Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bring One for the Chipper - Eco-friendly disposal of Christmas Trees in Georgia USA.

Welcome to our new article series ‘Innovative Tree Projects from Around the World’. In this series we will be showcasing some of the most fascinating, creative and inventive projects from across the globe and through these we aim to inspire our local community to engage in similar projects of their own.

Bring One for the Chipper - Eco-friendly disposal of Christmas Trees in Georgia USA.

Every December thousands of trees are felled around the world and sold as Christmas trees. When the festivities are over, most of these trees end up in landfill sites or lie abandoned in back yards.

To combat this unnecessary wastage however, enterprising officials in Cherokee county in Georgia USA have come up with an excellent solution that benefits not only the environment but the community as a whole.

This innovative program, called ‘Bring one for the chipper’ was launched in Cherokee county 20 years ago.

Residents are asked to drop off their trees at one of three ‘Bring one for the chipper’ events across the county. When as many trees as possible have been collected, they are recycled into mulch by wood chippers.

The resulting mulch is used throughout Cherokee county for parks, playgrounds, landscaping projects, erosion control as well as for individual home owner use.

Chris Heim, a tree expert in the area, says that since its inception, 5,9 million trees have been recycled. He states that last year alone 164,806 trees were collected, of which 160,462 were recycled into mulch while 2,586 were sunk into lakes throughout the state to provide a natural habitat for fish and the remaining 2,063 trees were used for fuel and other projects.
At one of the drop off events people are given hot chocolate or coffee, as well as seedlings and seed packets to take home, making this an attractive outing for the whole family and an opportunity to promote the greening of the environment.

This fantastic solution to an annual and global problem is a perfect example of how an intelligent recycling project can benefit both people and planet.

Do you think that such a project would be viable in South Africa?

The below photo was taken in Cape Town during 2013. Many South Africans also purchase felled trees which are dumped after Christmas each year. Although our refuse sites will make compost from any green or garden waste that they receive, there could be a far better way to capitalise on the disposal of our unwanted Christmas trees by following a similar approach to our friends in the USA.
Classification Proteaceae

Spectacular Monthly Tree - January 2014

The beautiful Podocarpus latifolius is well suited for medium or small gardens as well as streets, parks and gardens in public urban areas. The leaves, which are wider and longer than those of the other two species of yellowwood are grouped at the tips of the branches while the bark is longitudinally striated. Male trees produce pinkish catkins while female trees produce fleshy green seeds that are borne on bright scarlet cushions. Although these magnificent trees attain giant proportions in natural forest areas they are somewhat smaller in cultivation which has ensured their popularity throughout the country.

We have superb, sturdy specimens available at our nursery so begin the New Year by using some of these valuable trees for your landscaping project..

Botanical Name
Podocarpus latifolius
Common Name
Real yellowwood
Size Available
100 lt
Quantity in Stock
Average Tree Height
3.0 m
Average Trunk Thickness
5 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

Availability List for January 2014

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.

Strychnos spinosa (Spiny Monkey Orange)

Strychnos spinosa is a very attractive, small to medium sized tree with a much branched, flattish spreading crown. The dense, greenish flower heads are followed by large, round, green fruit that ripen to bright golden yellow. When the distinctive fruit appear, often after good rains, these lovely trees can be easily identified growing in open woodland throughout most parts of the country. The fruit as well as the leaves are a popular food source with a wide range of wildlife such as baboons, monkeys, elephant, bushpig and a number of species of antelope.
Botanical Name
Strychnos spinosa
Common Name
Spiny Monkey Orange
RSA National Tree No’
The Spiny Monkey Orange is a charming small to medium sized tree that will add interest to any garden or landscaping project. These trees are particularly eye catching when the large fruit appears so they make excellent specimen trees. Having a fairly wide, dense crown they are a lovely source of shade in summer while the striking yellow autumn foliage provides a splash of colour before the leaves are shed in winter. A mini forest can be created by planting a small group of three or five Strychnos spinosa together and under planting them with perennials such as agapanthus that will enjoy summer shade and winter sunshine.
Height3 – 6 m
3 - 5 m
Growth Habit
Strychnos spinosa is found growing singly along riverine fringes, coastal forest or bushes well as sand forest and bushveld in well drained or sandy soils.
Spiny Monkey Orange has fairly smooth bark that flakes in elongated pieces. The pale coloured branchlets have hooked thorns and often ending in a terminal spine.
The glossy, dark green leaves are paler underneath and are elliptical to ovate or almost circular, with or without hairs. They are conspicuously three veined with a somewhat wavy margin. The leaves turn bright yellow in autumn.
The greenish white flowers are borne in dense, terminal heads in spring and summer.
The large, round, yellow to yellowish brown fruit is about 120mm in diameter and has a fairly smooth, thick, woody rind. Inside the fruit the numerous seeds are embedded in edible flesh.
The pale beige to light brown seeds are large and flattish.
Growing regions
The Spiny Monkey Orange is found from the Eastern Cape to Kwa Zulu Natal, inland to Swaziland and up north to Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Growing conditions
Strychnos spinosa prefers an open, sunny position although these attractive trees will also tolerate semi shade. These trees do best in very well drained or sandy soil with a moderate amount of water.
Best season
The Spiny Monkey Orange should be protected from very severe frost as it originates in the milder regions of the country.
The seeds germinate readily so the best method of propagation is to plant the seeds in a good seedling mix in bags and keep moist. Plant out when seedlings are large enough.
Growth rate
The Spiny Monkey Orange is well known for its numerous medicinal applications for which the leaves, fruit and roots are used. The hard, dry shells of the fruit are carved with designs and sold as curios as well as being used as sounding boxes for musical instruments such as the marimba. The hard timber from the tree is used for carved decorative items, as well as carpentry, implement handles, hut poles and fighting sticks.
Strychnos foliageStrychnos fruitStrychnos bark