Cultural and Political background of Trees Dr Dawn Gould

Trees have an interesting cultural background, even politics entered at one stage. When the new Cape colonists did not want their cattle stolen a decision was taken to grow a hedge as a barrier. The wild almond was the chosen tree.  In fact it is not an almond but is definitely an indigenous tree.  This idea did not work. But what did work was the lovely growth that one can see today.  It is not far from the upper part of the Kirstenbosch Garden.

 The wood of the Protea nitida was very useful  for making the rims of wagon wheels.  On occasion one sometimes still hears the Afrikaans translation – waboom.  When items needed were not always at hand it was found that the bark of the Leucospermum conocarpodendron was of use. Although in the world of today so many health items are easy to buy, it is still possible that there are herbalists who can offer a specific item immediately at a less expense price. One learns that different parts of tress were used – the bark, leaves, roots.