Musizi (Maesopsis eminii)


Scientific nameMaesopsis eminii
SynonymsMusizi, Musinde, Muguruka, Muhongera
Native distributionWest, Central and East Africa
BiologyA leafy semi-deciduous tree between 10-30m high, often a claer bole to 10m, the branches rather horizontal, the crown flattened when young but more rounded with age ; Bark is pale grey-brown, branchlets dotted with breathing pores, grooved with age ; Leaves appear compound but alternate on the twig, on stalks to 1cm, each long and shiny, pointed, to 14cm, the edge with characteristic well-spaced rounded teeth ; Flowers are small and green in heads beside leaves ; Fruit is oval, to 3cm long, fleshy and yellow, turning purple, with 1-2 hard seeds
EcologyFast-growing ; It is one of the best indigenous alternative to Eucalyptus.
HabitatA large tree found in East, Central and West Africa in rain forest and riverine forest. In Uganda, it grows in low moist tropical forests, colonizing forest, forest edge and mixed forest. Between 750 to 1500m altitude above sea level.
WoodThe sapwood is light colored and the heartwood is soft and light. The timber is not resistant to funghi or termites so it rots quickly. Density is around 500-550 kg/m3 with a 12% moisture content.

Application : firewood, charcoal, timber ( furniture, light construction), poles, veneer/plywood
NTFPsFodder (fruit) ; Shade (tea and coffee) ; ornemental (avenue tree)
ServicesIt is grown in pure stands, as an avenue tree and also intercropped with banana, coffee and cocoa
Other informationOne of the quickest growing timber trees, maturing in 20 years. Hornbills and chimpanzees eat the fruit and disperse the seed.