Full Length Research

Evaluation of locally available fertilizer tree/shrub species in Gozamin Woreda, North Central Ethiopia

Kiros Getachew1,2*, Fisseha Itanna3 and Abraham Mahari4

Abstract

The objective of the study was to evaluate the locally available fertilizer tree/shrub species in the study area. This study was conducted in two phases; in the first phase, a semi structured questionnaire was prepared to a total of 312 respondents randomly selected from the study area. In the second phase, leaf litter from the selected tree species and soil samples from both under the canopy of the selected tree species and open (controlled) area were collected for further analysis. According to response from respondents, Cordia africana was perceived to be the best by 26% of the respondents; while 39% of the respondents noted that Croton macrostachyus as the best; and 35% of the respondents acknowledge that Hygenia abyssinica is most importantly preferable for soil fertility improvement. Comparisons of potential leaf litter nutrient content (N, P, and K) of each selected tree species nutrient return from each selected species showed that leaf of C. macrostachyus had significantly higher (P < 0.05) K value compared with the leaf of C. africana and H. abyssinica. C. macrostachyus and H. abyssinica also showed higher concentration of N and P than C. africana. Soil properties under the canopy of all the selected tree species differed from the open (controlled) sampling point mainly as a result of nutrient addition from the fallen leaf litter to the underneath soil. Therefore, it is advisable to advise farmers to let these tree species grow on their farms and improve soil condition to achieve maximum production.

Key words: Fertilizer, tree, shrub, C. africana, H. abyssinica, C. macrostachyus.

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