Trees for Tourism The Creation of a Forest 12'000 trees

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The first 12'000 trees of the Trees for Tourism project have been planted out as compensation for carbon and biodiversity footprints of the travel industry in South Africa. This booklet describes the highlights of the reforestation project and site on farm 215 in the Overberg, South Africa.

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Trees for Tourism The Creation of a Forest 12'000 trees

  1. 1. 12000 treesthe making of a forest
  2. 2. The first 12’000 trees under the Trees for Tourism Project (TfT) have been planted out during July 2011 in the reserve of farm 215 in the Overberg under the auspices of Platbos Conservation Trust. This booklet provides the highlights and key points of TfT’s first reforestation project. For more information about the Trees for Tourism Project, contact Helen Turnbull (see below for contact details).www.treesfortourism.co.za +27 (0) 84 571 5900 plant@treesfortourism.co.za
  3. 3. The siteThe lower part of one of te gorges in the reserve of farm 215is the area where 12000 trees, indigenous to this area ofSouth Africa, have been planted out..This wind sheltered area has been used by agriculture in thepast and has subsequently been overrun by alien invasivevegetation. The area has been cleared from alien vegetationand the streambanks have been rehabilitated.“Hartebeeskloof” as this gorge is named, has gentle slopes,deep soils and a lot of water.
  4. 4. The targetHigher up in the same gorge as the reforestation site, apristine indigenous forest remnant has maintained itself.Reforestation will continue from the first reforestation siteupwards until the new forest has been re-connected withthis ancient forest remnant.This forest-remnant is dominated by Cape beech, Hard pear,White Pear and Wild olive and is protected against fire andregular visits by men by a high cliff face on the one side anda slippery scree covered slope on the other.
  5. 5. Pilot treesBefore planting out the 12000 trees, the reforestation site hasbeen extensively tested. During the past five years, pilot treesof different species have been planted out in different spots allover the reforestation site.These pilot planting projects were successful and providedvaluable information for the reforestation of the first twohectares of the site.
  6. 6. Nursery treesThe reforestation trees are sourced from the nursery of Platbos,South Africa’s southernmost indigenous forest. Platbos islocated on the other side of the Uilkraal Valley.Platbos Conservation Trust is one of the founding fathers ofthe Trees for Tourism Program which, apart from thereforestation on farm 215, will see further expansion of theancient forest of Platbos itself, new indigenous forests in thenature reserve of the BWI* registered Lomond vineyards andother suitable and approved site in and around the UilkraalValley in the Western Cape’s Overberg Region.* BWI = Biodiversity Wine Initiative.
  7. 7. PlantingThe trees are planted close together in a density of 6000 treesper hectare to mimmick the natural reforestation process andto force the trees upwards to create a closed forest canopy assoon as possible.Once the forest canopy is closed, little light will reach theforest floor which will inhibit ground covering vegetation andprovide a natural protection of the forest against fire.Younger and smaller trees have been planted out in thesheltered and moister areas and older, larger and hardier treeson the more exposed slopes.
  8. 8. Tree plantersA team of 13 people of Platbos Conservation Trust and KrigeTree services worked for a full month to complete the plantingof the 12’000 trees.It was raining on several days during July, not pleasantworking conditions, but ideal for the young forest.Picture on the left : Nkosinathi Mkhatshwa (left) and MpumzeniNothimba (right)
  9. 9. Platbos Conservation TrustPlatbos Conservation Trust, the agent on the ground forTrees for Tourism is managed by husband and wife teamFrancois Krige and Melissa Saayman Krige.Every day of planting, Francois and Melissa were present totake care that the rights tree was planted in the right spotunder the right conditions.On the left picture, Melissa is in discussion with Platbosemployee Mgadasi Mlondolozi and in the picture on the right,the bearded Francois can be seen behind the bush whileMelissa talks to Zamile Ntembizo.
  10. 10. Changing featuresIn time the features of the reforestation site will be changed.Roots will make their way to the stream, will slow down theflow of the stream and hold the soil together. Erosion willbe halted and the land can benefit from more water.In the picture on the left, juvenile trees can be seen shelteredin the low winter shade of 4 year old pilot trees. Once thecanopy becomes closed and the sun cannot bake the streambanks anymore, there will be less evaporation and moistconditions will be constant.
  11. 11. Tree speciesThe reforestation trees exist mainly out of 15 species.Above : Phindile Nogoga working with a milkwood (Sideroxyloninerme). The milkwood is planted on the edge of the forest.It can deal with drier conditions than typical riverine trees andhas a high fire-resistance.To the left a Wild peach (Kigelaria africana), fast growing andre-coppicing, it is ideal fire wood. In the middle : Red Alder(Cunonia capensis) preferring moist conditions and havingstunning flowers which are very attractive to bees.
  12. 12. Above : Luyanda Goosha removing support from a Wild olive(Olea africana), the ancestor of the domesticated olive tree.Left : Assegai tree (Curtisia dentata). Middle :Cape Beech(Rapanea melanophloeos). Both the Assegai and the CapeBeech prefer moister conditions.
  13. 13. Above Nkosana Mphezuli (with tree in hand) andMthethelesi Mchithwa.Left : White pear (Apodytes dimidiata). Middle: White stinkwood(Celtis africana). The White pear and the White stinkwooddo not require the very moist conditions and will thrive in deepsands slightly higher up the slopes.
  14. 14. A contemplative Zolani Khuso (above).Left : Rock alder (Canthium mundianum).Middle : Pock ironwood (Chionanthus foveolatus).Both the Rock alder and the Pock ironwood areunderstory trees.
  15. 15. Above: Nzuzo Dabula in the process of clearing bracken witha bushcutter to create access for the trees to be planted.The bracken will regrow quickly and provide protection forthe juvenile trees.Left : A Cape Holy (Ilex mitis) still in its bag. Off all the treesplanted out, the Cape holly insists most on permanent water.Middle : Yellowwood (Podacarpus Latifolius).The Yellowwoods are the tallest trees in South Africa’s forests.
  16. 16. Above Mthetho Mondoleki.Left : Bladdernut (Diospyros whyteana).
  17. 17. Above : Phumlani Tyhalisi.Left : a clump of Cape beeches, ready to be planted out.
  18. 18. is an initiative of :www.platbos.co.za www.serendipityafrica.co.za www.farm215.co.za

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