Shade and Nurse Trees
Related to wide row intercropping is the practice of planting trees with crops for micro-climatic as well as soil improvements. This is typically done with shade-loving crops such as coffee, tea, and cacao.
If trees are planted for shade, usually geometric spacings are used, often in quite wide spacings. It is suggested that tree rows be planted along the contours with spacings between trees within rows about equal to the spacing between rows. This, again, ensures uniform treatment (shade) and ease in mechanized operations.
Shade trees can be managed through periodic pollarding to reduce shade competition. Important NFT genera for shade trees include Erythrina, Gliricidia, and Leucaena.