Main trees in Nigeria
Every country and region of this world has its peculiar distribution of trees and vegetation. In Nigeria, this is not different. The main trees in Nigeria have often been a geographical question that this article has tried to answer. Nigeria, a country located slightly above the equatorial axis within the tropics is exposed to peculiar climate of rainy, dry and harmattan seasons with varying intensities across various regions in the country. This has led to a vast distribution of trees and vegetation.
While the common trees in Nigeria might not include the distinctive South Africa’s baobab, Algeria and North Africa’s pines and cedars nor Kenya’s euphorbia and acacia, distribution of trees in Nigeria differ between the usually dry north and the mostly rainy south with the middle belt serving as the transition zone.
The tree distributions in the southern Nigeria are mainly those expected of a tropical rain forest region of West Africa. Trees like mahogany, iroko and obeche define this region. Some fruit plants like orange, mango and economic trees like rubber and palm trees (the most abundant) are not left out while the mangrove swamp lines the creeks and the southern margin to the atlantic.
Because the vegetation thins down towards the north as it gradually makes a transition from rain forest to Sahel savannah and to the fringes of Sahara desert, the tree distribution in the northern Nigeria is in contrast to that of the south. The main trees in the north comprise of shrubs and moderately sized plants, neem plant and date palms in the extreme north. Hence in summary, it follows that the further you go towards the north, the sparser the vegetation therefore, the tallest and biggest trees are found in southern Nigeria while the north supports shrubs and moderately sized trees.