Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Spectacular Monthly Tree - September 2012

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 tall growing, evergreen Podocarpus falcatus is one of our loveliest indigenous specimen trees. This yellowwood is the largest of the yellowwoods and can easily be distinguished from P.henkelii and P. latifolius by the short spirally arranged leaves. Young leaves are often slightly sickle shaped. The most well known specimen of this magnificent gymnosperm is the ‘Big tree’ in the Knysna forest and although the common yellowwood will attain massive dimensions in a forest, those in an urban environment will remain much smaller.

The specimens we have available in our nursery are absolutely stunning, perfect for creating an instant impact on your landscaping project.

National Arbor Week is from Sept 1 – 7 and we have an amazing variety of superb trees available, so pop in to select yours now!

Botanical Name
Podocarpus falcatus     
Common Name
Common yellowwood
Size Available
Quantity in Stock
Average Tree Height
3.8 m
Average Trunk Thickness
8 cm

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 info@treeco.co.za

Availability List for September 2012

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.

The Old Slave Tree in George

If you ever travel along the Garden Route, stop in at George to visit the George Tourism Bureau housed in the Old Library building in York Street and take a few minutes to look at the huge oak tree in front of the building.

This magnificent English oak (Quercus robur), is believed to be the largest specimen of it’s kind in the southern hemisphere.

Known as ‘The Old Oak Slave Tree’, this 200 year old specimen was among the first trees that were planted in 1811, when the magistrate at the time, van Kervel, compiled the original layout of the town.

On closer inspection one will observe a chain that is deeply embedded in the trunk of the tree along with a lock that dates back to 1890.

According to a book on the history of colonists and slaves, under a paragraph titled ‘Emancipation of slaves in 1834’ some slaves were held and sold in the George area around that time. Underneath a drawing of a person chained to a tree is the inscription ‘An old tree still exists today, where the slaves were once chained and sold’.

This story appears to be unsubstantiated however as there are others who believe that the chain around the tree was employed to secure a large roller that was used to maintain a tennis court which was apparently in close proximity to the tree at that time.

Nobody seems to be sure which story is true but despite this ‘The Old Slave Tree’, a declared National Monument, is worth a visit to reflect a while on it’s long history and to appreciate it’s massive dimensions, all of which have made this magnificent tree a worthy candidate for protection.

Sophiatown Tree Before

National Arbor Week - 01 - 07 September 2012

Arbor Day originated in 1872 in the United States territory of Nebraska. Mr. J. Sterling Morton, a newcomer to the treeless plains of Nebraska, was a keen proponent of the beauty and benefit of trees. He persuaded the local agricultural board to set aside a day for planting trees and through his position as editor of Nebraska's first newspaper, encouraged participation in the event by publishing articles on the value of trees for soil protection, fruit, shade and building. Mr. Morton's home, known as Arbor Lodge, was a testament to his love for trees and so inspired the name of the holiday; Arbor Day. Within two decades Arbor Day was celebrated in every US State and territory, and eventually spread around the world. The tradition continues annually in the second week of August, in global acknowledgment of Mr. Morton's slogan, "other holidays repose upon the past; Arbor Day proposes for the future."

In South Africa, Arbor Day was first celebrated in 1983. The event captured the imagination of people who recognized the need for raising awareness of the value of trees in our society. As sources of building material, food, medicine, and simple scenic beauty, trees play a vital role in the health and well-being of our communities. Collective enthusiasm for the importance of this issue in South Africa inspired the national government, in 1999, to extend the celebration of Arbor Day to National Arbor Week. From 1 to 7 September every year, schools, businesses and organizations are encouraged to participate in community "greening" events to improve the health and beauty of the local environment and propose a green future for South Africa. (content credit: www.dwaf.com)

For 2012 the featured common tree includes the Syzygium cordatum (Water Berry), while the two rare species include the Protorhus longifolia (Red Beech) and Brugueira gymnorrhiza (Black Mangrove).

For optimal tree growth, plant sturdy trees...

We were delighted to learn of the exceptional growth of over 20 beautiful trees including Australian Flame Trees, Coral Trees, Milkwoods, Wild Plums and Schotia's supplied for an award-winning landscape project installed by Bevil from Cape Contours Landscapes at the beginning of last year. Bevil had this to say about his experience with TreeCo:-

"This installation could quite conceivably be the best landscape on the Pearl Valley Estate! Considering we are only just coming out of a very cold winter now - all of the trees that TreeCo supplied have grown tremendously well - there has not been a single mortality. They are looking stunning and the client is extremely happy.

Initially when we selected the trees, I was for example, a little concerned that the Australian flame trees weren't quite as tall as we would have liked. As is the rule-of-thumb with TreeCo's trees however, they were very sturdy, so they didn't take long to establish and this is why they have done so well.

Rudi and Leske were completely hands on in the selection and delivery of the trees. They also oversaw the planting of each tree. The Milkwood forest that was planted by Rudi is in particular a feature of the garden that the client really loves.

Certainly a benefit of TreeCo's trees is the fact that they are grown further apart from each other than is the industry norm. Instead of fighting for sunlight and therefore growing too tall without enough strength, TreeCo trees are grown to develop good lateral strength which means that they are able to withstand challenging site conditions and flourish.

TreeCo's after sales service was as always excellent. When we noted that one of the trees had developed a disease, Rudi and Leske came out to the site to assess and address the issue.

Overall - I am very happy with the service that I receive from TreeCo and will certainly continue to support them in the future".
For any queries, please contact Rudi on 082 829 5543 / Leske on
072 385 0270.

Pappea capensis (Jacket plum)

The hardy, evergreen Pappea capensis, a relative of the litchi, must be one of the most popular trees for attracting birds and wildlife to the garden. The handsome dense, spreading crown is much favoured by birds for nesting while the sweetly scented flowers attract a multitude of insects and the decorative scarlet berries are irresistible to fruit eating birds. Although the lovely Jacket plum is relatively slow growing, it will adapt to almost any soil and climatic conditions including extended periods of drought, making it a versatile and worthwhile addition to any landscape.
Botanical Name
Pappea capensis
Common Name
Jacket plum
RSA National Tree No’
The lovely pinkish new leaves that contrast beautifully with the green of older leaves, and the attractive grey bark of the Jacket plum, make it a perfect choice as a focal point in the landscape. This decorative tree does not have an aggressive root system making it suitable for creating a charming shady area in a small garden or even in a townhouse garden. Plant Pappea capensis en masse as an excellent windbreak or, as a natural bush area that is wild life friendly in large gardens or on golf courses. As the Jacket plum thrives on very little attention it is a superb choice as a street tree or for providing shade in any public area.
3 – 8 m
2 – 5 m
Growth Habit
Jacket plum occurs in wooded grassland, bushveld, valley bushveld, karroid vegetation and can often be found growing on termite mounds
On young branches the pale grey bark is smooth,  becoming rougher with pale grey and dark grey patches on older bark
The oblong leaves that are crowded at the ends of the branches are simple with parallel veins. Margins on young leaves are closely spine-toothed becoming entire on mature growth. Leaves are dull green above and paler with raised yellowish venation below.
The small, yellowish-green, sweetly scented flowers appear in axillary and terminal drooping spikes from September to May
The fruit consists of a furry green capsule which splits to reveal the brilliant, orange-red fleshy arillode that envelopes the seed.
The hard,  5mm diameter seed is dark brown to black
Growing regions
Pappea capensis is widespread throughout South Africa and can be found from the dry Norhern Cape and the Karoo right through to the Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal
Growing conditions
Jacket plum will grow almost anywhere in any soil type and enjoys a warm, sunny position
Best season
Spring / Summer
Pappea capensis is hardy being drought, frost  and wind tolerant
The seeds should be planted about 5 mm deep in a good seedling mix, placed in a shaded position and kept moist. Germination can take up to 10 weeks. Plant out when seedlings are between 20-50 mm tall taking care not to damage the tap root
Growth rate
Moderate to slow depending on the growing conditions
The tasty fruit can be made into a delicious jelly, vinegar or alcoholic drink while the seeds yield a fairly heavy, golden yellow, edible oil. The mildly purgative oil can be used for soap making and was used by farmers to oil their guns. A preparation made from the leaves is used to relieve sore eyes. The heavy, hard, light reddish wood is used for durable fence poles, cattle yokes, kitchen utensils and furniture

Dovyalis caffra flowersDovyalis caffra fruitDovyalis caffra leaves and thorns
                  P. capensis Bark                                          P. capensis Fruit & Leaves                        P. capensis Flowers & Leaves