Friday, 1 June 2012

Learning about trees

I was asked by Bill Fereday of the Green Hub, on the south bank of the uMngeni River at the Blue Lagoon, to give a short course on trees and conservation to some Green Hub Workers, who maintain the north-bank trail, from the Connaught Bridge to the Beachwood Mangrove Gates. On the 16th May, I took Bill, Thabo Zulu (also, from the Green Hub and a qualified Guide) and the 4 workers. It was an initial walk for the 4 workers. The history of the river-bank was explained, as well as indentifying some of the trees and an aquatic invasive alien, water hyacinth. Therefore, to help establish a connection to the environment. Thabo was helping with the isiZulu names, as well, as explaining cultural history behind the names.
On the 23rd May, I did a specific tree-id course with these 4 workers, at the Green Hub. The objectives and aims of this course were to identify some of the common trees that grow along the north-bank. It was also, to promote the understanding of tree, forest and riverine conservation. Specimens of certain trees had been collected, and with the aid of plant glossaries and a Wessa Share-Net Booklet, 'Trees of Umgeni Valley", the workers, including Bill and Thabo, began to identify the specimens. They handled this section extremely well. I also, gave them food-web diagrams, in order, to understand roles of living organisms, within this area. Then, to enhance observation techniques, they were required to write in their diaries, about various observations, that they saw on the river.
On the 30th May, each worker was given Wessa Tree Labels to put on trees, that they individually identified. Therefore, 9 more trees are now labelled on the river.
This learning curve for all involved, is an ongoing process.

by Rosemary


  1. Hi Rosemary and Bill. Which trees did you label please?

  2. Hi I was wondering about labelling trees in public places? I think it is a great idea, but is there a theft risk? Also what about labelling alien trees - the Brazillian Peppers are in seed now so easy to identify - would be great to put on a label indicating it is an alien and what to replace it with, or who to contact to remove, maybe property owners and eTthekwini will get the hint...