Growth and production varies between pair-wise mixtures and monoculture plantations in North Viet Nam.
The potential benefits of species mixture were investigated using pair-wise comparisons of four timber tree species in northern Viet Nam. Chukrasia tabularis, Canarium album, Michelia mediocris and Eucalyptus urophylla were grown in monocultures and in pair-wise mixtures. The trial was established as a randomized block design with each treatment replicated four times. Volume production gain or loss in mixtures was assessed by calculating a mixture index, which is defined as Relative Yield Total (RYT). At age 48 months, the trial indicated mixed performance with both positive and negative impacts of growing some species in mixtures compared to monocultures. The largest gain was shown in the mixture of a shade-intolerant species, Chukrasia with a more shade-tolerant species, Michelia (47% gain in relative yield), and Eucalyptus with Michelia (45% gain in relative yield) at the first 38 months. The other three mixtures tested, and which were not successful (i.e. had lower relative yields) at 38 months, was the mixture of all shade-intolerant species, including Chukrasia with Canarium, Canarium with Eucalyptus and Chukrasia with Eucalyptus. This suggests that species with different shade tolerances can form complementary pair-wise mixtures, but this changed significantly (P<0.05) over the following 10 months. At age 48 months the RYT of Chukrasia with Michelia increased by 12%, those of Michelia with Eucalyptus decreased by 20% at 48 months compared to 38 months, suggesting that Eucalyptus should be thinned at around year 5 years. Likewise, the RYT of Michelia with Canarium declined significantly by 23% at 48 months. The RYT of other tested mixtures remained almost unchanged over time.