Classification of Kenyan Wood Carving Species Using Macroscopic and Microscopic Properties
Published: 2014 Author: Muga M.O, Githiomi J.K and Chikamai, B.N

Wood carving is one of the most lucrative industries in Kenya. It is highly associated with the tourism industry and enjoys large volume of export market worldwide. However, a number of the indigenous wood carving species have been over exploited and it is crucial to identify alternative species to sustain the industry. The main objective of the study was to determine physical, macroscopic and microscopic features of Kenyan wood carving species and use these properties to classify them. Samples for 52 wood carving species (including the potential alternative species) were obtained from Coast, Eastern and Nairobi regions. The wood characteristics were determined at KEFRI Forest Products Laboratory using standard procedures. Information on local names, tree characteristics, wood characteristics, geographical distribution and uses are also provided. The 52 species are ranked based on macroscopic features, density and hardness and classified into 3 categories; major (4), minor (7) and alternative(41). The alternative ones are further classified into 3 groups i.e. high potential (23), medium potential(15) and low potential (3). The results indicate that some of the salient macroscopic features important for wood carving species are: heartwood darker than sapwood, non irritating odour, minute pores and rays, fine to medium wood texture, straight grains and distinct growth rings. High wood density is also found to be an important feature and about 80% of the species have densities ranging between 0.60 g/cm3 to 1.23 g/cm3. Wood hardness is also an important feature and most of the wood carving species are moderately hard to very hard (4 to 20KN). The important microscopic features are: minute rays (1-3 cells wide), pores solitary or in radial multiples of 2 or more, vessels with simple perforations, very thick walled fibres and few parenchyma cells.

Download: CLASSIFICATION OF WOOD CARVING SPP PAPER.pdf Post date: 4 Aug 2014 - 10:07 GMT Updated date: 4 Aug 2014 - 10:25 GMT



Technologies for Forest Management, Utilization and Development
Published: 2013 Author: Acquah, S.B., Pentsil, S., Appiah, N., Dumenu, W.K. and Darimani, B.

Over the years, CSIR-FORIG has developed a number of technologies and interventions through research. Technology here refers to ‘any specific information and know-how, tangible or intangible, required to solve a problem or for the development, production, management or use of resources (Wikipedia, 2012, UNESCO, 1985). The technologies generated at CSIR-FORIG are aimed at combating environmental degradation, safeguarding the sustainable use of the nation’s forest resources and improving rural livelihood. All these technologies have the potential to contribute positively to the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of Ghanaians. However, many of the technologies have not been properly packaged, publicised and transferred to target stakeholders,users and the general public in comprehensible language.

CSIR-FORIG provides a variety of forestry-related products and services. The products include forest products (seeds, seedlings and wood thinnings), chemical products (gums, tannins, dyes, prekese syrup), prototype wood products (beds, chairs etc.) developed from Lesser Used Species and non-timber forest products (mushrooms, snails, honey). The services provided by CSIR-FORIG include contract research, consultancy, training workshops (on transferable technologies), ecotourism and information and communication services. The knowledge-based products of CSIR-FORIG are developed technologies packaged, presented and published in local and international Journals, technical reports, conference/workshop papers, theses, manuals/guides, brochures and flyers. Technical extension services are also provided.

This Handbook is a compendium of information on technologies developed in CSIR-FORIG over the years in the areas of environmental reclamation, forest plantation development, wood processing and utilization and non-timber forest products management, utilization and domestication. It only contains highlights of the technologies but not full descriptions. It is intended to bring technologies to the doorstep of users and bridge the gap between technology development and application. Additionally, it would also help scientists in identifying gaps where critical information is lacking so that further research could be conducted without unwarranted duplication. The Handbook would also enable policymakers to make informed decisions on issues relating to the environment which are critical to sustainable development. Ultimately, the adoption of forest management-related technologies could also facilitate proper management of forest resources in the country.

Several sources were utilized for the compilation of information on technologies, notably institutional repository, internet, Journals, posters and technical and annual reports. In addition, the technologies were identified by liaising with scientists and technicians to solicit their views. The information presented in this Handbook gives a brief background about the technology, users of the technology, technology outcomes and limitations (if any). It is presented through main headings, via, Forest Management and Plantation Development; Wood Processing and Utilization, and Non-Timber Forest Products.
 

Download: Technologies for forest management_webcopy.pdf Post date: 10 Feb 2014 - 13:08 GMT Updated date: 10 Feb 2014 - 13:10 GMT



The socioeconomic status of the non-timber forest product subsector in Swaziland
Published: 2009 Author: Dlamini, C.S. & Geldenhuys, C.J.

A wide spectrum of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) generally has a remarkable contribution to the household economy in rural areas. Most communities make a living either through their domestic or commercial use. The objective of this study was to review the current status of the NTFP sector and further compile an up-to-date list of major use categories of NTFPs. The review of the national study on the NTFP sector indicate an average annual value of the selected NTFPs groups of between US$19.8 million and US$79 million with a median value of US$49.38 million. The most important group from an economic point of view is medicinal plants with an average annual value of US$32.1 million, followed by fuel wood with an estimated annualvalue of US$13.5 million. In the natural accounting study it was revealed that the contribution of natural forests and woodlands in flow benefits, including the highlighted NTFPs, was equivalent to 2.2% of the total GDP, 20% of agriculture’s GDP and 439% of the contribution of forestry reported in the national accounts for 2000. This current study reviewed past national, regional and international studies and developed a new list of 19 NTFP use categories subdivided into direct, indirect and intermediate uses. Subsequently, a matrix of commonly used botanical NTFPs was designed and includes most highly preferred species such as Sclerocarya birrea, Bauhinia galpinii, Berchemia zeyheri, Dichrostachys cinerea and others. However, the study concluded that there is still a profound lack of information on the status and total value of NTFPs in Swaziland and recommended that government, NGOs, the private sector, communities, and other interested and affected parties (including resource users) should work together to conduct research in order to generate, compile and disseminate information on the quantitative and qualitative statistical data on NTFPs, their socioeconomic uses and ecological and environmental values

Download: Socioeconomic status.pdf Post date: 19 Sep 2013 - 18:29 GMT Updated date: 19 Sep 2013 - 18:29 GMT



A protocol for community-based forest enterprises: The case of non-timber forest products
Published: 2012 Author: Dlamini, C. S.

Determining sustainability harvesting levels for most non-timber forest products (NTFPs) is an evolving science. A monitoring programme that will continually assess the health and vitality of the natural resources base should be implemented. Though there is some information on individual species, ecosystem dynamics are still not well understood, commercialization of natural products makes it imperative to manage proactively through monitoring, harvesting and replanting and tree succession plans. Important steps in sustainable natural products management include the following: Identification and demarcation of the resource base by ecosystem type (forest, pasture, farmland, rock outcrop, and so on) and map of the locations of various ecosystems types; identification of resource supply areas of the preferred products; and estimating the volume based on current harvesting and trade or use. Further, identify potential threats to standing stock of natural resource base. In addition to conducting group meetings to investigate where and how products have been harvested, extracted or collected over the last 3 to 5 years; undertaking resource inventory of standing stock and also conducting user surveys and engaging resource collectors. Ultimately, for business development, the following logical
issues are examined and critically analyzed; enterprise opportunity and location-specific overview of the community forestry subsector, sustainability of supply of forest products, regulatory environment and forest resource users/groups, technology, management and finance, and lastly marketing and sales.

Download: protocol_community_based_enterprise.pdf Post date: 12 Sep 2013 - 19:23 GMT Updated date: 19 Sep 2013 - 15:08 GMT



Phytochemical Investigation of Resins from Kenyan Commiphora holtziana
Published: 2013 Author: Chiteva R., Yenesew A., Chikamai B. and Wanjohi J.

Commiphora holtziana gum resins when solvent extracted followed by a combination of chromatographic separation techniques on hexane extract of the Wajir sample, led to the isolation and characterization of a new compound, 11–hydroxy-γ-muurolene 1. In addition, two known compounds, (1E)-2-methoxy-8,12-
epoxygermacra-1(10),7,11-triene-6-one 2 and (1E)-3-methoxy-8,12-epoxygermacra-1,7(8),10(15),11-tetraen-6-
one 3 were also characterized. A total of 14 compounds were identified by the comparison of the mass spectra with data available in the GC – MS library. Both dichloromethane and hexane extracts from both Isiolo and Wajir populations showed antibacterial activity. In addition the hexane extract from Wajir population showed antifungal properties. The acetone extract from Wajir population showed antibacterial properties. Activities were observed against Fungi, Gram (+) bacteria and Gram (-) bacteria. Pure compounds did not show any activity.

Download: Commiphora publication.pdf Post date: 3 Aug 2013 - 12:32 GMT Updated date: 3 Aug 2013 - 12:32 GMT



Chemical and nutritional content of Opuntia ficus-indica (L.)
Published: 2013 Author: Chiteva R. and Wairagu N.

Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) fruit pulp was analyzed for its chemical and nutritional content and the results compared with those of the same species from other parts of the world. The analysis included those for: Moisture and ash contents, crude fibre, energy values, non-reducing sugars, crude protein and vitamin C. Total carbohydrates were obtained by calculation. Results show no major variation in moisture content, amount of ash except in the Kenyan sample (A), which had a high value of 4.03 ± 0.52)%. Vitamin C varied from the three reported sources whereas crude fat was the same in all except 0.40% in sample A. Crude fiber varied and calorific value only reported in A was 3.77 kcal/g. Carbohydrates
varied widely between 12 to 92%. All analyzed minerals varied, but Pb and Cd were absent. From this study, it is evident that the nutritional composition of Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) varies in regards to age and season. However, irrespective of the origin or variety, these fruits are a good natural reservoir of energy whose nutritive components and antioxidants such as vitamin C, can be used as a food supplement.

Download: Chemical and nutritional content of Opuntia ficus indica.pdf Post date: 11 Jul 2013 - 15:22 GMT Updated date: 11 Jul 2013 - 15:23 GMT



Fuel-wood energy properties of Prosopis juliflora and Prosopis pallida grown in Baringo District, Kenya
Published: 2013 Author: Oduor N. and Githiomi J.

Kenya depends on fuel-wood for cooking and heating in most households. Over 80% of both rural and urban households in the country use fuel wood for cooking. These Prosopis plant species provide excellent fuel wood. These plants were introduced in the arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya in the early 1970s as a source of woodfuel and also for the rehabilitation of degraded lands. Prosopis is a prolific seeder and has invasiveness behaviour that results in a number of social, ecological and economic concerns to the local communities, and challenges to development partners. Now with the Kenyan Forest Policy 2005 which proposes strategies and actions to enhance sustainable and efficient production of wood-fuel, Prosopis species is a suitable candidate. The Kenya Forest Service is now issuing permits allowing charcoal burning of Prosopis species in an effort to manage and curb uncontrolled spread. There is a national ban on charcoal making from unsustainable wood sources which include the woodlands and natural forest reserves. The aim of this project was to determine the energy values from Prosopis fuel-wood. The moisture content, volatile matter, ash content, carbon content and calorific values were determined from Prosopis fuel-wood plants. The calorific values for Prosopis juliflora and Prosopis pallida wood are 4.952 and 4.862 Kcal respectively. The calorific values for P. juliflora and P. pallida charcoal are 7.854 and 7.797 Kcal, respectively.

Download: Fuel-wood energy properties of prosopis spp in baringo district Oduor and Githiomi.pdf Post date: 18 Jun 2013 - 09:13 GMT Updated date: 18 Jun 2013 - 09:13 GMT



Dimensional Stability of Particle Board and Radiata Pine Wood (Pinus radiata D. Don) Treated with Different Resins
Published: 2013 Author: Oduor N., Vinden P. and Kho P.

Particleboard and solid wood stakes were treated with either an isocyanate or phenol formaldehyde resin and exposed in soil beds comprising three different soil types and two moisture contents. The treatments resulted in a marked improvement in the dimensional stability of particleboard but had no effect on solid wood. Higher moisture uptakes in stakes exposed in sandy soils indicated that the technique used for measuring soil water holding capacity needs to be reviewed.

Download: Dimensional Stability of Particle Board and Radiata Pine Wood (Pinus radiata D..pdf Post date: 6 Jun 2013 - 17:00 GMT Updated date: 6 Jun 2013 - 17:02 GMT



Evaluating Mukau wood
Published: 2013 Author: Nellie Oduor

Melia volkensii commonly known as Mukau is an well known indigenous tree species in the plant family Meliaceae growing naturally in the semiarid zones of Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania and Kenya.Melia volkensii mechanical properties are compared with mahogany (Khaya species), teak (Tectona grandis) and mvule (Milicia excelsa)

Download: Evaluating mukau wood.pdf Post date: 6 Jun 2013 - 16:46 GMT Updated date: 6 Jun 2013 - 17:02 GMT



Analysis of Heartwood –Sapwood Demarcation Methods and Variation of Sapwood and Heartwood within and Between 15 Year Old Plantation Grown Eucalyptus Regnans
Published: 2012 Author: Githiomi J, K. and Douglas E.

This study was carried out using 15-year old Eucalyptus regnans F. Muell trees from three seedlots in a progeny trial in Norbethong, Victoria in Australia. Colour, stain and light table methods were used to demarcate the boundary between the sapwood and heartwood on the discs cross sectional surface. The main objective of this study was to examine the variation within and between tree in heartwood and sapwood in plantation grown Eucalyptus regnans material and also to compare the three techniques used in demarcating the boundary between sapwood and heartwood. Wood discs were removed from the base, breast height, 20%, 40%, 60% and 80% of the total tree height. Measurements were made on cross sectional surfaces of the discs to determine the sapwood width and heartwood percentage. The results showed that there was no significant difference in heartwood-sapwood demarcation methods using natural colour and stain. However sapwood-heartwood demarcation method using light table method had significant difference with both colour and stain methods with P = 0.000. The mean sapwood and heartwood width varied significantly between trees and along the height. The lowest mean sapwood width of 21.0 mm was found at breast height which increased with height to 33.9mm at 80% tree height it also increased from breast height to 29.9mm at the base of the tree. The largest heart wood percentage of 69.51% was found at breast height and decreased with height to zero at 80% height and it also decreased from breast height to 65.75% at the base. A very high correlation was found between the heartwood diameter and disc diameter.

Download: Anaylysis of heart and sapwood Eucalyptus regnans.pdf Post date: 18 May 2013 - 22:14 GMT Updated date: 18 May 2013 - 22:17 GMT