Monday, March 10, 2014

Greenpop - Planting Trees for a Greener Tomorrow is an innovative organisation that have launched a hands - on volunteer project where South Africans, as well as tourists from around the world can become involved with the upliftment and environmental education of children in under-resourced areas of Cape Town.

Their aim is to offer volunteers the opportunity to assist with the greening of the urban environment through re-forestation with indigenous trees as well as the planting of fruit trees at schools, community centres and crèches, which will ultimately help to feed the children within these communities.

Volunteers also have the opportunity to help educate the children on the importance of preserving the natural environment and the role that they can play in conservation, as well as raising awareness of climate change and other environmental issues.

This is truly a ‘hands – on’ project as all volunteers are part of a team, helping with the actual planting of the trees alongside the children and other members of the community, while also helping with the mapping and monitoring of trees.

Not only is this a wonderful opportunity for South Africans to become involved with an important and rewarding project and interacting with international volunteers, but overseas volunteers are also be able to explore the magnificent city of Cape Town and immerse themselves in our colourful and diverse South African culture and hospitality.

Any healthy person of 17 years or older may volunteer for this worthwhile project that has already made great stride in making a positive and sustainable difference to the lives of countless children and all members of these under resourced communities.

TreeCo is an official sponsor of Greenpop and we have donated numerous trees in support of this initiative.
If you aren’t able to volunteer, but would like to support Greenpop, feel free to sponsor a tree through TreeCo, or discover how else you can help by visiting their website

Photo credit:

Spectacular Monthly Tree - March 2014

Brachylaena discolor or Coast silver oak as this tree is more commonly known is a hardy yet attractive tree that does well in the most difficult conditions, including the harsh, dry conditions along the windy Cape coastline. Occurring naturally in coastal bush and associated bushveld, these trees are useful for stabilising dunes or areas where deforestation has taken place. The lanceolate leaves of the Coast silver oak are leathery and dark green on the upper surface while the underside is thickly covered with fine white hairs giving the foliage its silvery appearance. These trees create a lovely contrast with other plants and being extremely low maintenance are highly recommended for a wide variety of landscaping applications.
Botanical Name
Brachylaena discolor
Common Name
Coast Silver Oak
Size Available
50 lt
Quantity in Stock
Average Tree Height
2.3 m
Average Trunk Thickness
3 - 4 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 March 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

Curtisia dentata (Assegai)

Curtisia dentata is a very handsome, medium to large evergreen tree with a dense, well rounded crown. In forest conditions or when grown as a single specimen in shadier areas, the Assegai grows tall and stately but when planted in full sun, these lovely trees develop a particularly dense and bushy crown. The creamy white to red, bitter fruits are attractive to fruit eating birds with the bush dove and the lourie being mainly responsible for the distribution of the seeds. Curtisia dentata is a protected tree in South Africa as the numbers throughout the country have been severely depleted due to over exploitation, as the bark is highly prized in traditional medicine.
Botanical Name
Curtisia dentata
Common Name
RSA National Tree No’
The magnificent Assegai is a truly excellent addition to the landscape. These superb trees can safely be planted in any built up or paved area as the roots are totally non-invasive. Another major advantage of planting these trees in an urban environment is that they create hardly any leaf litter while the tough branches ensure that they can withstand severe wind without any damage. These trees make superb specimen or shade trees while a tough, dense leafy screen or hedge can be created by planting a row along any sunny boundary or fence line. Where a landscape is being developed from scratch, Curtisia dentata will provide quick, long lasting and rewarding results.  
Height4 – 18 m
3 - 6 m
Growth Habit
Curtisia dentata is found growing naturally in coastal as well as montane forests throughout South Africa and Swaziland.
The bark on young trees is grey or reddish and smooth becoming dark as the tree matures with deep, somewhat squarish fissures.
The mostly ovate leaves are simple, opposite, thin, leathery and without stipules. Young leaves are bronze and velvety while mature leaves are smooth, dark green above and grey green covered with red brown hairs below. The margins are sharply and strongly toothed.
The small creamy flowers are inconspicuous and are borne in terminal sprays from October to March.
The round to oval fleshy fruits, are roughly pea sized and are usually white, cream or reddish in colour. They are crowned with the remains of a persistent calyx.
The fruits contain a small, four chambered nut each of which usually contain a small seed.
Growing regions
The Assagai tree is found in the Western Cape and up along the east coast to the Eastern Cape, Kwa Zulu Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and inland towards Swaziland.
Growing conditions
Curtisia dentata grows well in full sun or light shade. Plant in a deep hole to which generous quantities of compost and organic fertilizer have been added. Cover soil around the tree with a deep layer of mulch. Water generously for the first three years.
Best season
 Spring - autumn
The Assegai will withstand moderate drought once established. Very young trees are sensitive to frost and may lose their leaves but more mature trees will tolerate some frost.
The seeds germinate readily. Remove the fleshy part of the fruit and sow the nut while still fresh. Keep warm and moist and the seeds should germinate within 3 – 4 weeks.
Growth rate
Fast, from 500mm to 1m per year.
The strong, durable timber of the Assegai tree is fine grained and has a reddish colour similar to mahogany. Over the years, this has led to the overexploitation of these magnificent trees as the wood was widely used for wagon making, floors, rafters and tool handles including assegais, as well as fine furniture and other household items. The bark is widely used for medicinal purposes such as the treatment of diarrhea, stomach ailments and as a blood purifier.
Curtisia dentata Flowers and FoliageCurtisia dentata BarkCurtisia dentata Fruit