In simplest language, agroforestry is the production of trees and of non-tree crops or animals on the same piece of land.  The crops can be grown together at the same time, can be grown in rotation, or can even be grown in separate plots when materials from one are used to benefit another.  However, this simple definition fails to take into account the integrated concepts associated with agroforestry that make this system of land management possibly the most self-sustaining and ecologically sound of any agricultural system.  Thus, a second definition of agroforestry would be the integration of trees, plants, and animals in conservative, long-term, productive systems.  Agroforestry can be considered more as an approach than as a single, finished technology.  Although several finished systems have been devised and tested, such technology may require adjustment for particular situations.  The flexibility of the agroforestry approach is one of its advantages.

What’s Inside:

  • Rationale for Agroforesty
  • Definitions of Terms
  • Benefits of Agroforestry
  • Components of Agroforestry
  • Starting an Agroforestry System
  • Sources of Seed and Information
  • Photos of Principle Tree Species

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TN #25 Agroforestry Principles

Dr. Franklin Martin and Scott Sherman

In simplest language, agroforestry is the production of trees and of non-tree crops or animals on the same piece of land.  The crops can be grown together at the same time, can be grown in rotation, or can even be grown in separate plots when materials from one are used to benefit another.  However, this simple definition fails to take into account the integrated concepts associated with agroforestry that make this system of land management possibly the most self-sustaining and ecologically sound of any agricultural system.  Thus, a second definition of agroforestry would be the integration of trees, plants, and animals in conservative, long-term, productive systems.  Agroforestry can be considered more as an approach than as a single, finished technology.  Although several finished systems have been devised and tested, such technology may require adjustment for particular situations.  The flexibility of the agroforestry approach is one of its advantages.

What’s Inside:

  • Rationale for Agroforesty
  • Definitions of Terms
  • Benefits of Agroforestry
  • Components of Agroforestry
  • Starting an Agroforestry System
  • Sources of Seed and Information
  • Photos of Principle Tree Species