Substitution of Plastics with Organic Pots in Tree Seedlings Production for Sustainable Environmental Conservation

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Wambui Mwangi
Samuel Kariuki
Nyambura Wagara

Keywords

Biodegradable; environmental-friendly; polythene; reforestation; seedling containers

Abstract

The Mau Forest Complex, Kenya, is the location where the study below was done with the aim of investigating if small-scale operators of tree nurseries are will to embrace and use biodegradable seedling pots. These containers include baskets made of plant fibre and bamboo tubes as well as to determine the tree species that could form a denser canopy to be used in reafforestation. This study hypothesized that biodegradable pots could promote better growth of tree seedlings and offer more environmental-friendly benefits in comparison to the extensively utilized polythene containers. Biodegradable seedling pots are options friendly to the environment compared to plastic pots commonly used in activities in the greenhouse and nurseries. The use of compostable and plantable containers based on natural and renewable materials derived from plant materials have a potential market to boost the sustainable character of current tree production systems. Three species were planted including, Hagenia abyssinica in Gatimu, Juniperus procera and Olea europea subsp. africana in Mwisho wa Lami. Basket tubes gave the highest vigor (62.429 cm) with H. abyssinica in Gatimu while bamboo (58.048cm) and control (52.667cm) did not show a significant difference at p = 0.05 level. Olea europea subsp. africana generally demonstrated higher vigor with all the applied treatments than J. procera in Mwisho wa Lami. Basket treatment gave the highest height and number of branches for the two plant species while bamboo and control treatments did not have any significant differences at p = 0.05. In this study it was found that seedling bags made from plant fibres could be adopted in tree seedling propagation to remove the synthetic plastics for sustainable environmental conservation. Hagenia abysinica was also recommended for reafforestation as it formed a quick canopy.