The rate of disappearance of tropical forests is alarming with West Africa being the hardest hit by this trend. A survey was conducted in Yunyoranyiri and two surrounding communities to assess the perception of farmers on tree planting in the area. The objectives of the study were (1) Assess the perception of some communities in the East Mamprusi district on tree planting and (2) Compare the growth performance of Azadirachta indica (Neem) and Senna siamea (Cassia) in a pilot community plantation in Yunyoranyiri. The plantation was stratified based on plant species (Neem and Cassia). It was then divided into two stands based on year of planting. Twenty permanent sampling plots (105 m2) were established systematically at 15 m apart. The height and diameter at breast height (DBH) of all trees situated within these plots were measured. A questionnaire was administered to the farmers in the community and two nearby communities which revealed that trees on their farms had reduced in number over time. It also revealed that they mostly depended on tree products for fuel, food and building materials. The farmers also expressed a desire to plant trees but cited challenges such as absence of seedlings and care of the trees as impeding their efforts. The diameter distribution showed that Senna siamea had higher diameters with no significant difference between the stands while A. indica had lower diameters with significant difference between the stands. Height distributions yielded similar results with Senna siamea out performing A. indica. It was recommended that organizations and the government focus on enabling these communities in the planting of trees by providing them with planting materials and training.
Key words: Tree cover, arid areas, plantations, Yinyoranyiri community.
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