Arbor Week 2017 | Western Cape Government

Arbor Week 2017

planting a tree sapling Our trees are an essential part of our environment and green heritage. Trees play a critical role in reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, especially when planted in areas where there were previously no or few trees, such as our backyards. National Arbor Week is the perfect opportunity for us to plant trees for a sustainable environment.

Nurturing plants and trees in drought conditions

With the current drought and water restrictions in our province it's become challenging to maintain exotic gardens which require alot of watering. With these conditions its even more important to invest in plants and trees which are indigenous and are known to withstand dry conditions.

While many people invest in water storage tanks to store greywater, captured rain water and/or borehole water, these tanks aren't always affordable, but you can get creative and reuse cold drink bottles or clean paint tins as water storage containers. You should also keep in mind that it's not necessary to water indiginous plants and trees every day, depending on weather conditions, once or twice a week should be more than enough.

If you use greywater to water your garden, you should also look at using biodegradable soaps and detergents which are environmentally friendly. These options are available at most supermarkets and are just as effective as regular detergents with the benefit of not impacting negatively on our environment or animals.

Protecting our green heritage

An important way to protect our green heritage is to continue planting indigenous trees, especially rare ones. Every year, 2 indigenous trees (1 common and 1 rare) are selected as the trees of the year, with a focus on planting them during National Arbor Week. 

The trees of the year for 2017 are:

  • Cape ebony/Wild ebony (rare tree)
  • Buffalo thorn (common tree)

gardenvegetablesGrow your own food

Urban farming is a fast-growing trend that's caught on in many households and communities. Not only are home and community vegetable gardens cost-effective, but when properly maintained, these vegetable gardens have the potential to produce fresh food all-year round. 

Some of the benefits of home and community vegetable gardens include:

  • providing work in the community,
  • saving money on food costs,
  • easy access to nutritious food,
  • a potential source of financial income,
  • contributing to food security,
  • spending family time together or community bonding, and
  • reduction of our carbon footprint.

Find out more

  • Read more on National Arbor Week and the trees of the year by downloading the national Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries' pamphlet.
  • Read more on urban farming, and start planning your vegetable garden today.

Watch and find out why urban farming is flourishing in our communities:

The content on this page was last updated on 5 September 2017