Forestry and Environment Sympoisum 1998, Sri Lanka

Fourth Annual Symposium organized by Department of Forestry and Environment Science, University of Sri Jayewardenapura, Sri Lanka.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Eucalyptus AND Acacia SPECIES AND FUTURE STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVEMENT IN THE UP COUNTRY OF SRI LANKA

K M A Bandara
Research Officer, Forest Department Passara Road, Badulla.


Most of the arable lands ill up country are used for tea and some other cash crops like vegetables. The land available for commercial reforestation is marginal and degraded. However, commercially valuable tree species like Eucalyptus and Acacia are planted ill the tea plantations as ill additional income source; to produce a significant timber and fuel wood production.

Naturally available tree species cannot he cultivated commercially due to their slow growth and poor timber quality. Furthermore, Michelia champaca, Cedrella toona and Artocarpus heterophyllus that are localized to up country show slow growth and are therefore very difficult to plant as commercial trees.

Fast growing Eucalyptus and Acacia species have been introduced to up country in the 1800s. E. grandis and E. microcorys species are planted in the up country in large-scale industrial plantations and in the farmlands, Hence they produce significant production for the, timber market. Acacia species are not planted widely in this zone but there will be a high potential for the species A. melanoxylon in the future as a furniture timber tree.

Genetic improvement of Eucalypus started ill 1990s. E. grandis, E. microcorvs, E. cloeziana and E. urophylla have shown promising growth in the species trials. Provenances of E. grandis from northern Queensland and provenances of E. miorocorys from northern New South Wales have performed well. Broad range provenances of A. melanoxylon trial have been established in the recent past.

A long tern breeding programme for E.grandis was formulated in 1994. The first generation progeny trial was established in 1995 in the upcountry intermediate zone. Hence, it is proposed to convert that to a seedling seed orchard in the future. Two seed production areas for each species were established in two different climatic zones, Up country intermediate and wet zone for immediate seed requirements.

Present activities of tree improvement in the up country and future improvement strategies and plans will be discussed.

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