Homestead tree planting in two rural Swazi communities

James A. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Tree planting practices were investigated on a total of 95 homesteads in two communities in rural Swaziland. Information was also collected on socioeconomic characteristics of the homesteads. In both the study areas, Sigombeni and Bhekinkhosi, there was considerable variation amongst individual homesteads in size, relative wealth (as indicated by cattle and motor vehicle ownership), and amount and types of trees planted. Eighty-five percent of all homesteads in Sigombeni and 73 percent in Bhekinkhosi had planted at least one tree. Common forms of planting included small woodlots, fruit trees, and ornamentals. Virtually all the woodlots consisted of two introduced wattle species (Acacia mearnsii and A. decurrens). The most commonly planted fruit trees were avocadoes, bananas, and peaches. No complex or labor-intensive agroforestry practices (such as maize/leucaena intercropping) were observed. There was some evidence that the poorest and newest homesteads were the least likely to have planted any trees and that the richest homesteads were the most likely to have planted woodlots. The results indicate that forestry research and extension efforts should take into account homestead characteristics, and strive to offer a range of tree planting options that vary in input requirements, labor needs, and complexity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-22
Number of pages12
JournalAgroforestry Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1990


  • Agroforestry
  • Swaziland
  • fruit trees
  • social forestry
  • woodlots

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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