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  • Writer's pictureShelby Pietersen

3 Common Trees in the Overberg

Nature is amazingly abundant. What the earth is given, she returns in surplus and we can definitely say this about trees. We are always looking for unique, beautiful, and large trees to admire and, in doing so, it's difficult not to notice the absolute surplus of trees. Trees line the roads, they are found on the tippy tops of mountains, in our gardens, and at our schools and hospitals. The Western Cape of South Africa is especially blessed with many kinds of trees from coastal indigenous trees to alien trees from Australia. Here are some common trees we come across in the Overberg region.

  1. Blue Gum (Eucalyptus Globulus)

Blue Gum trees are definitely some of the most common trees in the Overberg. These trees have a fierce will to live and arborists have to go through some painstaking measures in order to prevent these trees from spreading - even after being cut down. Blue Gums were imported many years ago and originate in Australia.

One theory of why they were imported is that they were brought to suck up water through their roots to prevent residential foundations from retaining moisture. However they were brought here, they sure have taken over. They have grown so well in the Overberg that they have become invasive and homeowners and farmers are now being encouraged to have them removed. At least one thing is for sure, they make lovely wood for indoor fireplaces.

  1. Pine Trees (Pinus)

Another extremely popular tree in the Overberg is the Pine tree. There are many farms in the Western Cape that chose to cultivate Pine trees for milling timber many years ago. Since then, the Pine has become so invasive that the South African government decided to ban its cultivation. Unfortunately, pine trees have taken over many of the Western Cape’s mountainous areas and, as beautiful as Pine forests are, they are making it very difficult for the indigenous fynbos to survive.

There are many pine species that have landed in the Overberg. The three most common species are the Pinia Pine, The Radiata Pine, and the Pinaster Pine. Out of the three Pine species, the Radiata Pine has the most valuable milling timber. The other types of pine do not have much value.

  1. Black Wattle (Acacia mearnsi)

The last tree in our list of common trees in the Overberg is the Black Wattle. These trees are also from Australia originally and make great fire and braai wood too. Although they don’t grow very straight, they can also make beautiful floor planks varying from a tan red colour to white. This tree multiples incredibly fast and is also considered invasive. Like Pines and Blue Gums, Black Wattles are known for drinking ridiculous amounts of water - amounts that the Overberg can simply not keep up with.

Although these trees are invasive, we do not recommend felling them en mass. We would like to propose a more sustainable approach to removal and reforestation. Selectively remove the largest, oldest, and most threatening alien trees. In those areas, you can plant indigenous trees and shrubs. As these newly planted flora is growing, slowly remove the aliens in other areas and repeat the process. This way you are not leaving the ground bare, but instead, you are replenishing the soil and restoring the eco-systems.

If you have any invasive trees, please contact us by clicking here to get in touch with our professional arborists and receive a free estimate.



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