Posted on

What we do Matters

What we do Matters - Precious Tree Project

“Before the emergence of this pandemic, I started plans to raise awareness of our natural biome, by using my passion for cycling to raise money for an amazing local Non-Profit-Organisation in Wilderness whose intention is to assist the natural restoration of indigenous forests in the Garden Route, Precious Tree Project.

Since the current pandemic, we have seen how communities less fortunate than us, are being starved of essentials: basic food and health supplies.  This highlights the importance of becoming sustainable: by growing our own foods, planting trees that clean the air and recycle water around us. Nature heals and gives us medicines through its offerings of medicinal herbs, plants and trees.

My mission, together with Precious Tree Project, is extended to not only plant indigenous forest trees, but to share, teach, develop and actively regrow what we have unconsciously pushed back for so many years and create sustainable livelihoods.

I commit to making my passion for cycling, a (sustainable) vehicle to maintain ongoing awareness.

What we do matters. I invite you to join me. 

With gratitude”

Dr Jon Morley (11 April, 2020).

A big thanks to each and every volunteer for your support on the day and making this possible! A special thanks to Coyne Healthcare who have fully supported Doctor Jon’s tree-cycling fundraising efforts for us over the past year, which has afforded us the opportunity to improve the daily school – going lives of the young children at Bergplaas Community Creche in a number of ways!

coynehealthcare #coynecommunity #vitalihealthcentre #communityupliftment #indigenousforestpatch

Tour de Burn – a tree cycling project

Posted on

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route: White Stinkwood

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route - White Stinkwood - Precious Tree Project

Scientific name: Celtis africana.
Family: Cannabaceae.
Common names: White stinkwood; Witstinkhout (Afr.); umVumvu (Xhosa); uSinga lwesalukazi (Zulu); Modutu (Sotho & Tswane); Mpopano (Venda).

Celtis africana is common and widespread across South Africa and well recognised for the beautiful umbrella effect of its branches as it grows and matures.  This is a deciduous tree and occurs in a wide range of habitats – growing in dense forest, on rocky outcrops, in bushveld, in open grassland, on mountain slopes, on coastal dunes, along river banks and in kloofs. Its  scientific name “ Celtis” is derived from the ancient Greek name for those plants regarded as the lotus of the ancients).

Separate male and female flowers are produced on the same tree and the flowers are usually pollinated by bees.

This species is not related to the True Stinkwood (Ocotea bullata) nor do they look similar but this genus (Celtis Africana) is commonly known as white stinkwood because of the pale, bordering on white colour of the wood and the odour emitted when the wood is freshly cut.

Notes:

a. Bear in mind when harvesting any indigenous tree to do so sustainably. Different trees and different parts of a tree have their own harvesting methods and periods throughout the year. The South African National Biodiversity Institute has informative harvesting tips on their website (SANBI link below).

b. As with any medication, when using plants for their medicinal values it is recommended that you seek professional guidance from a natural health practitioner and undertake appropriate research before use.

For additional information on germination, propagation, ecology, maintenance, etc. of indigenous SA trees, go to: www.sanbi.org.za

Click here if you would like to sponsor an indigenous tree and help grow a mini forest!

Posted on

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route: Tree Fuchsia

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route - Tree Fuchsia - Precious Tree Project

Scientific name: Halleria lucida.
Family: Stilbaceae.
Common names: Tree Fuchsia, White olive (Eng.), Notsung, Witolienhout, Witolyfhout (Afr.), umbinza (isiXhosa), indomela, umbinza (isiZulu), lebetsa (Sesotho), murevhe (Tshivenda).

Halleria lucida is a hardy, evergreen, small, willowy-in-nature tree that grows in a range of habitats from deep forests to rocky cold mountain slopes. In colder and more exposed areas, the Fuchsia usually grows between 2 – 5m but can reach up to 12m in height in well watered, protected situations and up to 20m in forests.

The numerous clusters of green berries turn black when ripe and contain a jelly-like flesh in which the seeds are found. Its ripe fleshy, black berries and nectar-rich flowers make the Fuchsia one of the best bird-attracting trees.

Notes:

a. Bear in mind when harvesting any indigenous tree to do so sustainably. Different trees and different parts of a tree have their own harvesting methods and periods throughout the year. The South African National Biodiversity Institute has informative harvesting tips on their website (SANBI link below).

b. As with any medication, when using plants for their medicinal values it is recommended that you seek professional guidance from a natural health practitioner and undertake appropriate research before use.

For additional information on germination, propagation, ecology, maintenance, etc. of indigenous SA trees, go to: www.sanbi.org.za

Click here if you would like to sponsor an indigenous tree and help grow a mini forest!

Posted on

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route: White Pear

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route - White Pear - Precious Tree Project NPO

Scientific name: Apodytes dimidiata E.Mey. ex Arn. subsp. dimidiata.
Family: Icacinaceae.
Common names: White Pear, Bird’s Eye (Eng.); Witpeer (Afr.); umdakane (Xhosa); umdagane (Zulu); umdzagame (Swati) sephopha-madi, kgalagangwê (N. Sotho), tshiphopha-madi (Venda).

Apodytes dimidiata occurs across South Africa in coastal evergreen bush, at the margins of medium altitude evergreen forest, in open woodlands and on grassy mountain slopes, often among rocks. As a well-known “forest tree”, the White Pear is mostly found growing as part of a forest biome – such as those between George and Tsitsikamma along our Garden Route.  This beauty is said to comprise between 3 and 9% of the total tree population of the Knysna Forest itself. Generally a small bushy tree growing up to 5m tall, the White Pear can reach heights of 20m when growing in a forest.

Notes:

a. Bear in mind when harvesting any indigenous tree to do so sustainably. Different trees and different parts of a tree have their own harvesting methods and periods throughout the year. The South African National Biodiversity Institute has informative harvesting tips on their website (SANBI link below).

b. As with any medication, when using plants for their medicinal values it is recommended that you seek professional guidance from a natural health practitioner and undertake appropriate research before use.

For additional information on germination, propagation, ecology, maintenance, etc. of indigenous SA trees, go to: www.sanbi.org.za

Click here if you would like to sponsor a White Pear and help grow a mini forest!

Posted on

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route: Cape Beech

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route - Cape Beech - Precious Tree Project NPO

Scientific name: Rapanea melanophloeos.
Family: Myrsinaceae.
Common names: Cape Beech (Eng.); Boekenhout, Beukehout (Afr.); IsiCalabi, umaPhipha, iKhubalwane, isiQalaba sehlati (Zulu); isiQwane sehlati (Xhosa); iGcolo, udzilidzili (Swazi).

Rapanea melanophloeos is widely distributed throughout southern Africa and is found along the damp areas of mountain and coastal forests, swamps and bush clumps. The Cape Beech does well in coastal areas where winds are strong and is fairly drought-tolerant. The Cape Beech is a dense, evergreen tree that is native to the Afromontane forests of Southern Africa – the classification into which our Garden Route forests fall.

Notes:

a. Bear in mind when harvesting any indigenous tree to do so sustainably. Different trees and different parts of a tree have their own harvesting methods and periods throughout the year. The South African National Biodiversity Institute has informative harvesting tips on their website (SANBI link below)

b. As with any medication, when using plants for their medicinal values it is recommended that you seek professional guidance from a natural health practitioner and undertake appropriate research before use.

For additional information on germination, propagation, ecology, maintenance, etc. of indigenous SA trees, go to: www.sanbi.org.za

Click here if you would like to sponsor a Cape Beech and help grow a mini forest!

Posted on

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route: Wild Olive

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route - Wild Olive - Precious Tree Project NPO

Scientific name: Olea europaea L. subsp. africana (Mill.) P.S.Green.
Family: Oleaceae.
Common names: Wild Olive, Olienhout (Afr.), Mohlware (N-Sotho, S-Sotho), Umnquma (Zulu, Xhosa, Swati), Mutlhwari (Venda), Motlhware (Tswana).

The Wild Olive tree is found in a variety of different natural habitats, more often near water, rocky hillsides, on stream banks and in woodland areas in South Africa. Its scientific name is derived from Latin – olea meaning “olive”, europaea meaning “from Europe” and africana meaning “from Africa”.

There are four known species of the oleaceae family in South Africa and the Wild Olive is a sub-species of the commercial olive tree. Evergreen, drought resistant and highly resistant to disease, the Wild Olive is regarded as one of the hardiest of the indigenous tree species found naturally occurring in the Garden Route.

Notes:

a. Bear in mind when harvesting any indigenous tree to do so sustainably. Different trees and different parts of a tree have their own harvesting methods and periods throughout the year. The South African National Biodiversity Institute has informative harvesting tips on their website (SANBI link below).

b. As with any medication, when using plants for their medicinal values it is recommended that you seek professional guidance from a natural health practitioner and undertake appropriate research before use.

For additional information on germination, propagation, ecology, maintenance, etc. of indigenous SA trees, go to: www.sanbi.org.za

Click here if you would like to sponsor a Wild Olive and help grow a mini forest!

Posted on

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route: Camphor Bush

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route - Camphor Bush - Precious Tree Project NPO
Tree Medicines of the Garden Route - Camphor Bush - Precious Tree Project NPO

Scientific name: Tarchonanthus camphoratus L.
Family: Asteraceae.
Common names: Camphor Bush (English), Wildekanferbos (Afrikaans), Moologa (Venda), Mofahlana (S.Sotho), Igqeba Emlimhlophe (Zulu), Mofathla (Tsonga).

The heavily scented Tarchonanthus camphoratus is a semi-deciduous small tree that grows mostly in large uniform groups, with the tendency to grow larger and more dense when in the presence of other trees. It is widely distributed in a variety of habitats – including forests, thickets of bushveld, grassland and semi-desert regions – across southern parts of Africa, from the southern Cape to Kenya. Drought resistant and fast growing, the Camphor Bush is heavily relied on by game as a source of food in extremely dry periods.

Notes:

a. Bear in mind when harvesting any indigenous tree to do so sustainably. Different trees and different parts of a tree have their own harvesting methods and periods throughout the year. The South African National Biodiversity Institute has informative harvesting tips on their website (SANBI link below).

b. As with any medication, when using plants for their medicinal values it is recommended that you seek professional guidance from a natural health practitioner and undertake appropriate research before use.

For additional information on germination, propagation, ecology, maintenance, etc. of indigenous SA trees, go to: www.sanbi.org.za

Click here if you would like to sponsor a Camphor Bush and help grow a mini forest!

Posted on

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route: Wild Peach

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route - Wild Peach - Precious Tree Project NPO

Scientific name: Kiggelaria africana L.
Family: Achariaceae.
Common names: Wild Peach, Wildeperske (Afr.), umKokoko (Xhosa), uMunwe (Zulu), Monepenepe (North Sotho), Lekgatsi (South Sotho), Muphatavhafu (Venda).

The Wild Peach is endemic to coastal and inland forests, bushveld and woodland areas and along streams & rocky hillsides. It is widely distributed in Africa, from the Western Cape in the south to Kenya in the north. This is the only observed species of Kiggelaria in South Africa.

This peach of a tree is not a peach tree of the edible-fruit kind for us humans. While its leaves are superficially similar to the Prunus persica, the flowers are vastly different. The tiny, bell-shaped flowers of the Wild Peach – in bloom from spring to summer – are yellow-green, whereas the Prunus persica have pink flowers. The hard, greenish-yellow capsule of the Kiggelaria Africana splits when dry to expose shiny black seeds enclosed in an oily, sticky orange-red coating.

Note:

a. Bear in mind when harvesting any indigenous tree to do so sustainably. Different trees and different parts of a tree have their own harvesting methods and periods throughout the year. The South African National Biodiversity Institute has informative harvesting tips on their website (SANBI link below)

b. As with any medication, when using plants for their medicinal values it is recommended that you seek professional guidance from a natural health practitioner and undertake appropriate research before use.

For additional information on germination, propagation, ecology, maintenance, etc. of indigenous SA trees, go to: www.sanbi.org.za

Click here if you would like to sponsor a Wild Peach and help grow a mini forest!

Posted on

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route: Cape Chestnut

TREE MEDICINES OF THE GARDEN ROUTE – Cape Chestnut - Precious Tree Project NPO
TREE MEDICINES OF THE GARDEN ROUTE – Cape Chestnut - Precious Tree Project NPO

Scientific name: Calodendrum capense.
Family: Rutaceae.
Common names: Cape Chestnut, Wild Chestnut (Eng.); Wildekastaiing, Kaapsekastaiing (Afr.); umbaba, umsitshana (Xhosa); umbhaba, umemezi omhlophe (Zulu), Molalakgwedi, Mookêlêla (N.Sotho); Muvhaha (Venda).

The Calodendrum capense is a beautiful tree of the Cape to look at …. literally … kalos means “beautiful to look at” (Greek), dendron means tree (Greek) and capense is Latin for “of or from the Cape”. Although of the Cape, this beauty is not indigenous to the Cape alone and is found growing throughout Africa in forests, ravines, gorges and riverine bush regions. A notable feature of this family of tree is the presence of oil glands on the leaves which release a strong citrus scent when the leaves are crushed.

Note:

a. When harvesting any indigenous tree, do so sustainably – different trees and different parts of a tree have their own harvesting methods and periods throughout the year. The South African National Biodiversity Institute has informative harvesting tips on their website (SANBI link below).

b. As with any medication, when using plants for their medicinal values it is recommended that you seek professional guidance from a natural health practitioner and undertake appropriate research before use.

For additional information on germination, propagation, ecology, maintenance, etc. of indigenous SA trees, go to: www.sanbi.org.za

Click here if you would like to sponsor a Cape Chestnut and help grow a mini forest!

Posted on

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route: White Ironwood

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route - White Ironwood - Precious Tree Project
Tree Medicines of the Garden Route - White Ironwood - Precious Tree Project

Scientific name: Vepris lanceolata.
Family: Rutaceae.
Common names: White ironwood (Eng.); Witysterhout (Afr.); Muruvula (Tsonga); Muhondwa (Venda); umZane (Xhosa); umOzana (Zulu).

Predominantly a forest tree, the White Ironwood is prevalent in forested environments around South Africa (including evergreen, coastal and dry forests), but is also found in riverine bush and seaside thicket areas, growing on sandy beach soils and dunes along the Garden Route coast. These trees grow particularly well under the canopy of the taller pioneer forest trees (such as the Keurboom) and attract a wide range of animal, insect and birdlife. It is well-recorded that porcupine specifically like the bark of the tree.

Note:

a. Bear in mind when harvesting any indigenous tree to do so sustainably; different trees and different parts of a tree have their own harvesting methods and periods throughout the year. The South African National Biodiversity Institute has informative harvesting tips on their website.

b. As with any medication, when using plants for their medicinal values it is recommended that you seek professional guidance from a natural health practitioner and undertake appropriate research before use.

For additional information on germination, propagation, ecology, maintenance, etc. of indigenous SA trees, go to: www.sanbi.org.za

Click here if you would like to sponsor a White Ironwood and help grow a mini forest!