Effect of Irrigation Conditions on Growth of Acacia senegal Plantation in Kenana Site

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Rahama Abd El Rahman, Ahmed
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Abstract The aim of the study is to investigate the effect of irrigation within and after the rainy season on the shoot growth of Acacia senegal. The main objective was to test the hypothesis that the species have shoot dormancy and irrigation after the normal growing season will not increase the shoot growth. The study was conducted within the irrigated Kenana Sugar Company Ltd. (KSC) Estate in the period between July 1996 and July1999. Seedlings were raised in FNC nursery at Kosti. They were planted at age of three months. Irrigation treatment started one month after planting of seedlings in two sites using randomized plot-block design with four replications. The treatment levels were irrigation all year round, irrigation from April to October, irrigation from June to October, and no irrigation. During the irrigation period, the interval for irrigation was every two weeks. The effect of irrigation was assessed after five month from planting for mortality, height, crown and diameter for each tree within each plot. Thereafter the assessment was made every three months. During the course of the experiment 7 measurements were recorded. The Statistical Analysis System (SAS) was used for the data analysis. . Irrigation had marked effect on tree growth and survival. The effect is related to the growing season, age of the tree and soil nutrient content. Survival percentage was higher in trees receiving irrigation compared to no irrigation. No mortality was observed after the first growing season for all the levels of irrigation. The survival percentage depends on first season of tree establishment, which was directly related to total soil moisture. Irrigation increased tree growth in height, crown and diameter. However, the growth pattern indicates that the trees have resting period during their normal growing season and irrigation in-between the growing season may not be economical and may affect the tree physiologically. Irrigation during the growing season improves tree growth to reach tapping size within a shorter period. Nitrogen content has marked effect on tree growth. The rate of increased was higher in the second year compared to the first and third year. The study recommended that irrigation for hashab trees could be adopted in the normal growing season as a supplementation during the rainy season.
Effect of Irrigation Conditions on Growth of Acacia senegal Plantation in Kenana Site