Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tree hugging – while you still can

I am by no means a major tree hugger or environmental expert – but I am an avid walker and have noticed something that I find a bit disturbing. What I don’t understand is that with all the hooo-haaa of planting trees and their importance – why are they being chopped off and poisoned?

I’ve been enjoying walks for some time and nothing is more pleasing than to walk amongst these mighty beasts – some of which have been around way before I was born. On my last walk from Constantia Nek to Kistenbosch, I noticed that here too trees were being chopped leaving large expanses of open ground. A common phenomenon it seems. And it’s not as pleasing to walk in the heat of the sun I might add. This seems to be happening just about everywhere I consider my favourite spots. One of the best places to walk these days is Newlands Forest, and this only because of the trees. On Lions Head and Table Mountain, a walker is exposed to so much sun that your walk has to be appropriately timed in order to enjoy it. Not the case with Newlands Forest.

The pics on the side I took whilst on a walk close to my home and found the incisions a bit puzzling. My tree-hugger friend then informed that these trees are poisoned in order to kill them. It’s claimed that since these trees are not indigenous, and for whatever other reasons, they have to go. And even if I were to entertain these ideas, why are trees not being planted in their place?

What I do know is that trees absorb carbon dioxide – of which we have been emitting in over-abundance. To help reduce damage to the environment of our carbon emissions – we need more trees desperately. In my opinion, can we really afford to lose the ones we already have? And thus the hoo-haa about planting trees. Thing is- they take years to grow and it seems we not doing the environment any favours by chopping or poisoning them. Indigenous or not! How can they possibly be that harmful to deserve the axe?

It’s certainly not as nice to walk amongst fynbos- of which we’re already drowning under just about everywhere else. If they’re say in your backyard and infested with beetles – that may be another story. What I’m concerned about are our lovely forests transformed into fynbos heaven. If anyone can explain this validly- I would certainly appreciate it. I’m running out of places to walk and the concrete-jungle is just not as appealing.

(Pics: by me)


  1. Those are blue gum and pine trees, ……..
    Blue gum tree:
    Pine tree:
    Cecil John Rhodes was the evil master mind behind the planting of all the illegal alien plants,, well mostly…. and
    Blue gum trees were brought from Africa for their medicinal peruses…
    pine for wagons and other stuff… and he also brought a lot of fruit and shrubs from all over the world but mostly Africa and natal he even , although they look nice they don’t belong in this habitat ,they will effect nature badly if they stay. Plants from other regions can take over.

  2. But the pine trees smell so nice! & look pretty too. Getting your point just a little bit - also read some article on why the pines have to go. Its just sad since they've been around so long & we need trees. Then again- you way more of an expert than me in these things - everything flourishes in your garden. will check out the links .. Thanks Bean!!!!