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Significant trees - the list grows
Last month we launched our initiative to compile a list of Significant Indigenous Trees in parks, reserves and wilderness areas throughout the country. The information is steadily filtering through to us, and I have to say that so much of it has been fascinating. Some of the historical facts attached to certain trees have taught me a bit about South African history, and it has been so inspiring to see some of the specimens that truly stand out within their species for whatever reason.
Celebrating Significant Trees
The diversity of flora and fauna in South Africa is surely one of this country’s greatest assets. To have access to the many pristine areas that we do – those beautiful National Parks and Reserves where we can celebrate our plant and animal heritage, has to be one of our biggest privileges.
One of the surest ways to promote the knowledge and love of indigenous trees is by placing some sort of tag or plaque on or near them, showing their common and botanical names, and perhaps providing some further information about the tree. We have just celebrated Arbor Week, and in this month’s blog we are going to suggest that we keep the ‘tree-loving’ momentum going by encouraging the tagging of trees.
Celebrating Arbor Day with Trees of the Year
It’s that wonderful time of the year again when we are all called on to actively celebrate our indigenous trees. It’s Arbor Week, when from the 1st to the 7th September, we are all encouraged to get involved in anything to do with trees. So this month I thought it would be interesting to talk about the origins of Arbor Week, as well as the “Trees of the Year” that have become so closely associated with it, and the significance that both continue to play in our lives.
My aim in this blog always is to instill a love of trees and to develop an awareness of how important they are to our overall well-being. This month I have decided to concentrate specifically on the 47 indigenous tree species that have been given protected status in this country, and the laws and procedures that are in place to secure the proper management of their sustainability.
Poisons, pains and healing with Rhus
This month we continue to chat about trees in the Rhus genus, recently re-named Searsia in Botanical science. In the May blog I mentioned that that they are part of the Mango Family (Anacardiaceae) and talked briefly about some of the medicinal and poisonous properties that members of this Family possess. This month I want to take the fascinating subject even further, of plants and their ability either to heal or cause pain, again concentrating on Rhus species.
Searching for Rhus around South Africa
This month I have chosen to concentrate on the idea of identifying trees the Sappi Tree Spotting way, and the trees I have chosen are all Rhus, now scientifically called Searsia. In many parts of South Africa it is hardly possible to drive 50 kilometers, without coming across a 'typical' Rhus-bush on the verge of the road. Fed by the extra water running off the tarred surface, and protected from browsing by the fences, they flourish where many other woody species are non-existent. They are a constant source of delight and intrigue, often in landscapes that lack a variety of other larger woody species.
Names of Indigenous Trees
Most of the contents of these blogs have been chatty and without ‘botanical-political’ impetus. This month I wanted to talk about our most ubiquitous genus Acacia, but as I started, I found I was drowning in the ramifications of tree names and their alternatives and recent changes. It therefore seems a good time to address this hoary chestnut in the world of botany.
Micro Emotions in Humans : Long-Term Visible Changes in Trees
There is a new Pop science sweeping the worlds’ consciousness recently. It is based on the analysis of micro emotions on peoples’ faces; emotions that are fleeting, but visible to, and decipherable by experts in the field.
Follow the Ancient ways
When I meet strangers, in those initial exchanges about ourselves, I inevitably admit to my passion for indigenous trees, right up front. I suppose I am constantly looking for soul mates who share my sense of wonder about our natural, woody world. Regrettably, the most typical kind of response I seem to encounter is “Mmmm... but trees are so hard to get to know”.