Arbor Month – National Trees of the Year 2017

Arbor Month – National Trees of the Year 2017


1 September: Arbor Day | 1-7 September: Arbor Week 

Arbor Day was first celebrated in South Africa in 1983. Since its extension to National Arbor Week in 1999, National Arbor Week is celebrated every year during the first week of September. As the custodian of forestry in South Africa, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is responsible for the campaign.

Arbor Week serves as a call to plant indigenous trees as a practical and symbolic gesture of sustainable environmental management.

  • It affords government, businesses, organisations and ordinary citizens to be involved in “greening” their communities.
  • It is a wonderful opportunity to join hands with partners in local government and community-based organisations.
  • Greening refers to an integrated approach to the planting, care and management of all vegetation in urban and rural areas, to secure multiple benefits for communities
  • Greening in the South African context takes place in towns, townships and informal settlements.



Common Tree of the year: Ziziphus mucronata (Hairy buffalo-thorn, Harige blinkblaar wag-n-bietjie).

Rare (uncommon) tree of the year: Euclea pseudebenus 
(Ebony tree, Ebbeboom)

By JonRichfield (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Planting a tree in any spot is always a good idea, but planting a tree as a component of a natural forest has the added benefit of creating a safe habitat for natural wildlife, supporting entire eco-systems and storing extra carbon.

People and companies active in the tourism industry of South Africa have come together to enhance and create pristine forest eco-systems on selected sites in different parts of the Western Cape.

With Trees for Tourism (a NPO and program of the South African Reforestation Trust), you can sponsor a tree for only R120 and choose which site you would like it to be planted on. The properties in which the reforestation sites are located are all aimed at nature conservation and rehabilitation. To sponsor a tree, please click here.

trees for tourism


If you don’t have the space to plant your own tree, donate a tree to a friend, community garden or school in your area. You can also asssist and support green initiatives like Greenpop and the Precious Tree Project; they do amazing work for the very important cause. Let`s channel positive energy into the critical environmental issues of today, happy Arbor Month South Africa!

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