Saving E. grandis; Alternative Eucalyptus Species for use as Power Transmission Poles

Different Eucalyptus species are widely grown in Kenya and exploited for various uses but only one species; Eucalyptus grandis is highly preferred for use as power transmission poles owing to its height, diameter and amenability to chemical preservation. In order to reduce the overdependence on this species which amounts to its overexploitation, Daisy Chebet an Msc student in the department of biological sciences at the University of Embu supervised by Dr. Sarah Kituyi and Drs Fredrick Musila and George Muthike of the Technical University of Kenya and the Kenya Forestry Service respectively assessed the genetic diversity of the Kenyan Eucalyptus species and compared their phenotypic traits. The study established that species such as E. tereticornis and E. glaucina have ideal height and diameter which meet the standards required by electricity supply regulations and can thus equally be used as substitutes for E. grandis in power transmission. The study also established that the Kenyan Eucalyptus species are closely related.

This article is a brief summary of the work that was published in diversity under the title “Molecular Phylogeny of Selected Kenyan Eucalyptus Species Inferred from MatKrbcL and TrnL-F Genes and Their Suitability for Power Transmission Poles available at this link

This work was funded by the National Research Fund (NRF) through KEFRI, Multidisciplinary Research Grant 2016/2017.