This introductory paper aims to synthesize the findings on on-farm trees research with the integration of traditional silvicultural knowledge on multipurpose trees for the design of small scale forestry practices in Africa and Asia. The science, socio-economics and governance aspects of traditional tree based management systems have been documented through the different papers. The findings provide a synopsis of on- farm tree management in Africa and Asia. The synthesis shows that there are still important knowledge gaps such as the ownership of land and trees, gender, the motivation to invest on farm trees, income and livelihood strategies and ecological issues of on farm trees in the context of climate change adaptation and sustainable development goals. There is a general consensus that successful implementation of community involvement in natural resource management in Africa and Asia will only be realized by implementing enabling policies on land tenure, devolution for full empowerment visa viz planning, beneficiation and sharing of benefits.