A Champion’s Champion Tree
28 July 2017
Posted in
Featured Trees
In 2008, Nelson Mandela planted a tiny Great White Stinkwood in Thokoza Park‚ Soweto. Just before Mandela Day this month, the young Stinkwood was gazetted by the Gauteng Heritage Resource Authority as a champion tree.

South Africa was the first African country to initiate the special protection of trees deemed as Champion trees. These trees receive national protection because of their value to our communities in terms of age, size, cultural heritage or historical importance.
To date, any person or organisation can nominate a tree for Champion status.
How To Spot a Quality Tree
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Choosing a quality tree takes a little practice but, if you can remember Rudi's handful of things to watch out for, you will be able to spot a quality tree in a matter of minutes.

1. Stem / trunk: stand back and take a good look to see if the tree is well formed. Does the length of the stem look in proportion to its thickness? A too-tall, skinny trunk means the tree has probably been exposed to an over-use of growth hormones.

2. Leaf colour: are the leaves pale green or yellow? This could indicate disease, chlorosis or iron deficiency. A quick note: always take the season and the species into account when inspecting the leaves.

3. Roots: take your time when observing a tree's roots as they are paramount to the health of the specimen. Straight up no-nos: bright green leaves but tiny roots (too much growth hormone) or dense, thick and knotted roots (overdue on being rebagged/repotted). Are the roots loose in the bag or firmly potted? Loose roots could be the result of over fertilisation or poor potting - both undesirable when looking for quality.

You'll notice that most problems affecting the overall health and quality of trees are caused by the manipulation of hormones. Like humans, hormones regulate specific functions in plants, so a healthy tree is the result of healthy hormones.

Naturally, we do not use growth hormones here at TreeCo. Choose the best quality trees off the bat, place your order with us.
Plant, Plant, Plant
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TreeCo News
One of the things we truly believe in is to never stop planting and never stop growing. Over the last couple of months we have planted about 3000 x 20L, 2000 x 50L and 1000 x 100L trees.

Despite the drought, now is an excellent time for you to be planting as we are receiving small bouts of rain which means that we do NOT need to be watering our trees now. In fact, we at TreeCo have not watered the nursery in more than 2 months. By planting now, your trees will be acclimatizing to their new surroundings and need less water this coming summer. We have already been hardening off our trees off since November 2016 so planting NOW is essential.

Species proven to be all time winners during this time of year are Olea africana, Syzigium cordatum, and Syzigium guineese.
Please feel free to contact us for any help or advice needed at any stage of your landscaping projects.
The Big Tree Nursery @TreeCo
24 May 2017
Posted in
TreeCo News
Please note that our contact details have changed a bit.

Accounts & general inquiries:
info@treeco.co.za | 021 864 3046

Mireze Reyneke: sales@treeco.co.za | 079 150 0233
Rudi Neethling: rudi@treeco.co.za | 082 829 5543

This month we have been on the road delivering and planting big trees. One big beauty we planted was a 4 ton Erythrina caffra aka Coral tree

Get in touch; we deliver across all terrain.
Eye on the Weather
Posted in
TreeCo News
As from November 2016, TreeCo started giving 20% less water; in February 2017, we went down another 20% and in March another 20%. So it’s been a total of 60% less water for our trees over the past couple of months. At this point, TreeCo waters only once a week, producing more hardy trees. We suggest you do the same.

Additionally, we recommend keeping an eye on the weather. If you plant trees now, they will be ready for winter's rainfall. Remember, global warming is very much a reality and the more trees we can plant, the better. Trees are a good investment for your future.
Drought Myth Buster
Posted in
Featured Trees
There is a misconception about planting trees during a drought. Indigenous, drought tolerant trees, directly counter attack some consequences of drought by performing a function called hydraulic redistribution: where groundwater is redistributed vertically and laterally through the root system. Indigenous trees planted now will send out a deep root system to access water it will then redistribute along its root system.

We at TreeCo suggest the following species:
— Olea Africana
— Podocarpus falcatus
— Syzygium cordatum
— Syzygium guineense
— Harpephyllum caffrum
Autumn Planting
21 April 2017
Posted in
Featured Trees
Autumn's increased rainfall will start keeping your garden hydrated so it's a great season to plant and transplant trees and shrubs. Keep planting waterwise trees that can tolerate drought as South Africa is a water scarce country.

Our ultimate Autumn choices are:
• Olea Africana
• Harpephyllum caffrum
• Searsia
• Brachylaena discolour
• Tarchonanthus camphoratus

Laying a balanced fertiliser at the same time as Autumn's first rain is recommended; use your home-made compost and remember to add mulch as we have had a dry summer.
Frozen Compost
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From old tyres to an upside down dustbin, even that tuppaware which lost its lid can be repurposed into an urban composter. The basic principle of an ideal composter is to be able to add food waste into the top, and then later extract compost from the bottom. A trick of ours, if you are concerned about fruit flies indoors, is to keep your composting box in the freezer.

To the TreeCo top-in, top-out urban composting method:
• Chop up all compostable food
• Throw choppings into your freezer box
• Use when needed
Frozen compost is best used when planting or transplanting plants, and as a layer beneath the topsoil.

(Image credit: net_efekt | Flickr: http://bit.ly/2pVKXZF)
Bramble Orchard
Posted in
TreeCo Projects
Some of you may remember the orchard we planted on Mandela Day at Bramble Primary School in Bonteheuwel. After seeing how well the fruit trees were doing in our first visit, an additional 120 trees were delivered to them for the school's community tree-planting events.

We challenge you to see what you can do in your community, after all, “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn” #QuoteOfTheDay #TreeCo.
Functional Fevers
17 March 2017
Posted in
Featured Trees
Used since the 1600's as a remedy for fevers, the aptly named Fever tree has a longstanding history of functionality when it comes to aiding its environment.
To ailing man, Fever trees have helped by curing fevers and malaria, as quinine is extracted from the bark (which is also where this tree's photosynthesis occurs).
To their immediate surroundings, Fever trees enrich the soil with nitrogen which allows plants around the tree thrive.

And to landscapers, happy Fever trees offer an exceptionally fast growth rate of around 1.5 metres per year. So to see quick results, place your Fever order today: 021 864 3046.
Touching Base with TreeCo
Posted in
TreeCo News
Over the course of this summer, TreeCo had a proud 20% drop in water consumption in December. But now, three months down the line, we are using between 50 and 60% less water than before. If you would like to implement similar water saving systems, please contact us.

Another positive outcome of the water restrictions has been that TreeCo trees are a lot hardier than we had originally anticipated, which means you can continue to look forward to planting healthy and robust TreeCo trees and shrubs.
Tips for the Dry-Wise Gardener
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With all the water-wise advice available these days, we recommend taking Rudi's hands-off approach to being a Dry-Wise gardener:

(a) don’t prune leafy branches yet; it’s better to wait for winter time as the leaves are currently essential for protection
(b) don’t worry if leaves go yellow; this is due to heat, try and use as much of your greywater as possible
(c) don’t worry if leaves fall off; it's a protection mechanism which keeps energy inside the tree

We have some excellent, heat-hardy specimens for you to plant over the remaining summer months; give us a call for more details on which trees you should be planting to ensure the best results on your gardening projects.
Actually January
25 January 2017
Posted in
TreeCo News
Our sincerest apologies for the delay in getting this, TreeCo's first newsletter of the year, to you. We have been catching up on all our admin, which has been on a steady roll since we reopened earlier this month.

Jean and Rudi have been on the road constantly with deliveries which is good for business of course, but more importantly, good for the environment, and your gardens' growing success.

So many thanks to you, our clients for keeping the Cape green with TreeCo trees. With such a positive and busy start to the new year, we are really looking forward to 2017 and we wish you a prosperous new year too. Contact Rudi or Mireze directly for quotes or orders: 082 829 5543.
Four Fireproof Landscaping Tips
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We strongly recommend you take some time to fireproof your grounds with these TreeCo tips:
• Use rock mulch instead of bark mulch. Although rock mulch doesn't decompose into the soil, it doesn't need to be replaced regularly and comes in a vast variety of sizes, colours and textures.
• Create fire-safe zones by including low stone walls, patios and pathways into your landscape designs
• Choose plants that are natural fire-retardants like aloes, red hot pokers (Kniphofia uvaria) and ice plants (Lampranthus aurantiacus). They can absorb the heat of an approaching fire without catching alight. They can also slow the progression of a fire.
• Use fire-resistant shrubs such as bush honeysuckles, currants and sumacs.

See a comprehensive list of fire-retardant plants here: www.diablofiresafe.org/tolerance.html. Additional tips can also be found on this Western Cape Government page: www.westerncape.gov.za/assets/departments/local-government/Fire_Brigade_Services/Fire_Safety_Programmes/10695m_fire_safe_landscape.pdf as well as this one: www.lfpa.co.za/Publications/Firescaping-your-garden1.pdf
Lower Water Levels
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With impending tougher water restrictions ahead, we cannot stress enough the need to BE WATER WISE.

If you are concerned about your choice of plants for a project or for your own garden, please don't hesitate to give us a call on 021 864 3046; we have the expertise to assist you in making water-wise decisions and we are always willing to share our knowledge with you.
Drought-Proof your Garden
15 December 2016
Posted in
Please remember that we are under strict water restrictions this summer, which means you cannot water your grounds as freely as you may wish to. Place an additional layer of mulch on your flower beds to reduce evaporation of the soil's moisture and reuse water from the house in your garden. Installing more permanent greywater solutions are advised.

It is also advisable to use less fertiliser, refrain from pruning your shrubs and trees, and move potted plants into shadier areas. You can get up to speed on the restrictions with City of Cape Town's website as well as keep tabs on the water restrictions through News24.