This is a list of the most profitable trees to grow in Kenya. Commercial tree growing is one of the most profitable agribusiness ventures in Kenya. Are you looking for the most profitable trees to grow in Kenya? Commercial tree farming is a profitable agribusiness idea providing jobs and income for millions of Kenyans. In this post, we give you a listing of the best trees which can give you fast money. They include fruit trees, fodder crops and timber trees.
How to select best commercial trees for your farm
In commercial tree farming, tree maturity period, demand and uses for the trees are key factors to consider. To select the very best for fast and high profits, here is how to approach the decision.
- Maturity; Plant the the fast-growing types. These will be ready for harvest and sale in a few years from planting. Consult with agriculture office to compare maturity periods for different tree species.
- Popularity; Grow the trees which have a high demand in the timber yards, factories or furniture stores. These will give you a ready market once you harvest them.
- Use; Grow a tree which is multi-purpose and can be use for different uses like making firewood, feeding livestock, fencing poles and timber.
Types of commercial trees farmed in Kenya
In the list below, we give you a category of the most profitable trees to grow in Kenya with examples.
- Fast growing timber trees e.g. pine, eucalyptus, pine, cedar
- Profitable Indigenous trees e.g. bamboo and Meru oak, podo & croton
- Fruit trees e.g. Avocado, Mango, Pawpaw etc.
- Ornamental trees e.g. Christmas, bonsai and palm trees
- Medicinal trees e.g. Neem, Moringa and Kassod
- Fodder trees e.g. Leucaena, acacia
Best Softwood Timber Trees in Kenya
Best Hardwood Timber Trees in Kenya
- Meru Oak
- Elgon Teak
Here is a List Of Most Profitable Trees To Grow In Kenya
The avocado (Persea americana) is a medium-sized, evergreen tree in the laurel family (Lauraceae). It is native to the Americas and was first domesticated by Mesoamerican tribes more than 5,000 years ago. Then as now it was prized for its large and unusually oily fruit.
Eucalyptus ( is a genus of over seven hundred species of flowering trees, shrubs or mallees in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. Along with several other genera in the tribe Eucalypteae, including Corymbia, they are commonly known as eucalypts. Plants in the genus Eucalyptus have bark that is either smooth, fibrous, hard or stringy, leaves with oil glands, and sepals and petals that are fused to form a “cap” or operculum over the stamens. The fruit is a woody capsule commonly referred to as a “gumnut”.
Most species of Eucalyptus are native to Australia, and every state and territory has representative species. About three-quarters of Australian forests are eucalypt forests. Many eucalypt species have adapted to wildfire, and resprout after fire or have seeds which survive fire.
A few species are native to islands north of Australia and a smaller number are only found outside the continent. Eucalypts have been grown in plantations in many other countries because they are fast growing and have valuable timber, or can be used for pulpwood, for honey production or essential oils. In some countries, however, they have been removed because of the danger of forest fires due to their high inflammability.
The amazing mango tree (Mangifera Indica) is much more than just a source of mangos. It’s a beautiful, living thing that gives back so much to the planet and the people who tend it.
Where do mango trees grow? The mango tree growing zone is limited to tropical climates. Extended exposure to temperatures below 30°F can kill or severely damage a mango tree, as mango tree cold tolerance is low. So, in the U.S. the mango tree growing zones are the southernmost portions of Florida and California plus Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Fortunately, while mango tree cold tolerance isn’t one its strong suits, mangos are cultivated in mango tree growing zones all around the globe and Americans can enjoy the delicious fruit year ‘round.
How fast do mango trees grow and what is the average mango tree height? A mango tree can grow fairly quickly and quite large, reaching a height of 100 feet or more with a canopy of 35 feet or more. Of course, mango tree growth rate, mango tree growth stages, and mango tree height vary based on soil and weather conditions.
The average mango tree height for those in cultivation is generally much shorter as this makes for a more manageable harvest. But these trees shouldn’t be confused with dwarf mango trees. Dwarf mango tree varieties have naturally small to medium-size trees.
The large leaves of a mango tree are leathery, 5 to 16 inches in length, and remain on the tree for a year or more. Flowers are produced in terminal panicles or clusters 4 to 16 inches long. Each flower is small with white petals and a mild sweet aroma. The flowers are pollinated by insects and less than 1 percent of the flowers will mature to form fruit. A mango fruit tree in full flower in the optimal mango tree growing zone is a beautiful sight indeed.
Cypress trees are a large classification of conifers, encompassing the trees and shrubs from the cypress family (Cupressaceae) and many others with the word “cypress” in their common name. Many cypress trees have needle-like, evergreen foliage and acorn-like seed cones.
Bamboo has been an integral part of indigenous forests in Kenya The Oldeania alpina (Syn. Yushania alpina) commonly known as highland Bamboo is the only indigenous Bamboo species that grows naturally between the altitudes of 2,200m and 3,400m AMSL.
The Meru oak is a deciduous tree capable of growing to a height of 35 m. Found only in Kenya, it occurs naturally in lower and upper montane forests and on thicketed, rocky hills from 1200 to 2100 m.
The species can be recognised by its very thin, rough bark and hairy stems, petioles and veins. The leaves are compound, divided into five leaflets arranged in a vague star formation. Flowers are small and white with a dark mauve petal lobe. The fruits are edible; they are ellipsoid, green at first and becoming black with maturity.
The Meru oak’s wood is hard and durable and resembles teak. It is used commonly for the production of furniture and decorative veneers but also for firewood, general timber and beams.
As a consequence of its highly valued timber, the species has been severely over-exploited and is now very rare. It is also threatened by loss of its forest habitat, primarily as a result of agricultural expansion.
Conservation measures for the Meru oak are limited, although the species, being very fast-growing, could potentially be included within various planting schemes in Kenya. This species is being utilised in our on-going forest restoration work at Brackenhurst Botanic Garden.
The macadamia nut tree goes back to Australia and it was introduced in Kenya between 1945 to 1948. In Kenya, macadamia grows in the same climate suitable for growing coffee. The macadamia nut trees remained almost totally unknown in Kenya until after independence in 1964 when a Kenya farming family, Bob Harries and Peter Harries started multiplying the trees in a seedling nursery, planting them on their farms and selling some to other interested farmers.
In 1969 -1971 Bob Harries Limited, a company founded by the late Robert Harries initiated a campaign to sensitize the Kenyan Government to commercialize macadamia nut growing and establish processing and marketing the edible nuts. The Kenya Nut Company Limited was formed in 1974. This company was appointed by the Kenya Government to spearhead and invest in the development of the macadamia nut industry in Kenya.
A pine is any conifer tree or shrub in the genus Pinus of the family Pinaceae. Pinus is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae. The World Flora Online created by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden accepts 187 species names of pines as current, together with more synonyms
Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree of the family Moringaceae, native to the Indian subcontinent. Common names include moringa, drumstick tree, horseradish tree, and ben oil tree or benzolive tree.
Eastern Australia. COMMON NAMES: English: Silky oak; Kamba: Mukima: Kikuyu: Mubariti, Mukima; Kisii: Omokabiria; Luhya: Eshichuma, Wakhuisi; Nandi: Kapkawet. DESCRIPTION: A semi-deciduous tree to 20 m or more with a straight trunk, angular branches and an oval leafy crown.
Grevillea is mainly used for timber, poles/posts and fuelwood. Other used include bee forage, mulch, soil conservation, wind break, shade and ornamental. Farmers are encouraged to convert their Grevillea trees to timber, rather than selling as whole tree or fuelwood to fetch highest return from growing the tree.
Cedrus, common English name cedar, is a genus of coniferous trees in the plant family Pinaceae. They are native to the mountains of the western Himalayas and the Mediterranean region, occurring at altitudes of 1,500–3,200 m in the Himalayas and 1,000–2,200 m in the Mediterranean.
Podocarpus latifolius is a large evergreen tree up to 35 m high and 3 m trunk diameter, in the conifer family Podocarpaceae; it is the type species of the genus Podocarpus. The real yellowwood has been declared the national tree of South Africa and is protected there.
Croton megalocarpus is a tree species in the family Euphorbiaceae. It is indigenous to ten countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, and Mozambique.
A fast-growing tree, croton grows up to 36 meters high and reaches maturity after five to seven years. Croton is commonly found in forests and on rural farms as a boundary tree. It is a drought-resistant tree that can survive in harsh climatic conditions and is not browsed by animals. It is a dominant upper canopy tree with a flat crown.
Croton trees have dark grey or pale brown bark and the leaves are long, oval-shaped, with a green upper surface and a pale underside. A prolific seeder, Croton trees fruit twice a year approximately five months after rains in East Africa. Croton nuts develop after the tree flowers, with mature nuts produced in varying amounts throughout the year depending on the region and elevation. Croton nuts contain three dark oblong seeds that are inedible
(Nandi flame, African tulip tree); Kipsigis (Sebetaiyet); Luhya (Mutsulia); bukusu (Kumuchirisia); Luo (Nyawend agwata); nandi (Sebetaiyet); Pokot (Repko); Teso (Ekakale).
It is native to Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. In Kenya is concentrated in high potential areas in Western and Central parts of the country.
This tree is planted extensively as an ornamental tree throughout the tropics and is much appreciated for its very showy reddish-orange or crimson (rarely yellow), campanulate flowers. Other services include
- Shade or shelter: Recommended as a shade tree for parks and yards; it has been
- Reclamation: S. campanulata helps rehabilitate disturbed lands through its quick invasion and rapid growth. It is not browsed by domestic animals and although a popular decorative tree for avenues it has shallow roots and a tendency for branches to break off in a storm.
- Boundary or barrier or support: The species, either planted or growing naturally, is frequently used for living fence posts.
acacia, (genus Acacia), genus of about 160 species of trees and shrubs in the pea family (Fabaceae). Acacias are native to tropical and subtropical regions of the world, particularly Australia (where they are called wattles) and Africa, where they are well-known landmarks on the veld and savanna.
Sandalwood is a class of woods from trees in the genus Santalum. The woods are heavy, yellow, and fine-grained, and, unlike many other aromatic woods, they retain their fragrance for decades. Sandalwood oil is extracted from the woods for use. Sandalwood is often cited as one of the most expensive woods in the world.