Discovery of thornless, non-browsed, erect tropical Prosopis in 3-year-old Haitian progeny trials.
Bayahonde (P. juliflora) provides much of Haiti's fuelwood, as well as animal feed (pods) during the dry season. Experimental trials were established in 1987 on a site 30 km E. of Port-au-Prince (soil a clayey-skeletal montmorillonite lithic haplustoll, rainfall 1176 mm in 1986 and 763 mm in 1987) using 9 species of Prosopis (Prosopis spp., P. alba, P. alba/P. flexuosa, P. glandulosa, P. juliflora, P. flexuosa, P. velutina, P. nigra, and P. tamarugo) and Leucaena pulverulenta (1 provenance); most of the Prosopis provenances tested were of P. juliflora. Three-month-old seedlings of 44 Haitian provenances (from all Prosopis regions in the country except La Gonave) were planted in August 1987, as well as 26 provenances from SW USA, Argentina and Chile (subtropical), and Peru (tropical). Survival, height, form (upright, medium, prostrate) and biomass were measured 8 and 27 months after planting. Mean survival was 93% (the site was not irrigated). Four Peruvian, 15 Haitian and 1 Texan Prosopis provenance had 100% survival. At 27 months, the 8 tallest provenances were all Peruvian (mean height 208-235 cm); some of these were thornless, erect, and were not browsed (by goats that broke through the fence). Thornless P. alba and Leucaena pulverulenta were, however, severely browsed. The Peruvian Prosopis were from families that provide large (up to 50 cm length), sweet pods which are used to make a beverage for human consumption.