Early growth performance and survival of selected pine hybrids in Turbo and Muguga, Kenya

  • Omondi S F Kenya Forestry Research Institute
  • Muchiri M N Kenya Forestry Research Institute
  • Chagala-Odera E Kenya Forestry Research Institute
  • Oballa P O Kenya Forestry Research Institute
  • Atie W O Kenya Forestry Research Institute
  • Cherotich L Kenya Forestry Research Institute


Pines have been among the major plantation species grown in Kenya and in many parts of the world. The narrow range of commercial plantation species, the risks associated with climate change and the needs to improve productivity per unit area have necessitated screening of new pine germplasm across the globe. The present study evaluated survival and early growth performance of 13 new pine hybrids in Muguga and Turbo Kenya at age 5, with an objective of determining their potential for plantation forestry in the country. Randomized block design was employed in this trial. For the Muguga site, 36 (6 x 6) tree plots with four replicates was used while 49 (7 x 7) tree plots with three replicates was used in the Turbo site. Average survival of the hybrids across the two sites at five years was 61.8% and varied from 26.4% to 87.8%. In each site, the best-performing hybrid clones grew significantly faster (P < 0.05) than P. patula in height and diameter at breast height (Pat x TecH, Pat x Ooc and Pat x TecL). Overall, mean volume production for the hybrids was significantly higher in Muguga than Turbo (P < 0.05, V = 0.051). Relative performance of the best hybrid clones showed consistency in ranking for growth across the sites and analysis showed low genotype-by-environment interaction. Early selection indicates that P. patula x P. tecunumanii (low elevation) was the best hybrid for the two sites. The results suggest that five hybrids that performed better than the local P. patula could be used in establishing pilot plantations in major pine plantation areas in Kenya.

How to Cite
F, O., N, M., E, C.-O., O, O., O, A., & L, C. (2021). Early growth performance and survival of selected pine hybrids in Turbo and Muguga, Kenya. East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, 84(1). Retrieved from https://www.kalro.org/www.eaafj.or.ke/index.php/path/article/view/301