Growth, wood yield and energy characteristics of Leucaena Leucocephala, Gliricidia Sepium and Senna Siamea at age four

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Growth, wood yield, specific gravity, calorific value and chemical composition (i.e. % Lignin, Cellulose and Hemicellulose contents) were determined for Senna siamea, Gliricidia sepium and Leucaena leucocephala at age four. The study was conducted to assess the productivity and energy potentials of the species for fuelwood use. Species were established at 8333 plants/ha on gritty clay loam with pH ranging between 4.2 and 5.3. Four sampling plots measuring 6.6m x 2m were randomly allocated within each species plot using the three species as the main treatment with four replications in Completely Randomised Design (CRD). Tree height varied from 5.94m for L. leucocephala to 9.61m for S. siamea and diameter at breast height varied from 4.46cm for leucocephala to 5.80cm for siamea. Wood yield (oven - dry weight) of S. siamea was 86.15 t/ha and was the highest of the species and L. leucocephala had the least. Branches of the species contributed between 12 and 24 of total wood yield. Wood specific gravity ranged from 0.625 for S. siamea to 0.670 for L. leucocephala. Stems had higher specific gravity and calorific values than branches in all the species. Calorific value did not differ significantly between species but chemical composition varied within and between species. Energy production ranged from 182 x 106 Kcal/ha for L. leucocephala to 385 x 106 Kcal/ha for S. siamea and. branches produced between 11 and 21% of total energy production. G sepium was an inter- mediate between S. siamea and L. leucocephala in all the parameters measured. In terms of growth and productivity performances, Senna siamea was the best species. On selection of species for fuelwood plantation establishment, Senna siamea is recommended to be a better choice than L. leucocephala and G. sepium.
A Thesis Submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Master of Science Degree in Agroforestry, 1995