Support the endemic Clanwilliam Cedar Tree

by CapeNature

For the 13th consecutive year, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, in association with CapeNature, will host the annual Clanwilliam Cedar Tree event at Heuningvlei in the Cederberg Wilderness area. Taking place on Saturday 17 May 2014, other participants will include the Wildflower Society, the local branch of the Botanical Society, and the Cederberg Conservancy, as well as local schools. Members of the public are welcome by prior arrangement.

Clanwilliam Cedar Tree

The endemic Clanwilliam cedar tree occurs only in the Cederberg mountains, 270km north of Cape Town; it represents one of 1000 surviving conifer species in the world. The number of trees has declined dramatically over the past two centuries, partly due to unsustainable exploitation and partly due to an increase in fire frequency. The species is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild and has therefore been categorised as endangered on the Red Data List. To date, the Cedar Tree Project has initiated the planting of more than 1000 young cedar trees in the Cederberg area.

The Cedar Tree Project has taken on even more significance following last year’s devastating fires in the Cederberg. In January 2013, three different fires raged through the Cederberg over multiple days, destroying close to 30% of the Cederberg Wilderness area. The planting of Cedar trees in suitable rocky areas has thus been greatly emphasised in areas that are natural fire exclusion zones within the mountains.

In what has now become a significant botanical and community conservation event, the annual Cedar Tree planting will once again take place at Heuningvlei, a rural village in the heart of the Cederberg. This greatly anticipated occasion actively involves the community members of Heuningvlei, as well as children from local primary schools, where the project forms an integral part of environmental and conservation education. Members of local groups such as the Botanical Society, the Wildflower Society and the Cederberg Conservancy will also participate.

Patrick Lane, Conservation Manager at Cederberg Wilderness, CapeNature, will be present to support the day’s activities, which include the planting of cedar seeds – later to be transported to Bushmans Kloof. The seeds will be nurtured in the local nursery until they have reached growth stage, when they can be safely transplanted back into the wilderness. The highlight of the day’s events will be the planting of mature seedlings in the grove and the surrounding wilderness area.

Attendees are reminded to please remember to bring well marked hand spades for the planting of the small trees.

Anyone wishing to attend the event should contact Jill Wagner on Tel: 021 481 1863 or The event is free of charge but guest numbers are required for catering purposes.

Published in Care for Nature

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