Spotlight Shines On Cape Ash

To increase awareness of South Africaโ€™s beautiful indigenous tree species, two trees are highlighted each year as Tree of the Year – one common and one rare species.
The Common Tree of 2020 is the stunning ๐—–๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ ๐—”๐˜€๐—ต or ๐˜Œ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ข ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ด and the Rare Tree of 2020 is the incredibly sculptural ๐—•๐—ผ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ or ๐˜ˆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ข ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ข.
Union High School has a beautiful Cape Ash growing in front of the schoolโ€™s main building off Donkin Street.
The tree has a tag identifying it as such, which was affixed to it as part of an Eco-Schoolsโ€™ project during Union High Schoolโ€™s centenary celebrations, where all the indigenous trees on the schoolโ€™s campus were labelled with tree tags.
The tag contains interesting information about the tree, including the national tree number, the botanical name as well as the English, Afrikaans and either isiXhosa or isiZulu name.
The Cape Ash is a magnificent tree, well-worth planting. An evergreen fruit-bearing tree, the Cape Ash can grow up to 15m high. Its trunk and stems are greyish black, with large, glossy green leaves often with pink edges. On occasion, the tree shows its beautiful white, scented flowers in summer along with seeded red fruit enjoyed by birds and small animals. Historically, the Cape Ash was used as a decorative street tree, offering good shade and some resistance to drought conditions.
๐—œ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ธ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜„: The Cape ash belongs to the Mahogany family. It is the host plant for the fastest flying butterfly in Africa, namely the White-barred Emperor butterfly. ๐˜Œ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ข ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ด was named after Carl Gustov Ekeberg, a Swedish shipโ€™s captain who worked for the Dutch East India Company.
“It is important that we recognise the role that trees play in our lives. Trees not only provide oxygen, fruit and nuts but also absorb carbon dioxide and beautify the environment and are an important link in the ecosystem. It is remarkable how a bland landscape can be immediately transformed into an inviting outdoor play area, and so many of us enjoy the beauty of leaves, shade and colour as seasons change. Learning how to preserve natureโ€™s gifts and care for the environment is something we can all contribute to and enjoy by planting more trees and being mindful that bark stripping and littering prevents them from flourishing,” said Mrs Danelle Botes, facilitator of Union High Schoolโ€™s Eco-Schoolsโ€™ efforts.
“๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜Œ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜บ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ง๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ, ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฃ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ.” – ๐—ช๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—น ๐—•๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐˜†



Eco Representatives Tessa James, Kaitlin Kenmuir and Erin Gedult with Union’s magnificent Cape Ash.