To celebrate Arbor Week, a garage in Belville, Cape Town bought a bunch of indigenous trees to hand out to people wanting to beautify their communities.
Cape Town, South Africa – Launching their first annual Arbor Week event, the Garage 808 in Belville bought a selection of indigenous trees along with compost and bone meal to hand out to keen community members.
They hoped that people would step forward to collect a tree and plant it somewhere special. However, the garage still has eight trees left with not many people coming through to receive the free, but thoughtful gesture.
“In celebration of Arbour Week 2019, Garage 808 decided to launch an annual project. Sadly, this year, the Amazon Rain Forest has been burning for too many weeks. The lungs of the planet have been reduced by a considerable size.
So, in order to contribute to the environment, we’re making 10 indigenous trees available, free of charge!!. Each tree is to be collected by someone who is also willing to make a difference in their community. We’re supplying the tree, bone meal and compost. But you are our extended arms. With your willingness to find a spot in your nearest public park, to dig a hole, get these trees’ roots growing wider than the container it’s supplied in, and watering it twice a week (for the next year) – we can start a trend of planting a forest – one tree at a time. Even if you have to carry buckets of shower water twice a week to water your tree, please do so. Your tree will need the help until the roots have strengthened and found underground water-sources.”
So far, only two trees have been collected and planted. They hope to raise some awareness and that more people will want to join in. They are only giving one tree per person/family.
The garage chose the Ekebergia Capensis tree to give away. The tree is more commonly known as the Cape Ash, or Essenhout. It is an evergreen and grows up to 15 meters tall. It flowers ivory-coloured flowers, which become red berries, perfect for hungry little birds.
“Trees make all the difference. Of course, it produces the oxygen we need to breathe. And in doing so, it removes the pollutants from the air. Apart from the practical side of things, being surrounded by trees reduces stress levels – which most of us can do with! And, a tree-lined street increases property values. It offers nesting and resting place for a variety of birds, which helps with natural insect / pest control as the birds then feed on surrounding goggas.
Fruit-eating birds will carry the seeds to other areas and help us plant more trees, when the seeds are released through their droppings. Trees offer beautiful shade in our hot summer months, when the Cape Doctor is doing his rounds. When the Cape storms come in winter, the trees bend beneath the weight of the wind, sounding the whistles of the passing cold fronts. The joy of watching a tree grow and prosper, is indescribable.”
The garage plans to do this every year going forward and hopes that people who collected trees this year will do so again next year, enabling their forests to grow.
“We also want you guys to share your photos of where you’ve planted your tree. ANYone can do this – no matter how old or young, rich or poor, master-gardener or novice, big or small, lazy or busy… make it a family outing and do something wonderful for your community. Perhaps next year you can come fetch another tree and expand your local “forest”.”
If you would like to plant a tree, you can contact the garage here.