‘City losing too many historical trees’

2015-09-02 06:00

BATHABILE Ndlovu, chief horticulturist at KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden, has raised concerns about the loss of trees in the Pietermaritzburg CBD.

“My recent observations raised concerns that our City of Choice is slowly losing trees on the roadsides which could be attributed to lack of knowledge or poor planning. Trees provide pollinator habitats to adjacent fields and reduce roadside maintenance supporting trail construction and tourism.”

He said the trees we have in the Pietermaritzburg CBD have historical value since they were planted 100 years ago in some areas.

“These trees carry immense historical value and are a critical element for a complete road (infrastructure) system. The benefits of a properly planned designed native tree avenue along a roadside, has over the years been proven to slow absorption and results in cleansing of water that runs off high ways and roadsides into drains reducing soil erosion and promoting flood control and a cleaner water supply,” said Ndlovu.

He said while the trees are being cut down because they are old and could be uprooted or are infected with disease, this is a permanent not an effective one. “The best recommendation would be to have eradication plans that will also include a rehabilitation plan - firstly phase out all exotic trees and introduce indigenous trees, but this would mean the indigenous trees will be planted for every spot that an exotic tree is removed, so prior removal there should be an indigenous tree already growing,” said Ndlovu. - Supplied

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