No one needs to be informed about the current crisis in the Western Cape. We’re experiencing the worst drought since 1904! Part of our ethos here at Just Trees has always been to seek out green and sustainable farming practices, way before this drought arrived. And so we have developed long-standing experience with working in close dialogue with nature. It has always been our business to remain informed and educated on the most sustainable practices and environmentally sound approaches to running a tree nursery. It goes without saying that managing drought and water supply is a huge, and stressful, part of this job.
Since November 2016, we have been reducing the amount of water given to the trees all throughout the summer. This winter, we have hardly irrigated our trees at all, forcing them to survive on the periodic rainfall. You could say that that for the past ten months our trees have been ‘in training’ and we have been intentionally making them accustomed to staying alive with much less water.
Right now we are adjusting our irrigation systems to reduce wastage as well as mulching, an incredibly vital part of the process. The Pot-In-Pot system that we incorporated towards the end of last year also assists in using less water. However, we are gearing up and doing all we can to prepare for a long, hot summer. Unless we receive significant rainfall, our access to water will be drastically reduced. So after all of our efforts to reduce water, we can only hope and pray for substantial rain this winter.
But we continue to be hopeful, as Carl states, “Ultimately we will come out of this a lot stronger and our aim will be to continue with the water saving methods and systems that work for us.”
If you’re interested in learning which trees are capable of handling drought and dry spells particularly well, see the list and images below:
1. Harpephyllum caffrum (Wild Plum)
2. Acacia galpinii syn. Senegalia galpinii (Monkey Thorn)
3. Acacia karroo syn Vachellia karroo (Sweet Thorn)
4. Acacia nilotica syn Vachellia nilotica (Scented-Pod Thorn)
4. Acacia sieberiana var. woodii syn. Vachellia sieberiana var. woodii (Flat Top Paper Bark)
5. Acacia xanthophloea syn. Vachellia xanthophloea (Fever Tree)