Plant for the future

This week is Arbor Week in South Africa and this year’s message is simple - ‘Plant a tree - an indigenous one or a fruit tree.’

Arbor Week, which runs for the first week of September, has been marked in SA since 1983. This year it was launched in Kimberley with the planting of 2 000 fruit trees.

National Arbor Week recognises the importance of trees in communities and encourages awareness of the need to protect indigenous trees.

Planting trees mitigated the effects of global warming and climate change, the Government Communication and Information System said. This year, the campaign is in line with the International Year of the Forests.

To increase awareness of the 2 000 indigenous tree species in SA, Arbor Week highlights specific species. The trees for this year are the common waterbessie/water berry, and the rarer rooiboekenhout, or red beach, and swartwortelboom, or black mangrove.

Joburg has been named winner of the national Arbor City competition. Johannesburg City Parks has planted over 200 000 trees since 2010, transformed landfill sites into world class parks, developed over 42 community food gardens, beautified key arterials in the city, and is developing green outdoor gyms.

They are also planting 7000 fruit trees this financial year.

LeadSA has heeded the Arbor Week call with its partners at Primedia Broadcasting, Independent Newspapers and others. Among projects already undertaken are the distribution of trees in Alexandra and a call to action for listeners and readers.

With this in mind, the Pretoria News is teaming up with Safari Nursery to make available more than 100 trees for planting locally.

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