Most Profitable non-edible trees to grow in your farm

 It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.” — Wangari Maathai.

Trees have many benefits on your health, surroundings and income. They provide food and shelter for humans, birds and animals. They are a source of industrial raw materials. Besides, forests reduce soil erosion and flooding.

Planting tree has many benefits. They provide food, shelter, incomes and improve our surroundings.

Planting edible and fruit trees like Moringa are the most viable in small-scale farming systems. However, you make high profits raising inedible trees.  You will plant them for other uses other than human food. It can be fuel, industrial, ornamental, medicinal or fodder.

 In this article, we give you a list of the best non-food plants you can raise for money in a tropical area like Kenya.

Ornamental Trees

These have a high demand for decoration uses during celebrations. The best types you can raise are;

Palm trees

Its branches and leaves have a high demand on Palm Sunday processions during the Easter holidays.  Are also used in basketry and water conservation. Some species produce the palm wine. It does well in riparian soil and climate zones.

There are indoor potted palm trees or outdoor types. You can plant either the Pinaga, Triangle, Coco Plumosa, Golden cane, Alexandra or cycad palm type.

Christmas trees

People use the ornamental tree for decoration during the Christmas holidays. What makes it most profitable to raise is their ease to plant and fast growth. You can produce a lot of them in a small space. There are over ten Christmas tree species you can choose. These are mostly the coniferous types that are;

  • Fir (Balsam, Fraser, Canaan, Douglas, Grand, Noble or Concolor)
  • Pine (White, Scotch  or Virginia )
  • Spruce (Blue, Norway or White)
  • Cypress (Leyland or Arizona)
  • Cedar (red)
  • Potted mini Christmas trees like the Juniper Bonsai Trees you can market as Christmas gift baskets.

You can propagate a Christmas tree from plant cuttings or seedlings. Grow ones with strong fragrance and branches to carry the Christmas decorations.

Commercial Tree Farming 

You will Plant indigenous and exotic non-edible trees for sale. Your choice should be a tree that is fast-growing and whose products have high demand. It can be firewood, fencing poles or timber.

Commercial Exotic Trees

Commercial exotic trees (cypress) plantation

The five best examples of exotic commercial trees you can plant for sale are;

  • The Eucalyptus trees of less than five years are best for firewood, poles, posts and fencing. The older ones are good for building timber and making pulp.
  • Cypress and Pine‘s timber has a high demand for furniture making.
  • Cedar, these have a longer maturing period. They are suitable for afforestation. It has high-quality timber and posts.
  • Casuarina equisetifolia its posts; are used in fencing. It has good firewood.

Indigenous Commercial Trees

The best indigenous trees you can grow commercially are;

  • Bamboo trees; has many varieties and uses. You can grow and sell it as a potted plant for landscaping. Its mature trees are sturdy for construction, furniture and fencing.  Besides, it makes organic apparel whose fibre is non-allergic to make the comfiest bamboo bedding like bamboo duvets and comforters. You can grow it from cuttings or seedlings.
Bamboo trees have many uses in building and making organic non-allergic fibre.
  • Meru Oak; It is the most valuable in making the indoor and outdoor home and office furniture.
  • Podo or the yellowwood; Sell its timber to boat and ship makers.
  • Mukinduri- Croton; It is a magnificent shade tree. Market it as fuel and poles. Use its seeds in poultry feed production.
  • The Nandi frame tree; its timber is perfect for carving. Its seeds, flowers and bark extracts is a laxative. Besides, its an antiseptic medicine.
  • Acacia species; the hardy trees do well in drylands of the African region. You can sell them as firewood, poles or timber.
  • The African Olive (Olea Africana); sell its products in furniture and tannery.

To choose the best tree for your ecological zone, use the Infonet Biovision guide. It has information on the soil, climate, the tree uses and the expected maturity.

Legume Trees

You will farm these as livestock fodder or a source of making green fertilizers in organic farming settings. Leguminous trees are a source of timber, human food and natural medicine. Besides, plant them for green fertilizers, windbreakers, or an attraction for bees and other pollinators. The best types you can establish in your farm are; Leucaena, acacia, calliandra, casuarina and Sesbania.

Medicinal Trees

You will raise for their healing properties. There are many medicinal plants you can consider growing. You can farm some like the rosemary and thyme across the world as medicinal herbs for their benefits in treating common ailments like the common cold or bruises.

The other medicinal trees to plant in your farm are;

  • Neem tree. (mwarobaine) to extract its neem oil which is a safe biopesticide against over 200 crop pests like locusts and aphids.
  • Red Stinkwood. it has various medicinal uses to treat fevers, malaria, stomach pains, purgative, kidney disease, appetite stimulant, gonorrhoea, and insanity.
  • Kassod Tree or the yellow Cassia, the fruits are used to treat intestinal worms and prevent convulsions in children according to the world agroforestry centre. It’s also laxative and can treat scabies.

As an individual, business or a charity, you can execute a tree-planting project in your area. Besides, you can take place in the national tree planting days as a CSR activity to push for a high forest cover.

You can benefit financially by growing some for sale. You can make extra money by adding the value of the trees. it can be lumbering and making poles, timber or firewood. Other methods are selling seedlings.

Samuel K

Samuel Kibicho is passionate about profitable and safe agriculture as a tool for wealth creation and food security. He is the founder of Agcenture and consults in market systems development (MSD), program management and result measurement, monitoring and evaluation for sustainable agriculture & rural development projects.

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1 Response

  1. Julie says:

    An insructive piece.

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