Harbor Day It’s Arbor Week month. Some may celebrate Arbor day, week or month, but trees are important all year round, they have been for years and will be for years to come. The value of trees is so often underestimated. Caring for our trees is important because we cannot live without them.

Arbor day originated in Nebraska, USA in 1872, when a newcomer to the treeless plains of Nebraska, J. Sterling Morton, persuaded the local agricultural board to set aside a day for planting trees. Through his position as editor of the Nebraska’s first newspaper, he encouraged participation in the event and shared knowledge and awareness of the importance and value of trees – his true passion and love. Within two decades the idea spread throughout the USA and the world. A famous slogan of his was: “Other holidays repose upon the past, Arbor Day proposes for the future.”


Arbor Day was first celebrated in South Africa in 1983, capturing the imagination of people who recognised the need for awareness of the value of trees and the vital role they play  in terms of beauty, building materials, food, medicine, well-being, etc. In 1999 national government extended the celebration of Arbor Day to Arbor Week (1-7 September) every year – driving encouragement of community ‘greening’ events for South Africa.

Did you know?

Southern Africa has about 1 700 different native trees. If you want to learn more about some of them click here. [insert hyperlink] http://www.plantzafrica.com/plants/treesae.htm

The 2015 common tree of the year is the gorgeous Combretum kraussii. Read more about this tree.


The 2015 rare tree of the year is Heteromorpha arborescens. Read and learn more.


The largest tree (in diameter) in South Africa is found in Limpopo. The Sunland ‘Big Baobab’ is famous for being the widest of its species in the world, carbon dated to be well over 1 700 years old.

The largest overall sized tree in South Africa is the Sagola Baobab at a height of 22 metres with a crown diameter of 38.2 metres. Watch on youtube.

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