Forestry extension training was introduced in Somalia in the mid 1980s. This paper reproduced and discussed the teaching materials developed for the course. The role of a forestry extension worker was defined as finding out what people want from trees, discussing ways of getting these things and helping people to grow and manage their own trees. The curriculum included a number of practical exercises such as role plays to emphasise the importance of discussion rather than prescription. Students struggled with written notes but relished group discussions; future refinements to the curriculum should aim at simplification appropriate to extension workers employed in their own villages.