n Southern African Forestry Journal - Interspecific hybrids in Zimbabwe : status review and future challenges : review paper

Volume 2001, Issue 192
  • ISSN : 0038-2167



Several F1 eucalypt and pine interspecific hybrids have been tested in Zimbabwe. The first hybrids tests were of pine species, and these were established in 1973. The results from these early tests were not spectacular and interest in hybrids was lost until the 1990's when impressive eucalypt and pine hybrid performances were reported in South Africa and Australia, respectively. During the period 1990-1993 pine hybrids were imported from Australia and eucalypt hybrids from South Africa, and tested on various sites around Zimbabwe. Detailed analyses in 1999 / 2000 showed that many of the tested hybrids outperformed the pure species on specific sites. The reports based on these analyses highlighted the need to test local hybrids, the need to determine wood qualities and the need to determine cost-effective methods to mass-produce the most promising hybrids. Currently, local pine and eucalypt hybrids are being developed for field-testing. These developments and further research needed to realise the full economic potential of hybrids are discussed.

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