Annually, IWESCO celebrates the onset of spring with the Arbor Month initiative. Arbor Month was instituted by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) in 1983 to promote awareness of the value that indigenous trees offer to communities.
Our Arbor Month initiative is a way to champion South African trees and plants. It is the perfect time for everybody to plant indigenous trees, flowers, shrubs and succulents as a practical way to promote a sustainable environment.
IWESCO, in collaboration with our valued clients, hosted a tree planting ceremony where the Tree of the Year is planted. This year, the Vachellia karroo (commonly known as Sweet Thorn or previously known as Acacia karoo) is being planted at our client’s premises in celebration of Arbor Month. The gesture promotes environmental awareness and sustainable development. It is our way of thanking our loyal clients for their valued support.
An indigenous icon: the Vachellia karroo tree is a local wonder
Vachellia karroo is one of the fastest-growing Acacia species and the name ‘Sweet thorn’ is thought to have come from the sweet smell of its yellow pom-pom-shaped flowers. The tree has proved to be very useful in many respects; the thorns have been used as sewing needles and pins, the dense wood has been used to build rafts and the thorny branches were traditionally used to create fences.
This hardy tree can grow up to 15 metres tall and has finely-textured leaves that look like feathers. The yellow flowers appear in early summer, attracting various pollinating insects. Vachellia karroo is found naturally throughout most of Southern Africa, from the Western Cape all the way through to Zambia and Angola. The presence of these trees indicates good grazing pastures for cattle and wildlife as they grow in fertile soil.
How to grow Vachellia karroo
These trees make incredible garden specimens, especially when in full bloom, as they produce a sweet scent and attract many insects and garden birds. The roots tend to grow quickly, so avoid planting Vachellia karroo near buildings, paving or underground pipes. The Vachellia karroo tree is adaptable and resilient to many climates but prefers rich soil and frequent shallow sprinklings of water.
The preparation of the hole is essential when planting a Vachellia karroo, to allow adequate growth of the roots for anchoring and settling of the tree, as well as adding nutrients such as compost and fertilisers for promoting plant growth. After planting, water around the tree thoroughly. In an optimal environment, the Vachellia karroo can grow up to one meter per year.
These indigenous trees play an important role in local ecosystems and, as an ISO 14001 certified company, IWESCO keeps environmental matters close to its heart and encourages all to engage in planting a tree this Arbor Month.
IWESCO offers specialised cleaning and waste control services to industrial and commercial customers in South Africa. These services are aimed at minimising our customers’ impact on the environment. Our services also include pest control, garden maintenance, fogging and disinfecting. Our staff are highly trained to offer the most professional services. IWESCO is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier with ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.
We are a one-stop shop for all your contract cleaning and waste control needs and have a national footprint. Our head office is located in Tshwane but we can provide services to any industrial and commercial client in the major metropolitan areas around South Africa, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Mbombela and more.