Trees for Food Security Project-Local Knowledge-Tree management and impact of management on trees’ phenology in Oromiya region, Ethiopia

The research investigated the impact of management on the phenology of Acacia tortilis, Faidherbia albida, Croton macrostachyus, Dichrostachys cinerea and Ziziphus mucronata. The trees were selected, as they were dominant species, in two sites in a parkland system in Oromiya region, Ethiopia. The main purposes of this research were to elicit local knowledge about the effect of common management practices on phenology, the effect of management on tree – crop interaction and if management practices affects the tree size. Data mainly were collected by semi – structured interview and in combination with participatory research tools. This research found that pollarding, pruning and coppicing were three common management practices in both sites that farmers have a broad knowledge about them and they use from each one of these practices under the special circumstances for example they never do the pollarding when the trees are still so young. The farmers’ local knowledge suggested that the practice of pollarding was found to have a significant impact on the timing of flushing and flowering of all five species at both sites Tree management can change the tree – crop interaction. Except the managed F. albida trees, crops grow better under the other managed trees, as they have no shade and no water dropping on crops. Unmanaged F. albida has no leaf at the time of cropping but when farmers do the pollarding these trees start leaf flushing only 1 week to one month after pollarding and when they have leaves they have more light and water competition with crops so the crop productivity decrease under the managed F. albida.