Bush thinning is integral for sustainable rangeland management in Namibia. At least ten indigenous species are causing the encroachment problem, these includes Acacia mellifera (Black thorn), Dichrostachys cineria (Sickle bush), Terminalia sericea (Silver terminalia), Terminalia prunioides (Purple-pod terminalia), Acacia erubescens (Blue thorn), Acacia reficiens (False umbrella thorn) and Colophospermum mopane. The bush thickened areas fall mainly within the semi-arid savannas in north central Namibia, with rainfall varying from about 300 mm in the west to about 500 mm in the north-eastern parts. In the past chemical bush thinning was a popular method used to eliminate encroaching species, however, this method bares ecological problems especially when using aerial chemical spraying, an unselective method. Hence, other methods for bush thinning are becoming popularly used in Namibia such as manual, semi-mechanised and biological. Moreover, a number of products from encroacher bush exists, with charcoal being one of the well marketed product currently exported at 100 000 – 120 000 tonnes per annum. Other products such as compressed firewood, bush feed and woodchips also bare a huge potential in the market. Download our recent posters below to learn more about the different types of encroacher bush species, how to selectively thin the species and the range of products that can be produced from encroacher bush.
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