In the present study, chemical composition and in situ rumen dry matter degradability (DMD) of some tree species (cherry, apricot and almond tree leaves) were determined. Crude protein (CP) concentration varied from 6.76% for almond tree to 2.76% for cherry tree, neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF), from 29.2, 20.8% for apricot tree to 20.8 and 15.8% for almond tree leaves respectively. Polyphenol and tannin composition measured from 3.49, 1.2% for almond tree to 1.51 and 0.61% for apricot tree, respectively. In situ rumen degradability was carried out in three fistulaed Taleshi native male cattle which were incubated at times of 0, 4, 8, 16, 24, 48, 72 and 96-hour. Almond leaves had higher potential degradation (a+b) for dry matter (92.37%) and cherry leaves showed lower potential degradation (84.12%), respectively. Effective rumen degradable dry matter at rate of 0.05/h varied from 69.86% for almond tree to 52.20% for cherry leaves. Results showed that the almond leaves were higher in nutritive value than cherry and apricot leaves. Therefore, almond tree leaves could be used with forage in ruminant diets to reduce cost of animals feed requirements. Overall, it seemed that the tree leaves used in this study, had a higher nutritive value in ruminant’s nutrition, however more experiments are needed for an accurate determination of nutritional values of these resources.
Key words: Dry matter degradability, In situ, Ruminant nutrition, Tree leaves.