Useful Tree Species for Africa


This tool enables you to select useful tree species for planting anywhere in Africa using Google Earth. It is similar to the VECEA species selection tool, but covers the whole continent, albeit at a much lower resolution. To use the tool, click the button below. This will start Google Earth automatically and open two different interactive layers (note that you need to have Google Earth installed). (1) The vegetation layer: this transparent layer is linked to descriptions of mapping units, vegetation types and species composition for each vegetation type; (2) The physiognomic layer: this colored layer is linked to descriptions of physiognomic vegetation types such as forest, woodland or bushland (this layer is colored).


For more information about the tool, check out the links below. Please read these documents carefully, in particular to learn about some of the limitations of the tool. If you are working in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda or Zambia, we recommend to use the higher resolution Vegetationmap4africa vegetation map and species selection tool.

Before starting a tree planting project, we recommend you look at the Tree Seeds for Farmers toolkit. This provides technical information on the best methods for obtaining seeds of good genetic and physiological quality as well as links to a range of other useful resources.


The Useful Tree Species for Africa tool was developed by the World Agroforestry Centre and Forest and Landscape Denmark under the UNEP-GEF Carbon Benefits Project. Some additional funding was provided through the VECEA project (funded by the Rockefeller Foundation) and the ReACCT project (funded by BMZ).


Kindt, R., Orwa, C., van Breugel, P., Graudal, L., Lillesø, J-P.B., Kehlenbeck, K., Neufeld, H., and R. Jamnadass. 2012. Useful tree species for Africa. World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Nairobi & Forest & Landscape Denmark, Copenhagen. URL: http://worldagroforestry.org/our_products/databases/useful-tree-species-africa or URL: http://vegetationmap4africa.org/Vegetation_map/Tree_Species_Africa.html