Multipurpose Tree - /məltīˈpərpə, trē/- adjective

January 13, 2021

Definition: A tree or shrub intentionally cultivated and managed to provide more than one product and/or function.

A Closer Look: When selecting species for their Forest Gardens, farmers should consider the multiple uses of each plant, whether it is providing useful food or forest products and other environmental services.

How many purposes does a tree have?

A fast-growing leguminous tree is an excellent example of a multipurpose tree. One use for a fast-growing leguminous tree is fixing nitrogen in the soil. If planted in a windbreak, this tree can reduce wind and soil dryness, and depending on the slope on which it is planted, it may also serve to control erosion. During low-wind seasons, that same tree can be coppiced for fuelwood and fodder, or the leaves and stems can be used as a mulch or mixed into the soil to increase fertility and moisture retention.

8 Multipurpose Trees Grown in Forest Gardens 

  1. Grevillea robusta
  2. Leucaena spp.
  3. Calliandra calothyrsus
  4. Faidherbia albida
  5. Albizia lebbeck
  6. Moringa oleifera
  7. Gliricidia sepium
  8. Ziziphus mauritiana

For a complete list of the Forest Garden trees that we plant, visit our website. To learn about some of the most useful multipurpose trees planted in Forest Gardens, read Chapter 9 of the Technical Manual.