Monday, May 5, 2014

Outeniqua Yellowwood Tree at Natures Valley

I used to travel down the Garden Route quite often while I was still tour guiding but these days don't often get a chance to go further than the Tsitsikamma.  Driving down to Natures Valley on our recent Easter weekend Sho't Left in the area I had to stop at one of the view points on the way down on the Grootrivier Pass.  Its not a view point as much as it's a tree point.  The view is of a little valley next to the pass with a massive Outeniqua Yellowwood standing out above the rest of the forest.
The Outeniqua Yellowwood (Afrocarpus falcatus) is South Africa's national tree.  It is an evergreen conifer that often grows up to about 45 meters tall with some known to reach 60 meters.  Some of the largest individuals occur in the Knysna, Tsitsikamma and Amatole montane forests, where some specimens are over 1000 years old.  Outeniqua Yellowwoods are protected by law and can only be cut down with a special permit.
Just a couple of other facts courtesy of Wikipedia - The trunk can be 2 to 3 meters wide with a gray-brown to reddish and smooth but flaky bark.  The leaves are arranged in spirals on the branches.  They are small and narrow, up to 4.5 centimeters long by about 6 millimeters wide.  The yellowwood is a dioecious species, with male and female structures on separate plants. The male cone is brown with spiralling scales while the female cone has one scale bearing one seed between one and two centimeters long.

1 comment:

  1. Love those big Yellowwoods. Walked the Big Tree trail by Tsitsikamma and Wild Spirit has a Huge mother also.