As we settle in to the new year here at Just Trees, we thought we’d take a brief look back at 2017, which began with our biggest export to date as we shipped 250 x 1000L trees off to Dubai for the Nad Al Sheba Safari Park project? After this record export, we settled down to normal affairs on the farm, preparing for drought as best we could. On top of our usual methods of maintaining the farm as sustainably as possible, preparations for the drought involve tree covers, mulching and buying water rights from neighboring farms to keep the trees healthy. By reducing watering down to the very minimum, we’ve realized the incredible degree to which trees are resilient and adaptive to their environment, an important lesson we can learn from them. Some species, such as the Celtis africana (White Stinkwood) and all of our Olive species have even flourished on this hyper-restricted water diet.
Aside from managing the farm during this difficult time, there have also been some rewards and awards… At the 2017 Corobrik-ILASA Awards of Excellence, the Just Trees Award for the Best Use of Trees was given to Insite Landscape Architects for their Sasol Head Office project. This ambitious project included multiple biomes, each featuring a specific species of plant attracting birds and butterflies, a well-deserved award for a unique and impressive project.
Another Just Trees sponsored award went to Life Landscapes of the Life Green Group, at the 2017 SALI Awards, as they received the Trophy For Best Landscape Construction with Design By Others. This award was given for their work at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, a beautiful project that you can read more about here.
Finally, we’re also happy to announce that our Managing Director, Carl Pretorius, was the recipient of the South African Green Industry Council (SAGIC) Honours Roll for his many contributions to the Green Industry in South Africa. Carl received this award for raising the standard of quality trees in landscaping, as well as setting new standards in green nursery practices. The many social and environmental responsibility programmes Just Trees is involved in such as the creche and nursery we run on the farm, the Clanwilliam Cedar Restoration Project and donating 1 in 5 trees to an organization in need, were all contributing factors to receiving this honour.
All in all, a good year behind us and we’re looking forward to doing the best we can for the next chapter!