Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Champion Trees of the Arderne Gardens

The Arderne Gardens in Claremont, Cape Town, were established in 1845 by the successful timber merchant Ralph Henry Arderne. He acquired the land on which he built his home “The Hill” and proceeded to establish a garden with plants that he had collected from all over the world. Further development of the increasingly famous garden was continued by his son Henry Mathew Arderne who passed away in 1914.

The property was subsequently sold and in the 1920’s the new owner intended to divide the property into building lots. The Director of Parks and Gardens in Cape Town at the time, Mr A W van Houten, was opposed to this, and persuaded the City Council to buy the most important part of the garden. For the following 27 years the garden was placed in the caring hands of A M J Scheltens as curator.

Although the gardens had been declared a national monument many years before, in the early 2000’s the garden had fallen into a state of neglect resulting in the establishment of the non-profit organisation FOTAG (Friends of the Arderne Gardens) in 2004, with the objective of working with the City of Cape Town to preserve and develop the gardens.

With the introduction of Champion Trees by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, 6 of the trees in the garden have received official national recognition and protection. The criteria for Champion Tree status are, age, biological attributes and heritage significance.

The 6 official Champion Trees of the Arderne Gardens are:

  1. Morton Bay fig (Ficus macrophylla) this is the largest tree in the Western Cape and one of the four largest in South Africa.
  2. Norfolk Island pine (Auraucaria heterophylla) this is a particularly large specimen.
  3. Turkish oak (Quercus cerris)
  4. Queensland kauri (Agathis robusta)
  5. Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) 
  6. Cork oak (Quercus suber)

The Friends of the Arderne Gardens have identified another 15 unofficial ‘champion trees’ bringing the total to 21.

Why not collect a brochure containing a map of the gardens, from the Scala Pharamacy across the road from the entrance, and enjoy the lovely walk through these beautiful surroundings that follows the numbered sequence of these magnificent trees which are such an important part of our national heritage.

Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis)
Camphor tree (Cinnamonium camphora)
Holm oak (quercus ilex)
Queensland kuari (Agathis robusta)

Shoprite Holdings Head-Office in Cape Town Invests in Trees

The Shoprite Holdings Head-Office situated in Brackenfell saw the completion of a large landscape project last month. A key focus of this project was the introduction of a large quantity of trees. Urban greening is certainly of critical importance and we can be proud in Cape Town of the fact that so many of our industrial, commercial as well as new residential areas are beautifully landscaped. In years to come, our efforts now at greening the beautiful mother city will certainly provide an even more appealing environment in which to live and work.

Capescapes, the key landscape contractor to the Shoprite Holdings Head-Office project were involved in choosing trees for this particular landscape. In addition to a few other suppliers, TreeCo was chosen to supply over 200 trees ranging from 100lt specimens to our well established 1000lt trees. A wide range of species was chosen from Erythrina caffra, Ekebergia capensis, Rhus chirindensis and Celtis africana, to Trichelia emetica and Curtisia dentata. TreeCo recently expanded both the range and quantity of particularly our popular 200lt size tree range and this assisted to enable our ability to supply such a large quantity of trees.

Heidi of Capescapes had this to say about Rudi, Leske and the TreeCo team:

"TreeCo was fantastic - they really came to the party on the Shoprite Holdings Head-Office project and I would recommend them to anyone. I feel that I can contact Rudi or Leske at anytime - and they will always be available to assist. If I phone on a Sunday and say that we need the trees delivered on Monday morning before 9, I know that TreeCo will do their best to accommodate us"

Thank you to the Architects and Capescapes for affording us the opportunity to assist you on this project. We look forward to seeing our trees flourish at the Shoprite Holdings Head-Office - there is certainly no better legacy one can leave than in the beauty of a living, long lasting asset such as a tree.

TreeCo Big Tree Gallery - August 2011

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'?
Have you downloaded our portfolio of services?
The TreeCo Portfolio of Services provides you with all the information you need about our company in a colourful, graphically appealing format that has been designed to be a pleasure for you to browse through. If you have not already done so, be sure to download and save our Portfolio of Services by clicking on the link below.
Please CLICK HERE to download our Portfolio of Services.
In order to view this document correctly, you will need to have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader loaded on your computer. Please click on the link below which will allow you to download this free program quickly and easily.

Spectacular Monthly Tree & Availability List - August 2011

Spectacular Monthly Tree
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 decorative Acacia xanthophloea with its distinctive sulphur-yellow bark has become one of our most popular indigenous trees. The common name, Fever tree, refers to the fact that it grows wild in areas where malaria occurs and was thought to be the cause of this malady by the early settlers. Growing to a height of about 12 meters and with a rounded or flattened spreading crown of about 10 meters when mature, this superb tree looks absolutely beautiful as a single specimen and is quite breathtaking when planted as an avenue or in a group. When the bright yellow pom-pom flowers appear a multitude of bees and insects are attracted to the tree which in turn, attracts a host of insectivorous birds. Provided that the Acacia xanthophloea receives adequate water and only a little frost, it will reward you with fast growth, providing dappled shade and a wonderful focal point in the landscape in a relatively short time.
Botanical Name
Acacia xanthophloea 
Common Name                Fever Tree
Bag Size 200kg
Quantity Available 60
Average Tree Height
& Trunk Thickness
7 - 10cm 
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
Availability List for August 2011

TreeCo provides our readers with a downloadable, updated Availability 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 Availability List.
This document is available as a PDF document and will require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader loaded on your computer, please click on the link below which will allow you to download this free program quickly and easily.

Cussonia spicata (Cabbage Tree)

The distinctive Cussonia spicata is a very decorative evergreen tree with dense heads of palmately double compound leaves at the ends of the branches, giving the appearance of a huge feather duster. The growth form varies from a thick single bole to specimens that form several stem branches 1-2m above the ground.
These lovely trees have a spreading, much branched, rounded crown and can grow to a height of 15 metres. The Cabbage tree is easily recognizable in the veld where Kudu and domestic stock browse on the leaves while Baboons relish the young shoots, and in times of drought the juicy roots are eaten by both man and beast.
Botanical Name
Cussonia spicata
Common Name
Cabbage tree
RSA National Tree No’
The architectural form of the Cussonia spicata makes it unsurpassed as an indigenous accent plant while the striking grey-green leaves create an interesting contrast with other plants in the landscape. Plant the Cabbage tree as a single specimen, or, create an attractive focal point by planting a group of 3 or 5. This strikingly beautiful tree with it’s unusual form is fast growing as well as being long-lived, making it a perfect choice as a permanent decorative feature in any garden or landscape. Young specimens of this splendid tree look spectacular when planted in large pots on a sunny patio or any other paved area. The ripe fruit of the Cussonia spicata are a favourite food of Bul-buls, Loeries, Starlings, Mousebirds and Barbets.
3 – 15 m
Growth Habit
Cussonia spicata occurs in bushveld, on forest margins and rocky outcrops in grassland.
The corky bark is pale grey or brown with longitudinal fissures.
The thickly leathery, grey-blue to dark green leaves are clustered at the ends of the branches. They are palmately compound each with 5-9 leaflets arising from the end of a long petiole. Leaflets are also compound, incised up to the midrib in places. 
The insignificant greenish yellow flowers that appear from April to May are arranged on long cylindrical terminal spikes. There are 8-12 spikes per unit giving the appearance of a large candelabra.
The fruit develops from June to September and takes the form of a fleshy round to angular drupe about the size of a pea.
The seeds of the Cabbage tree are purplish and about 6mm in diameter.
Growing regions
Cussonia spicata is widespread and is commonly found growing from Sudan in the North right down to the Western Cape in the South.
Growing conditions
The Cabbage tree prefers a position in full sun and will grow successfully in almost any soil type but will reward you with quick, luxuriant growth when planted in a large hole to which plenty of compost and bonemeal have been added.
Best season
All year
Cussonia spicata can withstand light frost as well as low water conditions.
To propagate from seed, wash the pulp off the seed and plant in prepared seed trays immediately. The seedlings can be transplanted into bags in the second growth year. The tree can also be easily grown from cuttings.
Growth rate
The growth rate is average to fast, depending on prevailing conditions.
Cussonia spicata has long been well known as a medicinal plant with a wide variety of uses. The Zulu’s use the mashed succulent roots as a treatment for malaria while the leaves are used for indigestion. Decoctions are used to treat such ailments as madness, amenhoerroea, convulsions, heart pains, venereal disease and pains of the uterus. The soft wood has been used to make mole traps as well as brake blocks for ox wagons.

                      C. spicata Bark                                    C. spicata Leaves                                  C. spicata Fruit