Eastern Cape Trees – The visitors that never left.
The Village of Rhodes is “above the tree-line”. This means that no large indigenous trees are to be found at this altitude as they cannot survive the cold at 1821m above sea level. How is it then that the village is full of enormous trees?
Local legend has it that the village was named Rhodes in the hopes that the mining-magnate and then Prime Minister of the Cape, Cecil John Rhodes, would bless the village with a railway line. Alas, this was not to be and the legend has it that he sent a wagonload of trees instead.
Many of the trees in town are as old as the village and are therefore an important part of the history of the town and worthy also of the conservation status bestowed on the village in 1997.
The visitors that never left are Normandy Poplars (Italy), Oaks (Euro), Pines, cypresses, cedars, willows, pears, and many more, a veritable arboretum.
As these trees reach the end of their life cycle we’re starting to lose some of them to disease, lightning damage, wind damage and old age. We have witnessed the loss of the Crack Willows that lined the river banks, removed by working for water. Alien “Black Locust” trees are invading parts of the town and old Weeping Willows are burnt out for firewood by locals. The idea is to plant new trees to beautify the village whilst at the same time offset our carbon on our visits to Rhodes. The Rhodes Tree Project was started in 2008 by Bruce Beyer, www.co-creators.co.za, an Architect and Landscaper from Cape Town, a landowner in Rhodes who chairs the village’s aesthetics advisory committee:
“ I surveyed the village trees and designed a development plan. The plan will provide:
- a new generation of trees for the town in the form of new avenues
- a tree replacement strategy to address village firewood reqirements
- a new avenue into town bringing down the dust levels, linking Rhodes with Zakhele
- trees around the township
- trees to screen/ integrate the water tanks, police station and cell phone mast”
Please help us by donating towards this dream. All trees planted:
- will be specified according to the design through a consultative approach with village residents and local and conservation authorities, ref’ Rhodes Concept Development plan, (in shop)
- will be healthy disease free specimens
- will be planted into decent well prepared holes
- all trees will be planted with 2 cartons of 90 day “Driwater” or similar, if deemed nessessary
- will be planted by locals to assist in employment creation
- will be watered by Senqu municipality workers in the town
- will be protected by stakes and mesh to avoid browsing and vandalism
Benefits to you or your organisation:
- Offset your Carbon Credits www.orcafoundation.com/carboncalculator.html (Carbon Calculator reference only until we have our own) If you’re from J-burg (1600kmreturn) you’ll need to plant half a tree and if you’re from Cape Town (2800km return) you’ll need to plant 1 tree per trip to Rhodes.
A breakdown of the costs per tree are as follows, this is a non profit venture and all costs listed here are to cover the venture in such a far off place. Costs will come down as numbers of trees increase. We also plan to teach locals to run the project. All Accounts and activities of the “The Rhodes Tree Project” are totally transparent:-
labour – R95 (includes experienced team to teach locals, first 20 trees)
tree – R100 (20l root ball sized tree, approximately 600-1000mm high)
transport – R75 (Half of trip, Bruce and team from Cape Town)
compost – R10 (Sourced locally, bakkie load of well rotted kraalmis)
fertiliser – R5 (Bounceback)
dri-water – R20 (1 no 90 day cartons to subsidise watering)
staking – R40 (4 no 1.8lm “droppers” to secure weldmesh )
protection – R90 (2.6lm of 1.2m (h), 50×50 weldmesh)
watering – R15 Locals trained to water at regular intervals
Donation – R450 per tree!
When making a deposit, please indicate your name, e.g. RhodesRDunn as reference, please copy
your proof of deposit to Bruce@co-creators.co.za
Bank account Information:
Acc name: Co-creators
ABSA branch 512 809
Check acc: 4071265823