Thursday, September 3, 2009

TreeCo - Promoting a Greener Environment

Rudi and Leske are pleased to be able to tell you that our nursery has recovered really well from the floods last month and everything is looking absolutely stunning as we move into spring. As September is National Arbour month, we are offering clients a 10% discount on all purchases that you make when you visit the nursery, which we hope will assist you in your efforts towards creating a healthier, more sustainable and greener environment for all.

Since Arbour month creates greater awareness of the environment in general, this month, we would like to introduce you to Green Home, a company that is taking the lead in 100% biodegradable, compostable, food packaging and, more recently, plant pots.

This dynamic, primarily female owned company is headed up by Catherine Morris, who, after doing extensive research into biodegradable products overseas, returned to her home in Cape Town three years ago, where she proceeded to set up the successful, innovative business that Green Home is today.

With the constant progress being made in bio–technology, Green Home is able to supply an extensive range of cost effective, catering and food packaging items, using environment friendly plant based starches such as those derived from sugar cane and corn, which are completely biodegradable and will break down in a matter of weeks when thrown into the compost.

In line with the worldwide green revolution, it has become imperative for companies to reduce their carbon footprint and, to this end, Green Home promotes the green message by creating awareness and educating businesses on the importance of using recyclable packaging.

Green Home’s latest innovation is their unique compostable flower pot. These rustic looking pots are manufactured from wood shavings, straw and discarded mulch from wineries, which is combined with natural clays, and can be formed into various shapes. Currently there is only a 5cm pot available, but the range is being extended to include a variety of shapes and sizes. These pots will safely decompose when placed on the compost heap or discarded into the environment.

For more information regarding Green Home and their range of exceptional products, please visit or email Catherine Morris at


The Green Home 100% Biodegradable
5cm Flower Pot

Spectacular Monthly Tree - September 2009

The Sideroxylon inerme or White milkwood is a smallish, dark, evergreen tree and with its sturdy trunk and large, dense, rounded crown, is certainly one of our most beautiful shade trees. The upper surface of the leaves is a glossy dark green, whilst the underside is lighter. The leaves are broadly ovate with rounded tips and bases. Wherever leaves or branches are broken or cut a white, milky latex appears. Sideroxylon inerme is the only species of this genus that occurs in South Africa. Although this tree is not endangered it is protected, which means that no milkwood may be moved, damaged or felled. This is the famous “post office tree” of Mossel Bay which is a 600 year old specimen. Planted in a row, these trees create the most outstanding fire break, having the ability to stop a fire dead in its tracks. This superb foliage tree is an excellent choice for any garden.
At TreeCo we have a large stock-holding of the Sideroxylon inerme available and urge you to place your orders with us early to avoid disappointment!

Botanical Name: Sideroxylon inerme
Common Name: White milkwood
Sizes Available: 50kg, 100kg, 200kg
Quantity in Stock: 100 x 50kg, 50 x 100kg, 20 x 200kg
Average Tree Height: 50kg - 1,8 – 2,2m, 100kg - 2.5 – 3,0m, 200kg - 3,5 – 4,0m
Average Trunk Thickness: 50kg - 3cm, 100kg - 4cm, 200kg - 5cm

Should you require any further information, such as pricing details or should you wish to place an order, please contact Rudi on 082 829 5543 or Leske on 072 385 0270. Alternatively you are welcome to email us with your enquiry at

Milkwood 50kg
Milkwood 100kg
Milkwood 200kg

Schotia brachypetala – Weeping boer bean

The Schotia brachypetala is a handsome medium sized tree with a low branching habit, a straight trunk and an attractive rounded crown. When the sweetly scented, deep crimson flowers appear in spring, the Schotia is nothing short of spectacular. The flowers produce copious amounts of sweet nectar that literally drips from the tree giving rise to its common name and attracting multitudes of sunbirds, weavers and any number of other birds that come to feast on the nectar. The Weeping boer bean loses it’s leaves shortly before spring but quickly develops fresh new growth. The new leaves are light brown to bronze in colour maturing to a rich glossy green. After flowering the Schotia develops seed pods which burst open when ripe and attract parrots and brown headed loeries that come to eat the seeds, thereby facilitating the distribution of the tree.


Botanical Name: Schotia brachypetala
Common Name: Weeping boer bean
Genus: Caesalpinioideae
RSA National Tree No’: 202


The Weeping boer bean, with it’s attractive shape and exceptional flower display, is an excellent choice where a decorative garden tree is sought. The waxy crimson flowers create a sensational show and the copious amounts of nectar attract a host of birds, bees and insects to the garden. When planted on a lawn Schotia makes a lovely shade tree or, planted to the back of a large mixed border it forms a dramatic backdrop. This tree should not be planted too close to patios and driveways as it might damage paving and the large amounts of nectar may weep onto parked vehicles.


Height: 11 – 22m
Spread: 10 – 15m
Deciduous/Evergreen: Deciduous
Growth Habit: Schotia brachypetala occurs in warm dry areas in bushveld, deciduous woodland and scrub forest and can often be found along river banks or on old termite mounds.
Bark: The bark of young trees is light brown and quite smooth but becomes darker and rougher, with a block like pattern, as the tree matures.
Foliage: The leaves of the Weeping boer bean are compound with 4 to 6 leaflets opposite or sub opposite. The leaflets are broadly elliptic, the margin is entire and they are smooth and wavy. The apex is rounded and finely pointed and the base is rounded and asymmetrical. The leaf is 180mm long and the leaflets are 63 x 40mm. New leaves emerge as a pale brownish colour, changing to light green and becoming dark and glossy with maturity.
Flowers: The conspicuous crimson flowers are borne in dense panicles on older branches. The sweetly scented flowers appear from August to October and release copious amounts of nectar.
Fruit: The pods are large, brown, slightly curved and resemble broad beans. They burst open from March to July releasing their seeds.
Seed: The 20mm seeds are pale brown, flattened and ovoid with a large conspicuous yellow aril. They germinate readily.


Growing regions: The Schotia brachypetala occurs at low altitudes from the Eastern Cape through Kwa Zulu Natal, Swaziland, Mpumalanga, Northern Province and into Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Growing conditions: The Weeping boer bean enjoys warm dry localities and thrives where summers are hot with moderate to low rainfall. Keep young trees watered at regular intervals until established.
Best season: Spring
Hardiness: This lovely tree is drought resistant once established. In areas with frost, plant it in a protected North facing aspect.
Propagation: The seeds germinate readily even after being stored for a while. Transplant the seedlings into deep sandy soil.
Growth rate: Quite slow, especially when young, but growth rate increases as tree gets older.


The seeds of the Schotia brachypetala are edible when roasted and while they do not contain large amounts of fat or protein, they are high in carbohydrates and were widely used as a valuable food source and as a coffee substitute by the early settlers. Extract made from the bark was a popular cure for heartburn and hangovers whilst red-brown and red dyes were also made from the bark. The wood is dark, fine grained and termite resistant, making it much sought after for fine furniture, carvings, floor blocks and wagon beams.