It tolerates high shade in youth but is essentially a light demander. Celtis spp. attain as a group the highest abundance in the dry forest. Their abundance decreases sharply with rainfall, and increases with soil fertility and altitude (regression analysis). In contrast, Swaine (1996) found that Celtis mildbraedii did not have any preference for annual rainfall or soil fertility conditions. It is very tolerant of soils and avoids swampy places (Taylor 1960).
Germination is rapid (within 2 weeks, De la Mensbruge 1966). Under controlled conditions the percentage of germination is similar in the light and in the dark (Kyereh et al. 1993), although germination is strongly depressed in large gaps (Keyereh et al. 1993). It has a phanerocotylar epigeal foliaceous seedling type (cf. De la Mensbruge 1966). Seedlings are common, and locally very abundant near mother trees. Established saplings thrive in medium-sized to large gaps.
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