4 New Trees have been added to the South African National Forest Act
Trees offer some of the most unique habitats in the Kruger National Park, not to mention much needed shade during the harsh summer months. In South Africa, trees are also fuel to those who need it, and illegal cutting, often for fire wood, has all but decimated certain areas of the country, especially in the Limpopo area.
To protect South Africa’s indigenous trees, the South African National Forest Act lays down the legislation around the protection of these precious trees and includes information about possible punishments should offenders be caught.
Recently, the act was updated to include 4 new trees to the list, some of which can be found in the Kruger.
The Jackal Berry
The Jackal Berry tree, also known as Diospyros mespiliformis, grows to massive heights and is a common sight in South Africa. This tree is one that you will come across often while on a Kruger Park safari, especially when you are travelling through the South of the park. It is usually home to all sorts of wildlife and insects, with termites in particular loving this tree. The tree gets its name from the oval berries that it produces, and these will turn yellow or orange when they are ready to eat!
The Monongo Tree
The scientific name for the Monongo Tree is Schinziophyton rautanenii, and it is a tree that can be found just about everywhere on the continent. In looks, the tree appears as if it is a combination of a baobab (in the base) and acacia (in the canopy), and it can grow to some 15 or 20 meters tall. This tree is probably best associated with the Kalahari, where it grows prolifically, and it products an oval shaped fruit with a velvety texture.
This tree is more like a shrub in its appearance and it is blessed with the interesting scientific name of Umtiza listeriana. This tree is mostly found in the mountainous Eastern Cape of South Africa and it is a beautiful evergreen, capable of reaching heights of 12 meters. This tree also produces a fruit. Flat and oblong the fruits are quite big.
The Red Ivory
Since this is a hardwood tree, it tends to be much desired on the wood markets which has led to it being harvested in devastating amounts. The Red Ivory is also called Berchemia zeyheri, and it is mostly found just in Southern Africa. Along with being known for its hardwood, this tree also produces quite a delicious fruit.