16 March 2011


Tree xenophobia is common in South Africa and people cut down trees for no real reason like blaming the tree for making leaves that fall in the swimming pool or the roots making the lawn lumpy (Africa is not for sissies).

It is actually heart warming to see an effort being made to save an alien (it does not occur here naturally) Norfolk Island Pine in the village of Schoenmakerskop where I live. I call it a great architectural innovation but I suppose it is just a gap in the wall to allow the tree to continue standing where it has been for some sixty years. Does this happen elsewhere in the world? It is the first time I have seen this. The tree, being mature, won't expand that much more and the gap in the wall between the wall and the tree is so small that even a Dachund on a weighless programme would not get through.

Incidentally another Norfolk Pine got struck by lightening and I was expecting to get some great images but there was only some damage to the bark and a meter long shallow gauge on the trunk. I expected more and in the back of my head I seem to remember that the sap in the tree is heated by the bolt, expands and can cause the tree to shatter. I suppose I can blame the drought.

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