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La Motte - La Motte celebrates National Arbor Week

The first week of September is National Arbor Week in South Africa.

Many countries across the globe realise the importance of a green environment as well as the importance of education and informing people about treasuring the environment. While Arbor Day is celebrated one day per year in many countries, in South Africa, we have Arbor Week.

National Arbor Day was introduced in South Africa in 1983. The reaction on this initiative was very positive with the public realising the importance of trees as a source of building material, food, medicine, its aesthetic properties and the important role it plays in a balanced environment.

In 1999, Arbor Day was extended to National Arbor Week, celebrated every year during the first week of September.

The three Trees of the Year for 2013, are the Virgilia oroboides (Keurboom), Grewia occidentalis (Cross-berry or Kruisbessie) and the Barringtonia recamosa (Powder-puff tree or Poeierkwasboom).

Always dedicated to conservation and maintaining our natural heritage, this year La Motte participated in National Arbor Week by planting some Cross-berry trees.

This attractive indigenous shrub or small tree grows 3 metres tall and blooms with beautiful purple flowers between October and January, enticing a variety of bird species, butterflies and insects.

This scrambling shrub does not have an aggressive root system, making it perfect to plant near paving and buildings. It is beautiful in a mixed shrub border and makes a good informal hedging or screening plant.

Die Grewia occidentalis grows beautifully in warm, moist, temperate to subtropical regions, but is both frost and drought hardy. It is evergreen but may lose leaves in winter in certain areas. For best results in the garden, plant it in good, well composted soil and water regularly.

As part of National Arbor Week, La Motte’s owner, Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg, planted the first of ten Cross-berry trees in La Motte’s gardens on 6 September.

Owner of La Motte, Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg, with some of the La Motte team, planting a Cross-berry tree as part of National Arbor Week.
FLTR: Pietie le Roux, Werner Briedenhann, Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg, Jaco Visser, Ryan Whitehead, Gerald August and Liezel Rens.

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