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Arbour Day 2011

By 6 years ago
Categories Limpopo and KZN

Over the past three years, Karongwe Private Game Reserve has done its bit to join in with the annual Arbour Day celebrations that coincide each September across the globe. A number of establishments across the reserve, ranging from lodges to EcoTraining and us at GVI receive a batch of indigenous saplings to plant in suitable habitat.

While each establishment is responsible for nurturing the trees until the onset of the summer rains, it falls upon us here at GVI to log their GPS coordinates and monitor their progress each year. In the lead up to this year’s tree planting session, we went around the reserve to check on those planted since Arbour Day 2009. Whilst many are thriving, a number of trees have unfortunately not made it. A number of species, whilst indigenous to the lowveld, still struggled in this habitat and dried out. Others were destroyed by elephants (Loxodonta africana) or in the case of one of GVI’s Weeping Boer Beans (Schotia brachypetala), destroyed by the then base dog, ‘Six’.
Having learnt lessons with certain species, reserve management decided to focus on species that not only thrive in Karongwe, but those that are favoured by our elephants. Hence, in 2011, each establishment received a combination of Marula (Sclerocarya birrea), Knobthorn (Acacia nigrescens) and Black Monkey Thorn (Acacia burkei) trees.
We received our 5 trees on Arbour Day 2011, September 2nd. The current volunteer group got down and dirty to give our trees the best possible start to their new life here at GVI base. Firstly, the gang set about digging the required metre-cubed holes in strategic locations around base. After adding some river sand to aid with drainage come the summer thunderstorms, the saplings were lowered in with their compost before the hole was refilled. To protect the trees from sapling-loving animals, such as Porcupine (Hystrix cristata), a generous ring of thorny branches was placed around the base of the tree.

We would like to thank the volunteers for their efforts and hope the trees can represent a living memory of their time here.
Andreas Fox, Base Manager, Karongwe