Introduction : Some Useful Indigenous Trees & Shrubs in Zambia

Trees are life. Without trees we will have no rain, no rivers, no crops. Trees clean and cool the air, act as a carbon sink, and are an important part in controlling global warming and climate change. Trees protect our soils and our water sources.

The Zambian landscape is characterised by its trees –  the umbrella acacia, the magnificent baobab, the sprawling sycamore fig, and the majestic red mahogany. Indigenous trees that were planted in several Zambian cities around 50+ years ago give streets character, shade and beauty. Indigenous trees that have been planted more recently at offices, shopping centres, memorial parks and along streets will benefit us now and in 50+ years time.

Indigenous trees are home grown; they are local and native; they occur naturally. Indigenous trees are suited to the local climate, altitude, soil and form an important part of the ecosystem. Indigenous trees, unlike their exotic cousins, are less likely to topple over after 20 years, do not invade as weeds, and are not as thirsty.

There are many hundreds of indigenous tree species to choose from, flowering at different times of the year, with distinct shapes and forms, attracting numerous and diverse insects and birds. Indigenous trees provide beauty and colour in the garden; shade to the market place, street or car park; screen factories and warehouses; supply animal fodder on the farm; offer fruit and vitamins, as well as ingredients for medicinal purposes; supply building materials and fire wood; and can stabilise and give nutrition to soil.

Trees-4-Zambia grows indigenous trees and by doing so conserves some threatened species. Trees-4-Zambia informs interested people about their beauty and usefulness. Trees-4-Zambia has nearly 10,000 tree and shrub seedlings of over 100 different species, ready for sale. All the trees are grown from seed collected in Zambia. Set on 30 acres of private land, Trees-4-Zambia is currently planting an arboretum of indigenous trees, complemented with areas of indigenous shrubs. An area of wilderness has been set aside for conservation purposes, which will be developed over the coming years.

We offer advice on appropriate planting schemes for urban areas, schools, shopping centers, businesses, golf courses, and domestic spaces. Trees-4-Zambia also supports environmental groups and schools by giving talks, slide shows and planting trees in public places. Trees-4-Zambia has an active website and a Facebook page.

The booklet which is available at our nursery describes selected useful indigenous trees and offers advice on which tree to plant where, how to plant and how to look after your trees. Most of the photos are our own. If not, we reference the source. It does not pretend to be a botanical guide. For that, please see the excellent web site:

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