Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Three Year Project of Note - The Reforestation of Africa

South Africa hosts many tree planting initiatives throughout the country annually, so it is interesting to see what is being done in other parts of Africa and the rest of the world, with regard to re-forestation and conservation programs.

Botanic Gardens Conservation International otherwise known as BGCI, is a UK based organisation that has become known as the largest plant conservation body in the world.

Their aim is to save the most threatened plant species in the world (some 8,753 tree species in 1998 and this will certainly have increased by now), through initiating conservation action and support for sustainable use, as well as educating local communities on the need for conservation and methods of propagation and replanting.
Aside from their numerous valuable projects throughout the world, BGCI has launched an important 3 year forest restoration and threatened tree species conservation initiative in Africa.

The aim is to promote the use of indigenous species while increasing the role of African botanic gardens in forest restoration.

Forest restoration using indigenous and threatened species will enhance biodiversity and will also benefit local communities by supplying food and medicine.

Most of the tree planting initiatives in Africa, focus on exotic species that deplete nutrients in the ground as well as compromising water supply. Through education and restoration of indigenous species, these issues can be resolved.

To provide a sound basis for extending re-forestation projects throughout Africa, Brackenhurst Botanic Garden in Kenya and Tooro Botanical Gardens in Uganda, both of which already have considerable experience in re-forestation projects, will be supported through training and education programs and the development of guidelines, which can be replicated in other African countries.

By forming partnerships with the private sector, NGO’s and governments, BGCI are making an invaluable contribution towards the prevention of extinctions and the re-forestation of the planet.

Photo credits: Barney Wilczak

Spectacular Monthly Tree - February 2014

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.

The ‘Golden goddess’ bamboo is an exquisite landscaping plant with lovely, arching, golden yellow stems and delicate fresh green foliage that imparts an exotic, tropical feel to any landscape. This graceful, evergreen bamboo is non invasive having an easily maintained clumping growth habit and only reaching a height of 2 - 3 meters, is perfect for smaller gardens. The ‘Golden goddess’ is also an excellent container plant and will enhance any patio or pool area where its delicate beauty can be fully appreciated.

Our specimens are absolutely beautiful so if you are looking for something really different for your landscaping project visit us at the nursery to choose yours now.

Botanical Name
Bambusa multiplex
Common Name
Bamboo Golden Goddess
Size Available
100 lt
Quantity in Stock
Average Tree Height
3.0 m
Average 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
Availability List for February 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.

Searsia chirindensis (Red Currant)

Searsia chirindensis is a showy, hardy, medium to large evergreen or deciduous tree. It is only in colder areas that these trees will lose their leaves in winter. The lovely Red currant trees are a common sight along the roadways in the Garden Route area of the Western Cape where the colourful, reddish foliage in spring and autumn create a striking contrast with the abundance of greenery there, while the magnificent, large trusses of shiny fruit are an eye catching sight for travelers to enjoy throughout summer.

Young growth on the Red currant is usually spiny but this disappears as the trees mature. The profusion of tiny flowers as well as the masses of fruit attracts a host of birds and insects to the garden.
Botanical Name
Searsia chirindensis
Common Name
Red currant
RSA National Tree No’
Searsia chirindensis has a multitude of landscaping uses as these attractive trees have a non invasive root system and are able to withstand a wide range of weather conditions. If a tree with a neat, well shaped crown is required, the young growth on the main stem should be removed while the tree is young so that a straight single bole develops. In areas where the Red currant is to be used as a screen or as a windbreak however, the tree can be trained into a dense shrub or allowed to take on its natural, multi stemmed growth habit. The beautiful Searsia chirindensis looks lovely throughout the year and is a perfect choice for the city garden as well as any landscaping project where a truly rewarding as well as a fast and easy to grow tree or large shrub is required.
Height6 – 10m
3 - 6 m
Semi - deciduous
Growth Habit
Searsia chirindensis occurs in coastal forest and along forest margins as well as inland scrub or inland forest and rocky hillsides.
The dark grey to dark brown bark of the Red currant is rough with longitudinal fissures in mature trees.
The distinctive hairless, trifoliate leaves of up to 130mm long are dark green on both sides and usually turn red in autumn. Young spring growth is also red to pinkish in colour. Margins are entire and wavy, ending in a tapering tip. Stalks and midrib are pinkish.
The yellowish green flowers are borne in terminal heads from August to March. Male and female flowers appear on separate trees.
 The glossy round fruit are dark reddish brown and are borne in heavy terminal clusters that weigh down the branches.
The seeds are small and dark.
Growing regions
The Red currant is widespread all along the coastline from the Western Cape up to the Eastern Cape to Kwa-Zulu Natal and up through Mpumalanga and Limpopo.
Growing conditions
Searsia chirindensis will perform equally well in full sun or partial shade. Plant in a large hole in well drained soil to which a generous quantity of compost and organic fertilizer has been added.
Best season
The Red currant is hardy and will withstand wind, drought and frost.
These trees are easy to propagate from cuttings or truncheons but propagating from seeds is also very successful. Fresh seeds will take about 5 to 8 weeks to germinate.
Growth rate
Fast, up to 1m per year.
The rich, reddish brown timber of Searsia chirindensis is heavy and hard and is used to make superb furniture. It was used for wagon building as well as for manufacturing small tools, household items and implements and for wood turning. The bark has traditionally been used to treat such ailments as rheumatism, circulatory problems and mental disorders while the sap is used to treat various heart conditions.
Searsia chirindensis flowersSearsia chirindensis barkSearsia chirindensis fruit