The Tree Society of Southern Africa has been in existence since 1946, and is actively involved in promoting the awareness and preservation of our natural heritage.
Much of our emphasis is on Gauteng, which is particularly important, being the smallest province, but with the highest level of urban development. The formation of a large number of Conservancies is important to environmental conservation, and the Society assists them with education, identification and checklisting.
Our members are tree enthusiasts from all walks of life, including professional botanists, who will gladly extend your knowledge. Members with other specialised interests provide background information on the geology, history and fauna of the areas visited.
The Society Newsletter Peltophorum is published twice yearly, containing articles of local interest, reports on outings and a Diary of Events, informing members of forthcoming outings and courses.
Enjoy the opportunity of walking on the wild side of nature in undisturbed places.
Day outings are organised to local areas of particular botanical interest, for example, private undisturbed areas in the Magaliesberg, botanical gardens and nature reserves.
Weekend and Long Weekend outings are organised to venues further afield, like the Waterberg, Mpumalanga, and occasionally KwaZulu-Natal, giving us the opportunity of meeting our country members.
Invitation to landowners
The Society will compile checklists of species while on outings and draw attention to any rare plants as well as to invasive exotics. Specimens collected would be deposited in recognised herbaria, thereby building the archive of scientific knowledge on plant species.
The Society has since its inception aided the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, of the University of the Witwatersrand, in offering courses on tree identification.
The courses consist of illustrated lectures and the use of microscopes, under the guidance of botanists and should enable you to identify trees in the field. Future courses will concentrate on important trees from special areas. Contact Renee or Kevin on (011) 717-6467 or visit the WITS Life Sciences Museum website.
The Tree Society has been instrumental in establishing three prizes for excellence in the field of Plant Systematics at the University of the Witwatersrand. The Tree Society has and will consider assisting deserving students to further their studies in the field of botany
The Society has since its inception aided the publication of books like:
- Trees and Shrubs of the Witwatersrand written by members of the Society, with line drawings by Barbara Jeppe, an excellent beginners guide
- Acacias by Denzil Carr. A detailed account of the identification, ecology and cultivation of 43 species of Acacia.
- Combretaceae by Denzil Carr. A comprehensive and definitive account of the genus Combretaceae, with identification, distribution, ecology and cultivation of 49 species in 6 genera, covering Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.
The first two books are now, sadly, out of print and have become collector items.
The Society actively promotes the production and sale of books on indigenous trees and has - when available - books for sale.