Is there anybody that has experimented with Faidherbia albida in Haiti? I think this tree could be very promising for Haiti. However, as far as I know it does not exist on the island and as it is always a risk to introduce new species I am reluctant with bringing seeds. Even though I don’t think that there is a big risk that a tree species becomes invasive in this deforested country. However, I wonder how the farmers would perceive Faidherbia, as far as I know Leucaena leucocephala is considered a weed by many farmers today. Leucaenia has been promoted as a protection against erosion and to produce feed, but if not very well managed it can spread to the whole field.
I don't know of anyone doing agroforestry in Haiti. I don't know if the usual reverse phenology (leafed out in dry season/bare in wet season) of Faidherbia would occur in Haiti. From my research into tropical agriculture, I have discovered that soil organic matter and fertility are essentially the same thing. Green manure/cover crops and/or slash and mulch agroforestry are about the only sustainable way to provide this organic matter/fertility. Conceptually simple but not easy to implement. I have distributed velvet bean, lablab, cowpea, crotalaria and gliricidia seed, with appropriate inoculants, but have never gotten any feedback.
I just checked my “bible” on Haiti trees, Bwa Yo. It doesn’t mention this species. I suspect you would be introducing it.
I’m doing agroforestry in Haiti and feel there are enough good biomass species in the country to experiment with, I haven’t brought any new species in. I’m currently using gliricidia, acacia, inga, moringa, albizia, senna siamea and eucalyptus varities. This is the first year I’ve made apical cuts on some of my trees, so soon I should have some feedback as to how they perform.
For biomass plants, I’m using banana, panicum maximum, pigeon pea, vetiver and I hope to find some tithonia and use that.
Plus I am on the look out for other indigenous trees and plants with good growth characteristics and will integrate them into the system, to see how they do.
If you look for Tithonia, there are plenty in the Kenscoff/Furcy region. I don’t know where you want to plant them, but I assume that they will grow best in similar altitudes/climats.
I’m interested in getting the tithonia. I’m sure it will do well in our region. Do you have any contacts that you can share with me in Kenscoff/Furcy region? So I know that I can find it if I make the trip.
If so, you can email here: rgietz at hotmail dot com
I don’t have any specific contacts there. But I am sure that I have seen plenty of them at the roadside when I did the hike from Kenscoff to Pic la Visite, just after the junction to Furcy. But I am pretty sure to have seen some Tithonia on the side of the road already when your reach Kenscoff.
Alright. I understand. It’s good to know it’s growing wild there. Thanks for the tip!
I have 6 Faidherbia albida that are 4 years old now and are growing well and seem to like the climate. However they haven’t set seed yet and I’m not sure they will. I was just talking about this with some people this weekend and they said theirs haven’t ever set seed in Florida. So yeah don’t know if it’ll be much good if it won’t seed. I’ll keep my eyes on it and if it does set seed I’ll let you know.
Thanks a lot for the information, Bryan.
By the way: Do your trees show the typical pattern of shedding the leaves during the wet season?
Mine are young enough yet, I haven’t noticed a dormancy on mine yet. However the leaves are very small and fine even when they’re on so they still let allot of light through. I’m not too interested in using them in my area because of the fact that it’s a thorn tree. People here don’t like thorns. I think it would be an ok selection if working in a area that is very dry as dispersed shade for crops though.