Framework species are indigenous tree species planted in a mixed stand to accelerate natural regeneration of forest and encourage biodiversity regeneration. In this study we used the framework species method to make multipurpose tree gardens to provide traditional healers with woody species used for medicine and other needs like food and firewood. We specifically determined the phenology, germination behaviour, survival and growth after planting 19 indigenous and 8 introduced woody species. The species were planted in a mixed stand together at a density of 3125 ha(-1). Field performance was assessed by monitoring survival, height and crown width once every month for 13 months after planting. Eleven species (Artocarpus heterophyllus, Calliandra calothyrsus, Callistemon citrinus, Carica papaya, Carissa spinarum, Leucaena leucocephala, Markhamia lutea, Sarcocephalus latifolius, Senna siamea, S. spectabilis and Terminalia schimperiana) proved to be excellent framework species. Eight species qualified as 'acceptable' FWS (Albizia coriaria, Ceiba pentranta, Entada abyssinica, Erythrina abyssinica, Eugenia jambos, Ficus sycomorus, Maesopsis eminii and Milicia excelsa), while seven species were ranked as 'marginally acceptable' (Acacia macrothyrsa, Calpurnia aurea, Canarium schweinfurthii, Capparis tomentosa, Ficus natalensis, Senna sp. and Warburgia salutaris). Annona squamosa was the only species rejected since both germination and survival was low. Trees with good reforestation traits could be recommended for planting while the species that were marginally acceptable or rejected require extra research since some of them are important medicinal woody species of conservation concern.