A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit - Greek Proverb
Many countries across the globe will recognize the importance of educating youths about the benefits of keeping our environment as green as possible. With this in mind, many countries celebrate Arbor Day once a year – a day on which trees are planted and emphasis is placed on the importance they play in the circle of life. In South Africa, Arbor Day is celebrated for an entire week.
National Arbor Week in South Africa is a time when South Africans of all ages are encouraged to celebrate the beauty and importance of trees. People from all aspects of the community are urged to get involved and thousands are educated and made aware of the benefits of the many different aspects of forestry.
Every year the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) nominate two species of trees to be planted, one common species and one rare species. This year the common tree is Genus Heteropyxis (Lavender tree (eng) or Laventelbome (afr)) and the rare species is Vepris lanceolata (White ironwood (eng) or Witysterhout (afr)).
This community project was a NCC Environmental Services initiated endeavour and Stefanutti stocks funded the project.
The first two schools were Althea primary school and Althea preschool which are both situated in Bronkhorstspruit. The schools have limited space and therefore only requested 2 trees to be planted at each school. The Stefanutti stocks EO phoned various plant nurseries trying to get the two species nominated by the DEA but none of the nurseries in the vicinity (including Witbank and Pretoria) had any stock of the species nominated. This is quite ironic as one of the species nominated every year is a rare species and is therefore difficult to find. Therefore the decision was made to buy from the local nursery in Bronkhorstspruit. The trees planted at the above schools were Olea africana (Wild Olive) trees. These trees are indigenous to Southern Africa and grow well in this region.
The second school was Bronkhorstspruit Primary School. The school principal requested that Acacia karroo (Sweet Thorn) trees be planted at their school if the nominated species were not obtainable. This species is also indigenous to South Africa and also grows well in this region. The school already have a number of this species on their grounds and they are thriving. Four sweet thorn trees were planted at Bronkhorstspruit primary school.