Public Engagements


Caption: Tree of the year named the Sweet thorn tree

September is Arbor Month. A month dedicated to celebrate and raise awareness about trees.

The growing threat posed by global warming makes it more important than ever before to plant and maintain more indigenous trees across the country.

Two indigenous trees have been identified as the trees of the year to mark this 2021’s Arbor Month – these are the Sweet Thorn (Vachelia Karoo) and the Spekboom (Portulacaria afra).

Commonly referred to as the Sweet Thorn is one of South Africa’s most beautiful and useful trees. It is integrally part of our country’s history having been used for many things, from raft making to sewing needles and fencing for the houses of the Royal Zulu women. The thorns were even used by early naturalists to pin the insects they collected. It is very widespread throughout southern Africa.

Meanwhile, the Spekboom – also known as the Portulacaria Afra – is a small-leaved succulent plant that commonly have a reddish stem and leaves that are green, but also a variegated cultivar is often seen in cultivation. They are simple to care for and make easy houseplants for a sunny location.