Welcome To The Leucaena
The SPW Ecojustice Center is an
Earth Gratitude Company.
Leucaena and Dendroenergetics
are the Elegant Solution to
Deforestation and Drought,
Sustainable Economic Development, Profitable
The Profitable Use Of Leucaena
leucocephala ("koa haole"-Hawaii; ipil ipil -
is a fast-growing, leguminous
that can be used for reforestation, for firewood, and as a
forage crop that can equal alfalfa in nutritional value.
can be grown for
pulp, reforestation and
But the most useful
are three basic types of leucaena trees: Hawaiian, Salvador,
and Peru. There are also crosses between these. You need to
choose the type that best fills your needs. The Hawaiian
type is short and bushy. Because its yield of wood and
foliage is low compared to the other two types, this would
probably be a poor choice. The Salvador type (Hawaiian
giant) is tall and tree-like. The trees can grow 60 ft. in
height in five years.
best varieties of this type are K8 (Mexico), K28, K67 and
K72. K67 is the best variety for projects that need to
produce large quantities of seed. The Peru type is tall with
extensive branching. The trees are good for forage. Good
varieties are K6 and K62. An excellent forage-type leucaena
is the Cunningham (K500) which was developed in Australia.
It is a cross between the Salvador and Peru types.
Giant leucaena is a tall arboreal form of the common koa
haole of the tropics that is known
for its wide adaptability, hardiness, and rapid growth.
Wood yields of the giant leucaena equal or
exceed those of other tropical trees and can be the
equivalent annually of 30 barrels of oil per acre. In
addition, the tree is a legume that produces a marketable
co-product, a nutritious, high-nitrogen
In many tropical countries giant leucaena
(Leucaena leucocephala) provides a highly economic
fuel wood and leaf meal.
Leucaena has the highest quality feed of any tropical
legume, and the potential to produce the highest high weight
gains. Steers can gain 300 kg of live weight in a year with
adequate leucaena, and irrigated leuceana has produced over
1000 kg of LWG per ha per year.
Some of the Benefits of Leucaena
1. Erosion Control. Leucaena trees provide a high canopy
and dense cover that will reduce present rates of soil
erosion by wind and rain in the sites considered.
Leucaena coppices. Forest
regrowth appears to be too rapid (8 feet in 2
months) for erosion to become serious following
coppicing every 4-5 years. The tree farm will act as
a much-needed shelter belt on the windy open plains.
2. Water Quality. Runoff or seepage
from established leucaena plantations should be generally
comparable to rainwater. No nitrates will be applied, no
insecticides or fungicides are proposed, and erosive soil
loss should be reduced greatly from that occurring at
present. Herbicide use will be confined to the time of
establishment, and the proposed herbicides are
environmentally safe and lack long-term residue.
3. Soil Quality. Soil quality
improves under trees like leucaena, developing excellent
tilth, N-and base-status. The deep rooting and leaf drop
create a cycle of mineral transfer, notably of
Ca, Mg, K and P, from deep within the soil profile to the
4. Air Quality. The pollen of
leucaena has no known allergenic properties and is shed
seasonally, rapidly, and at dawn. There are no odors from L.
leucocephala flowers; other species have a pleasant odor.
Harvest odors should be similar to alfalfa growing in the
5. Esthetics. The rich green color
of a leucaena tree farm should generally have a pleasing
visual impact anywhere grown, notably in the long dry
season. Air temperatures will be reduced significantly
in hot weather, compared to exposed soil areas in the
6. Fire Hazard. Fire hazards are
virtually nonexistent for green leucaena, a tree recognized
as an important fire-retardant species in grassland. Theft
is extremely unlikely in leucaena plantations, since there
is essentially no local use as food or fuel wood. The forest
is an improbable location for production of marijuana or
other illegal activities.
7. Fauna and Flora. For
the sites considered, the biotic impact of a leucaena farm
should be generally salutary. Deer, pheasants, and quail
could be encouraged on the plantation once establishment is
achieved, although deer can be a serious pest during
seedling establishment and after coppicing. Many birds find
leucaena trees attractive, although the sites considered
host very few indigenous Hawaiian birds. Bees visit the
flowers; nothing is known of the honey quality from
8. Pests and Diseases. A leucaena
farm could benefit environmental quality by reducing pests
and diseases of important crop plants. The clearance of grass
and other weeds will reduce incidence of viral and fungal
pests of corn and vegetable crops and of insects like the
9. Weed Hazard. Giant leucaenas
seed poorly and are unknown as a weed in the world. In this
respect, they differ from the common koa haole, which is
viewed as a weed by homeowners in Hawaii, and to a lesser
extent in sugarcane production. Giant leucaenas produce few
seeds, accounting in part for the high seed cost. They tend
to flower annually and dense plantations have a greatly
The Great Forest Covered our Planet. Now through
Deforestation It Has been decimated. Trees Are A Key Ally In Our
Battle To Lower agricultural carbon and Other Gases In Our Environment.
We Support Planting Multi Use Leucaena In The
Tropics. SPW Ecojustice Center has developed the Leucaena
Production Society as it outreach for promoting tree
The collaboration of SPW Ecojustice Center and LPS is
producing a new field of sustainable development called
the underpinnings for our
Leucaena has many benefits in addition
to its uses as livestock feed, fuelwood, energy production,
briquettes, and green manure.
Leucaena Earth Trees are trees planted to regenerate our
earth. These trees are planted to clean
our air, fertilize our soil, provide shade, create closed canopy forests and
recreate the World Forest. For our "Earth Trees", we only choose trees that
coppice and are fast growing nitrogen fixing trees (FGNFT). Most of
our plantings are of
Leucaena, an excellent carbon sequestration tree.
countries need a new crop for driving rural development. We need a way to
develop industries in the small towns. Let us take a look at what kind of crop
we should select to drive economic development: The selection has to have these
It should be easy to get
a project started
It should be renewable
It should be a plant
species rather than an animal based project because of the need for
regulations in small town against keeping livestock in town
It should have multiple
It should be developable
into a business at many levels and from many entry points
It should be a product
that has a wide many growing marketplace
it should be
It should produce a
product that is a green product
It should be marketable
at more that one level for production such as raw material, basic
processing, secondary processing, high tech processing
There should be many end
There should ongoing
research on production, processing and utilization of the product in our
It should be possible to
process with either small scale, or large scale equipment
It should be adaptable
to most developing countries and their growing conditions without
Leucaena is a plant
that meets many of these parameters.
Leucaena is excellent for energy farming by producing fuel
briquettes as well as gasification and
generation of electricity.
Leucaena has its origins in Central America and the Yucatan
Peninsula of Mexico where its fodder value was recognized
over 400 years ago by the Spanish conquistadores who carried
leucaena feed and seed on their galleons to the Philippines
to feed their stock (Brewbaker,
From there it has spread to most countries of the tropical
world where leucaena was used as a shade plant for
plantation crops. It was introduced into Australia in the
late 19th century and it was naturalized in parts of
northern Australia by 1920.
is the most planted tropical tree in the world, useful for
reforestation, livestock feed, shading for sun
sensitive crops, intercropping green manure, hillside
protection. Combined with grasses like buffel grass,
it is the almost perfect livestock feed. It can be
useful to provide the protein needed to mix with
agroresidues to products fodder blocks and computer ration
balanced feeds. It can be used as a Dendroenergetics feed
crop for generating electricity or for making fuel
briquettes. Dooryard plantings are ideal for fuelwood since
it coppices readily and rapidly.
To Leucaena Resources
tropical countries, just like farmers everywhere, are entrepreneurial. They are
risk takers, interested in the future. But farmers don't plant for the future,
for them, the future is now. They want a crop that can be profitable now.
Leucaena can be the profit center farmers are looking for, this year. Recent
research has shown that Leucaena has the capacity to become a major crop for
livestock feed in the tropics.
Leucaena for livestock feed is a short-term profit center based on the facts
that it can be grazed, green chopped, ensiled, made into dry feeds and form the
protein part of compound mixed feed.
Growing Leucaena is relatively easy.
In the long term, Leucaena has many potential uses for rural Agro-industrial
development. Leucaena can add value to Agroresidues such as wheat straw, rice
straw, rice hulls, etc.
Other potential industrial uses for Leucaena
include a pellitizing mill, building materials, cloth for clothing and bags,
paper pulp, litter, oil absorbent, fertilizer.
Long term industrial developments for Leucaena
are being explored by researchers. Farmers can benefit from this research and
make plans on how to enter other profit centers based on Leucaena.
Dr. Cross will be developing a Leucaena
research project in Haiti beginning June 2014.. Contact her at
to participate in this research.
Projects: From $3,000+