Arbour Day 2018 celebrated by planting trees at Botanic Gardens by BotSoc

Tree planting on Arbour Day

Arbour Day was celebrated at the Botanical Garden on Saturday 13 October, as part of the Botanical Society programme of monthly guided Walks and by planting two Pappea capensis trees at carefully chosen sites in the garden.

The trees, designated Tree of the Year by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water & Forestry, were donated by the Botanical Society and Namib Trees cc.  One tree was planted along the usual visitor path and one at the picnic site to give generations to come joy and shade.

Jaco Fourie, ably assisted by Ivor Chase planted the trees with great expertise, enthusiasm and love and while preparing the ground, carefully placing the tree in its “forever” place. Watering at different stages, he explained the process of a successful tree planting. A tree needs a well dug hole so that good soil can be placed beneath and around it. Some other hints were: a triangular hole in very rocky soil and no supporting pole to keep the tree straight. Young trees should be watered at least three times per week for the first few months, even if they are indigenous, gradually decreasing their dependence on watering as they settle into their new environment. In this harsh and hot climate a ground cover is important to protect moisture from escaping too fast; in this case Jaco used stones.

Jaco explained to the group how to trim and prune the young tree, cutting branches very close to the stem and advised radical trimming.

Before planting the second tree we visited the already tall Pappea capensis, planted about ten years ago in the Garden, and we could visualise two more trees with a lush green foliage, when all else is still dry. Both trees were given a protective fence against the gnawing of the ever present dassies and rodents.

While Jaco did the planning, Friedhelm and Gunhild Voigts did what they do best – pulling out by their roots encroaching, vile and unwanted cacti.

Luise Hoffmann gave a short presentation on Pappea capensis, the tree rich in history and cultural significance.

Not only did the group enjoy a day out in the Garden, but they were part of planting “the future”, keeping the heritage, remembering our precious trees, and having some useful instruction on planting and pruning. The children enjoyed the water and the mud.