Arbor Week 2011: Get Back Down to Earth
What is National Arbor Week?
South Africa celebrated its first Arbor Day in 1983. However, in 1999, the National Government of South Africa made the decision to extend the day-long celebration into National Arbor Week to emphasise the importance of trees in our modern environment. This year, the theme for National Arbor Week is "Forests for People".
Why are Trees Important?
Trees have many uses, from being used for furniture, paper and building materials to being a source of medicines and food. Trees also help to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is extremely important for minimising the effects of global warming.
Which Kinds of Trees Should You Plant?
The best sorts of trees to plant are those that are indigenous to your region.
It is important to remember that young trees need some nurturing, so make sure to use good fertiliser and to provide regular watering.
Every year, the National Government puts two indigenous trees into the spotlight: one common tree and one rare tree. These are the trees you should try to plant during Arbor Week. This year's trees are Pavetta (rare) and Pappea capensis (common). You can view the description of these indigenous trees on the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries website.
What Sort of Events are Taking Place in the Western Cape?
This year, the Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Developing Planning will be hosting an Arbor Week initiative in Darling and everyone is invited. The event aims to raise awareness about our natural environment and to encourage action towards a greener future and lifestyle. View the details of the event (pdf).
Cape Nature has also compiled a series of events for National Arbor Week. Take a look at the full list of events (pdf).