Thursday, June 9, 2011

Iconic South African Trees - Tsitsikama Big Tree

“If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is regarded a loafer.
But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen”.
                                                                                           Henry David Thoreau

In the late 1700’s, recognising the potential for a lucrative timber industry, Lord Charles Somerset determined that the forests around the Knysna / Tsitsikamma area should be exploited to meet the burgeoning demand for timber. Then followed a long period when the relentless harvesting of the magnificent indigenous trees by greedy businessmen resulted in some of the species becoming endangered. To prevent these beautiful forests from becoming completely denuded, further felling was prohibited in 1939 to allow the forests to regenerate.

Among the species that became threatened were the majestic yellowwoods (Podocarpus falcatus) of the Tsitsikamma forest (Khoisan for ‘place of many waters’). Some of these trees that were felled for their beautiful pale golden, fine grained wood were over 1000 years old.

Today, visited by 80,000 tourists every year, the illustrious Tsitsikamma Big Tree, towering over the forest canopy, is 36,6m tall with a trunk circumference of 9m. Estimated to be around 800 years old, this is the oldest of the remaining Tstsikamma yellowwoods and as such is also the oldest living specimen of South Africa’s national tree.
Why not take a walk to the Tsitsikamma Big Tree which can be reached by following a boardwalk through the cool, dappled shade under the trees, resting a while beneath this noble and ancient denizen of the forest, a reminder of the responsibility we as humans carry for the preservation of the fragile resources of our beautiful planet.

The TreeCo Big Tree Gallery!
Have you seen our range of beautiful big trees? Our stock levels and range of trees has grown enormously in the last few years and we invite you to not only click on the button below to view some photo's of them, but to pop in to the nursery and see them for yourself. If you are looking for sudden impact - look no further that TreeCo for your big trees!

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