Thursday, September 9, 2010

Support National Arbour Week!

Spring is here again and with it comes National Arbour Week which takes place from the 1st – 7th September.
Many countries around the world recognise the importance of educating people about the vital role that trees play in the sustainability of the environment and with this in mind celebrate Arbour day once a year.

In South Africa we celebrate Arbour week, where people from all walks of life are encouraged to participate in various greening activities within their surroundings.

September is also considered Arbour month to many and TreeCo we like to celebrate both as any opportunity to green our environment is welcomed!

Forests form a significant part of the country’s natural resources as well as making a substantial contribution to the economy.

We have divided the term ‘forestry’ into three categories, in order to facilitate a better understanding of the different aspect that each category plays within our communities.

Indigenous Forests

Our indigenous forests provide an important habitat for a large variety of wild life as well as supplying material for natural medicine. By absorbing carbon dioxide and replenishing the air with oxygen they are instrumental in reducing the ‘greenhouse effect’. Soil erosion is prevented as the roots of the trees bind the soil as well as adding nutrients with their leaf litter. Indigenous forests are of great importance to the tourism industry as they generate a substantial amount of revenue from visitors who come to enjoy the hikes, trails and wild life viewing.

Commercial Forests

Although commercial forests are man made, they are equally important as they provide much needed jobs, thereby uplifting communities, DISCOUNT CODE TSMD0040 as well as generating considerable income from the timber. Orchards, which can be regarded as a smaller form of commercial plantation, are an important source of food as well as employment.

Metropolitan Forests

These are the areas within an urban environment that have been enhanced by the planting of trees and other greenery. These areas which can be called the ‘lungs’ of the urban landscape, provide beauty, shade, food and a habitat for wild life, as well as absorbing pollutants from the air, thereby improving the quality of the air that we breathe.

During National Arbour Week, various campaigns and initiatives aimed at raising awareness of the importance of trees in creating a healthy and sustainable environment are organised within communities throughout the country.
At TreeCo we have good stocks of Acacia xanthophloea, 2010 tree of the year available and trust that all of you will take this opportunity to support these valuable initiatives by assisting less fortunate communities wherever you can.

TreeCo Big Tree Gallery - September 2010


Has YOUR landscape been TREECO'ed?
TreeCo has developed an extemely loyal group of clients who have come to rely on us for the quality and unique character of our trees. Whether you plant one of our 50lt or 1000lt trees, you can be assured that we have taken every measure to ensure that the specimen you invest in, has the best possible chance of survival within your landscape. Our quality translates directly to your image as a professional landscaper, which is a responsibility we take very seriously.
Beyond the quality of our trees lies the all important environmental aspect relating to how our trees are produced and cared for. We do not use harmful pesticides or chemical fertilisers and our trees are encouraged to grow at a natural rate and to a natural shape, so not only are our trees are genuinely stronger and healthier, you know that you are supporting an organisation that is continually taking active steps to reduce our carbon footprint.
When we ask 'Has YOUR landscape been TREECO'ed'?, what we really mean to ask is 'Have you used the best quality trees, produced by an environmentally responsible company to green your world'?

Spectacular Monthly Tree - Syzygium cordatum (Waterberry)

Although we have many tree species at our nursery that are looking spectacular at any given time, we feature just one tree in particular every month that we know will offer you the best value for money and that will add that special touch to your landscape project.
The Syzygium cordatum, or Waterberry, is an attractive, medium to large evergreen tree, with a lovely rounded crown and is usually found near streams, along forest margins and in swampy areas. The elliptic to almost round leaves are bluish green on top and paler green below. The fragrant, nectar rich, white to pinkish flowers with numerous fluffy stamens, are borne on branched terminal heads from August to November, attracting a host of bees, butterflies, birds and insects to the garden. The edible, red to deep purple, berry-like fruit attract fruit eating birds, as well as being used medicinally. This beautiful shade tree is most rewarding when planted in compost rich soil in full sun and when kept well watered during the dry summer months, will grow up to 1metre per year. Plant the tree well away from buildings and paved areas as the strong root system may cause some damage. The timber from the Waterberry is hard and durable, especially in water and is used to make boats as well as good quality furniture and building material such as beams.

Botanical Name Syzygium cordatum
Common Name                Waterberry
Bag Size 50 lt
Quantity Available 350
Average Tree Height
& Trunk Thickness
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
Looking Good List for September 2010

TreeCo provides our readers with a downloadable, updated Looking Good List every month.
Please note that should you not find the tree that you are looking for on this list, TreeCo will readily source what you require, on your behalf. Rudi and Leske Neethling personally ensure that all trees supplied by TreeCo, conform to our high quality standards.
Please CLICK HERE to download our latest Looking Good List.

Acacia xanthophloea (Fever Tree)

The 2010 tree of the year is the well known Acacia xanthophloea. This spectacular tree with it’s straight, luminous yellow trunk and its feathery, spreading canopy is rightfully one of our most popular indigenous trees. The common name, Fever tree, comes from the early settlers who thought the trees were responsible for the fever they contracted when they were in the vicinity of these trees. In fact, it was malaria that they contracted from the mosquitoes that lived in the swampy areas where the trees are commonly found. As the leaves are very small, this is one of the few trees where photosynthesis takes place in the bark. Another interesting feature is the development of a “sacrificial limb” which appears to be a dead branch, but which the tree uses to deposit unwanted nutrients from the soil. Many bird species and especially weavers, use the Acacia xanthophloea for building their nests as the thorns offer protection from snakes while the seed pods and seeds are eaten by a variety of larger wildlife.


Botanical Name Acacia xanthophloea
Common Name Fever tree
Genus Mimosaceae
RSA National Tree No’ 189


The Fever tree is a stunning addition to any indigenous garden. The striking, sulphur-yellow bark literally glows in the sun while the beautiful feathery foliage and architectural shape make this a real eye catcher. The dappled shade underneath the canopy is perfect for smaller plants that require some protection from harsh sunlight. This superb tree grows very fast when it is kept well watered, making it a popular choice for any area where quick results are needed. The nitrogen fixing bacteria in the root nodules of Acacia xanthphloea help to enrich the soil around the tree with nitrogen which benefits any plants that grow in close proximity to the tree. Whether this magnificent tree is used as a focal point in the landscape or planted in a group or as an avenue, the effect is always absolutely breathtaking. 


Height 8m – 12m
Spread 6m – 12m
Deciduous/Evergreen Deciduous
Growth Habit Acacia xanthophloea grows along rivers pans and low lying swamps in bushveld areas.
Bark The distinctive sulphur-yellow hue of the bark is due to a covering of fine powder which, when rubbed away, reveals the bright green colour underneath. As the tree matures the bark on the trunk peels away in paper thin layers. The branches are covered in slender white spines.
Foliage The leaves are twice compound with a single leaflet at the tip. There are 12 to 40 pairs of leaflets per pinna. The leaves are opposite elliptic with smooth margins. Each leaf is approximately 100mm long while each leaflet is 11/2mm x 7mm.
Flowers The fragrant , bright yellow pom-pom flowers appear from September to November attracting bees and butterflies to the tree.
Fruit  The fruit consists of flat, bean-like pods that are brown or yellowish-brown in colour and are borne in clusters between January and April.
Seed The small, hard brown seeds attract a variety of wildlife and birds to the tree.


Growing regions Acacia xanthophloea is found naturally from Kenya in the North to Kwazulu-Natal on the East coast of South Africa and is widespread in the Lowveld.
Growing conditions The Fever tree prefers moist and warm growing conditions but does well in drier areas if given adequate amounts of water.
Best season  Summer
Hardiness This lovely tree is suitable for areas with only a little frost and no long periods of drought.
Propagation The easiest method of propagation is seed, which should be soaked in hot water overnight before planting into seed trays. Transplant into small bags as soon as the proper leaves appear, taking care not to damage the tap root.
Growth rate  Fast, 1m – 1,5m per year.


 The bark of Acacia xanthophloea is traditionally used by the Zulus who believe that it causes visionary and prophetic dreams and enables them to receive messages from their ancestors. The powdered bark and roots are used as an emetic for malaria as well as being used for eye complaints. The wood is hard and heavy and makes an excellent general purpose timber.

Flowers and Foliage