Original Articles

Effect of cutting height and frequency on Leucaena leucocephala forage and wood production

DOI: 10.1080/10220119.1998.9647934
Author(s): J.P. Muir, Mozambique


Leucaena leucocephala is a fast‐growing tree that can provide both high quality forage and firewood. The objective of this trial was to determine the optimum height and frequency of cutting for both wood and forage production. Cutting heights at 0.3 m, 0.6 m and 1.0 m were superimposed on 3‐month and 6‐month cutting frequencies on mature rows of L. leucocephala for three years. Effects of year or its interaction with the other factors were not significant (P≥0.10). There was an increase (P=0.07) in wood production but not forage production (P≥0.10) with the longer interval. Cutting height had an effect on forage (P<0.001) production, with 5.47 t ha−1 a−1 for the 0.3‐m height, 7.62 t ha−1 a−1 for the 0.7‐m height, and 8.71 t ha−1 a−1 for the 1.0‐m height. Cutting height also had an effect on wood production (P<0.001), with 7.22 t hd−1 a−1 for the 0.3‐m height, 9.33 t ha−1 a−1 for the 0.7‐mheight, and 11.55 t hd−1 a−1 for the 1.0‐m height. In this experiment, the six‐month interval produced more wood than the three‐month interval, but there were no differences in quantity of forage dry matter in L. leucocephala; there were advantages in both wood and forage production with the taller trunk base.

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