Planting Shade Trees
|Importance of shade tree||
Shade trees need to be well established before
coffee trees are planted out. Plant shade trees one year before planting
coffee. Do not plant shade trees at the same time or after planting the
Shade protects young coffee plants from drought stress and over exposure to sun, which causes yellowing and death of leaves, tree overbearing and/or dieback in older trees. Shade also promotes a better balance between flowering and growth resulting in better cherry production. Legumes used as shade trees contribute substantially to soil health by providing organic matter and nutrients from leaf fall and prunings, and fix nitrogen from the air to restore soil fertility and structure. Shade trees also reduce the incidence of frost.
|Recommended shade trees||
Numerous species can be used as shade trees -
the preferred types include:
|Shade tree spacing||
Suggested spacing for Erythrina, Grevillea,
Gliricidia and Cassia is 14 x 13 ft or 170 trees/acre (5 x 5 m or 555
trees/ha), and Melia and Paulownia is 19 x 19 ft 120 trees/acre (6 x 6 m or
Plant shade trees within the coffee rows. Remove lower limbs from young shade trees as they grow.