider measures to protect regrowing trees from threats like fire, working with the community and local authorities to come up with the agreements and plans to protect regrowing trees is essential.

Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration can restore barren landscapes into healthy and productive ecosystems so let's recap.

Survey the land and select the right species to regenerate. Select at least five of the best stems and cull the rest. Use a sharp tool and cut with an upwards motion. Prune the selected stems to halfway off the trunk. Repeat every two to six months and have plans in place to protect re-growing trees.