Community Empowerment

How to Spot the 2020 Tree of the Year – Cape Ash

For years, the City of Ekurhuleni has participated in National Arbour Month programmes by roping in communities through various activities such as planting memorial trees, while introducing them to celebrated trees of each year.

The 2020 celebrated tree is the Ekebergia Capensis (Cape Ash tree), an evergreen tree which can reach up to 15 metres in height and grows in a number of different habitats, mostly found in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal. It is an attractive shade tree with glossy leaves.

In favourable conditions the tree flower is visible every year but in other localities they may only flower once every few years.

The main stem of the Cape Ash is characterised by a rough light grey to almost black bark, with few buttress roots at the base. The tree tends to produce sweetly scented small white flowers borne at the tips of the branches. 

According to the City’s environment officer Alugumi Makushu, the best way to plant any tree including the Cape-Ash is to create enough insulation and sufficient watering for quick results.

Furthermore, the Cape Ash has a number of traditional medicine uses such as tanning, for treating headaches, heartburn, chronic coughs and intestinal worms.