Arbor month is upon us. A time when people are encouraged to plant trees to help remove some carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produce oxygen.
Imagine if trees gave off Wifi signals, we would be planting so many trees. We’d probably save the planet too. Too bad they ONLY produce the oxygen we breathe!
Trees might not help with wi-fi but they are as essential as we believe connectivity to be. Besides providing us with the oxygen we breathe they also provide food and shelter and are vital to keeping our planet’s temperature from soaring to great heights.
Without trees the earth would be an uninhabitable desert. They also help convert poisonous carbon dioxide into oxygen, control global warming, prevent erosion and create habitats for complex ecological system.
Giving away 5000 trees
September is Arbor Month and Stodels Nurseries will give away 5000 trees at the five Garden Centres around the Cape Peninsula in exchange for bags of old newspapers on Friday, September 6.
This project was launched by Stodels in 1983 and since then around 150 000 trees have been given away to the public to encourage tree planting, and hundreds of containers of old newspapers have been recycled.
Nick Stodel, MD of Stodels Nurseries says, “We have always been committed to the environment. It’s an ideal opportunity for people to plant a tree and help off-set effects of global warming.”
“Global warming and the sustainability of our environment is something we can’t afford to ignore. Climate change experts have unanimously named Africa as the continent that will suffer the most from the effects of global warming.”
Rising seas will affect us most
“Even more worrying for us in South Africa is that the southern-most tip of Africa will be most dramatically impacted. The Western Cape’s plant kingdoms, wine farms, fish stocks and low-lying coastal areas are all at risk from rising sea levels (caused by melting ice caps and glaciers), especially since we are situated where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet.”
“In addition, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that in sub-Saharan Africa, between 25% and 40% of animals in national parks may become endangered.”
Fortunately, there is a solution. On average, one tree can absorb a ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. “So, by planting an indigenous tree, you’ll be decreasing your carbon footprint and you’ll be helping to protect the environment for future generations,” says Nick.
Claim your indigenous tree
You can claim your free indigenous tree by filling a bag (or preferably BAGS if you can) of old newspapers or magazines and trading it for a tree at any of the Stodels Nurseries. There’s one in Milnerton, Kenilworth, Bellville, Somerset West and Constantia.
If you can`t plant a tree at your home, school or office, simply contribute R100 to Food & Trees for Africa to plant a tree for a poor community. FTFA has requests for over 3 million trees right now, from schools and marginalised communities right across the country, so every tree helps.
We ask people to plant trees appropriate for their area and climate, and trees that will respond to particular needs. These may be for fruit or nuts, for shade, as a windbreak, to settle dust, clean air or reduce soil erosion or noise, provide a home for the birds and other creatures, for children to climb or play under, or simply for the beauty that soothes our spirits daily.
South Africa has over 1 700 types of indigenous trees and many are in danger of dying out if we don’t conserve or plant them.
This year there are three trees of the year, the Virgilia oroboides Blossom tree, Keurboom, a beautiful fast growing tree that has pink flowers in season, and the Grewia occidentalis Cross-berry, Kruisbessie, a kind of scrambling indigenous shrub or small tree that puts out purple flowers and has many medicinal uses. The third tree of the year is Barringtonia racemosa Powder-puff Tree, Poeierkwas-boom, which grows along the coast and can tolerate salt water.
Your trees can be registered on the Trees for Africa Arbor Challenge. You will be able to plot your tree on google maps, post photographs of you and your tree, interact with the rest of the communiTree and challenge your family, friends and colleagues to put down roots.
Thanks to many proactive and caring corporate partners, whose contributions and pledges can be seen on Arbor Challenge the site, starting last Friday, FTFA will be planting over 10 000 trees for hundreds of schools and communities in the next month.