Arbor Month – Trees of the Year 2016

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 SeptemberAs the custodian of forestry in South Africa, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is responsible for the campaign.

1 September: Arbor Day | 1-7 September: Arbor Week | 1-30 September: Arbor Month

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 Wild Fig at the University of Pretoria. By JMK (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Maerua cafra / Common bush-cherry, Gewone witbos  
  • Maerua angolensis / Bead-bean tree, Knoppiesboontjieboom


Old and new flowers of a Bush-cherry in the Manie van der Schijff Botanical Garden, Pretoria. By JMK (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


South Africa has about 1 700 different native trees, also see the list of protected trees in South Africa.

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 buy a tree online to assist reforestation projects and support green initiatives like Trees For TourismGreenpop, and the Precious Tree Project. Let`s channel positive energy into the critical environmental issues of today, happy Arbor Week!


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