NEWSLETTERS OF THE TREE SOCIETY OF RHODESIA FOR 1973
The following is a summary of the news, events and happenings of the Tree Society of Rhodesia from the records we have available for 1973
Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter January 1973
VISIT TO THE SOCIETY’S ARBORETUM AT LAKE MCILWAINE: January 21st at 0930 hours. The object of the outing is to discuss and explain what is needed, plantings to link up the Arboretum with the future picnic site which is between it and the Game Park and along the water’s edge and along the road, and (ii) seed exchange and raising of transplants to a suitable size, to 3 years old in large containers.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AT QUEEN VICTORIA MUSEUM ON FRIDAY 16TH FEBRUARY AT 2000 HOURS. Followed by Films “The River must Live” and “The Great Adjustment”.
NOTES – by Douglas Aylen. At outings we often discuss various aspects of Conservation, so I found most interesting the RSA Notes by Dr Brian Walker, December Science News and Professor E. Bursell’s views, and Dr; G. Child’s reply, January Science News.
Each has different ideas on Conservation’ when applied to the protection of Nature. Dr Walker deplores “the lack of mutual agreement as to what conservation is about” and proposes a return to an early definition – “the greatest good for the greatest number for the longest time”, but apparently considers that something more is required in the case of “proclaimed natural areas”. I disagree as I think great good for all may by “locked up” in Sanctuaries and Wildernesses, viz. new drugs and anti-biotics, revitalization of over or underworked soil, and the source of inspiration for beauty we enjoy secondhand, art, literature and music.
Professor Bursell, in a (deliberately) provocative article, propounds that conservation is “negative” because in Nature change is inevitable, but both he and Doctor Walker raise points which too often are overlooked. Dr. Child counters the negative view best summed up by his concluding sentence: “Conservationists are not saying ‘hold it right there, but are attempting to allow it to be there so that it can go on from there’”.
I will attempt to put other views in Science News. Comments would be welcome. Other definitions of Conservation are “Wise use of natural resources”. “The use of a natural resource in the manner for which it is best suited” and “Control of the environment”. Can any member combine all four into one please?
CHRISTMAS VISIT TO FORT VICTORIA: The street trees are fast recovering from the exceptional frost. My estimation of their planters grows with each visit. During a visit to Kyle National Park I was taken round the Arboretum, a ‘natural’ area selected for having most species present in the Park. Labels have been put on many species and those not present on this site but found elsewhere in the park will be planted Numerous bushes of Holarrhena were covered with their star shaped scented white flowers.
For me the wide tarmac road has certainly not increased the boredom of travel They give a better view of the countryside, one can slow down if there is nothing in the rear view mirror, and permit a good look at trees in the servitude We always change spells at the wheel at various lay-byes with a view. It seems strange now that about 20 years ago suggestions for tree planting at lay-byes did not meet with favour! I would now like to suggest that ‘landscape’ planting and thinning would further add to the beauty and safety of the road. I should add that many more wild trees were covered with flowers and the grass was short due to the lack of rain.
Alan Pearce Chairman
Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter February 1973
SOCIETY’S ARBORETUM, LAKE MCILWAINE PARK: A small number of members heard the on the spot description by Mr. Jack Reid of our plans to plant the area between the Arboretum and Picnic site, and above and below the road. Only one member had visible evidence of trees growing in tins which she was able to produce to the shame of many of the rest of us. It is now clear that we must postpone planting for another year, members are referred to October 1972 Newsletter wherein Douglas Aylen suggested varieties we should aim at.
MATABELELAND BRANCH: The Annual General Meeting of the Matabeleland Branch was held on 14th January in the garden of the home of Mr. and Mrs. E. Bullock. It did not rain. Ten members attended out of a possible 34 and this proved one of the remarks in the Chairman’s Report that our attendances are poor.
Chairman’s Report for 1972
Last year your Chairman reported a membership of 30. It is now 34. We have held 3 field meetings and 3 evening meetings during the year.
The field meetings, though few in number, proved rewarding botanically. The first meeting was to the Gwaranyemba TTL where some 69 species recordings were made and 21 specimens collected One of these, Ochna natalitia, is a new recording for this area, and more material was requested by the herbarium. A further visit was therefore made. Unfortunately it was not in flower or fruit at the time but a good collection of sterile material was secured An effort must be made this year to collect flowers and fruits Subsequently a similar shrub was spotted by Mrs. Bean near the Silozwane cave in the Matopos. This was collected in fruit and sent to the herbarium with high hopes, but turned out not to be natalitia but Ochna puberula. However, the effort was certainly not wasted as previous to this collection there was only one recording for it in the Matopos.
The collections made from the ravines at ‘Amlungu’ and the Willow Park area, the scene of the next two field meetings did not turn up anything new. But the sight of so many Eastern District species in dry Matabeleland was most refreshing and, to me, well worth the steep scramble to reach them. On the second visit to the ravines, that is to the Willow Park side, we were privileged to have Mr. Muller with us. This certainly made identification a lot quicker and easier! We now have listed some 50 species in this location.
Turning to the evening meetings those of Mr. Gordon and Mr. Muller were well attended by visitors if not by members. The fascinating talk given by Mr. Calvert on silviculture in Zambia was listened to so attentively by the devoted few that we missed our tea!!
I must also place on record that, at the request of the herbarium, Mrs. Bullock has kept an eye on the Brachystegia spiciformis in the Matopos and was eventually able to obtain a good collection of flowering and fruiting material.
Towards the end of the year it must be confessed that your committee rather ran out of ideas for future meetings and this has served to confirm my conviction that a club of this nature needs a project, some continuing activity, which sustains it in being and on to which other activities can be grafted as occasion arises. The sort of thing I am thinking of would be to make a thorough study of some particular species in and around Bulawayo, and to map the distribution and main concentrations and any changes in these. One that especially springs to mind is the anomalous occurrence of Brachystegia spiciformis in the Matopos. Questions like, does it occur elsewhere in the Matopos, if not why does it occur in this restricted area only, why is the ground flora so poor, all seem to need answers. To find the answers to these and similar questions should prove stimulating as well as providing an excuse to visit the Matopos more often!
It remains for me to thank members of the committee for their support during the year and in particular to Mr. and Mrs. Bullock for placing their home at our disposal for committee meetings and our Annual General Meeting this afternoon.
E B BEST Chairman
OUTWARD BOUND –CHIMANIMANI A Natural History Course will run from Saturday 31st March to Sunday 8th April, enquiries to Mr. Boaler.
A.F.W. Pearce, President
Society of Rhodesia Newsletter March 1973
The Minutes of the AGM will be circulated with the April Newsletter. As is usual, interest centered around the general discussion that followed rather than the formalities. The following points were made for the benefit of the new Committee:
A Our failure to attract youth
B When shall we see the Flora Protection Act
C 8 am is too early to meet on Sundays
D Can we have more discussion on Tree recognition, collection of seed, etc.
Sunday 18th March at 0930 hours We hope to meet at the Hunyani River Bridge .
Several members have recently felt the need to make more use of information available at outings.
Mr. Trevor Gordon has kindly arranged out next meeting at Darwendale Dam site with this idea in mind. Can anyone remember what we saw at Darwendale last time we were there?
Tree Society Field Cards will be on sale for 5 c each and you are invited to start a collection of these if you do not do so already. At lunch time we plan to have a discussion of anything of interest.
How about making our objectives for each meeting:
- To identify five new trees
- To suggest a topic to pursue at our next meeting?
RHODESIA SCIENCE NEWS Will any members who are not interested in receiving this to advise the Secretary.
J. ASCOUGH President
Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter April 1973
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: The President presented his Annual Report. Mr. Petheram expressed thanks for his work and proposed that the report be adopted.
Dr. Morris asked for news of the progress of the Flora Protection Bill. Mr. Petheram replied that it was still under consideration in draft form.
The President asked members to do their utmost to recruit and interest younger members who were, at present, outnumbered by the older age group.
TREASURER’S REPORT: The annual statement of accounts was circulated. The President thanked Mrs. Murray for the excellent work performed as Treasurer under the handicap of working at a distance, and Mr. Hill for his kind help as Auditor. The Balance Sheet reflected a healthy state of affairs. Mrs. Murray added that there had been some delay in the issue of receipts, pending the appointment of the new treasurer.
PROGRAMME OF OUTINGS: The President invited discussion. The Committee would welcome suggestions for the future and comments on past arrangements. Mrs. Reid suggested that the meeting time for a Sunday outing should not be so early. Arrangements for the past year’s outings had been excellent, but unless a great distance was to be covered there might be a later start.
Mr. Petheram spoke in favour of more week-end outings to places too far for a one day trip. Mr. Pearce replied that after the enjoyable weekend visit to La Rochelle had been considered but had proved to be unsuitable, and he asked for alternative suggestions. A return visit to Murawa’s Hill was suggested, and might be combined with some other visit in the same direction. Mrs. Hopley proposed Inyanga, but this was felt to be rather far for those who were limited to one night, and a more specific objective was needed. Stapleford Forest was suggested where most interesting work could be demonstrated. However, it was felt that indigenous trees were of greater interest to the majority of Tree Society members. Mr. Petheram described a most interesting route which could be taken at Stapleford, descending from about 6000 feet to 2000 feet. This would provide for a study of indigenous vegetation varying with the altitude, as well as the afforestation schemes. The track was bad and would certainly only be passable in 4 wheel drive vehicles.
A further suggestion was the Mount Dombo Pass on the road from Headlands to Inyanga which leaves the main Umtali road at Baddeley Siding.
Dr. Morris felt that too much was studied too quickly at outings, and that beginners should have more opportunity to study and learn a limited number of trees at a time. This was seconded by Mrs. Reid. Some outings had been arranged on these lines and more were contemplated.
It could really only be managed by splitting members into smaller groups each with a leader.
Mr. Ascough made an alternative suggestion that a particular topic should be chosen for study at each outing. The collection of seed, methods of germination, propagation and rearing of young trees were all suggested. These might be usefully studied at the Botanic Gardens where the staff had given help to the Society in the past.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS:
President Mr. Ascough
Vice President Mr. Petheram
Secretary Mrs. Duncanson
Treasurer Miss Rose
Committee Mr. Pearce, Mrs. Irvine, Mr. Talbot, Mrs. Trice and Mrs. Tunney Mr. Lightfoot.
Mr. Aylen, Honorary Life President
DARWENDALE DAM SITE VISIT: Forty seven members and guests spent a most interesting day, thanks to Mr. Trevor Gordon who organized a teaching clinic covering a limited number of trees. Trees were selected to interest both newer members and old hands. Toxicity of the Dyke soils affects the vegetation.
Engineer Paton outlined the design and development of the new Darwendale Dam. This is to supply Salisbury with more water. The wall will be lower than that of Lake McIlwaine. The new dam site is being cleared prior to excavation. The dam is on the Hunyani River where it cuts through the Great Dyke. When full the water will back up some 30km to the Bulawayo Road. It is hoped that the lake will become a bird sanctuary, with sailing but no power boats.
NEXT VISIT – Cleveland Dam, Sunday 15th April at 0900 hours. This dam is the one to the north of the Salisbury/Umtali Road, near the Drive-In cinema and Rhodia Factory. Several members are working together to describe some of the trees in the area.
W.J. ASCOUGH President
Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter May 1973
CLEVELAND DAM TEACHING CLINIC, 15TH APRIL
Thanks to our organizer, Mrs. L. Irvine, and her helpers, over 40 people spent a pleasant Sunday morning looking at 28 trees. We became so engrossed, lunch time came before a tea break Some did the full course, congratulations. The idea was to provide something for everyone and it is hoped that members will go back now for a pleasant hour’s stroll by the dam, and a chance to enjoy the trees at leisure. We were very pleased to have several visitors join us.
NEXT VISIT,SUNDAY 20TH MAY, MREWA ROAD. Mr. and Mrs. Coates Palgrave who know the area well will lead us. They have identified 47 species in a fairly small area of granite sandveld around a clump of huge Uapaca kirkiana, muzhanje.
MATABELELAND BRANCH NEWS
Mrs. Bullock wrote asking of progress on the proposed National Tree List. Our Chief Botanist, Mr. R. Drummond, is working on this task.
Dr. Gilges has asked if anyone is interested in helping to produce, or using if produced, a book on “Gardening with Rhodesian plants, shrubs and trees”?
Part of this estate near Umtali should be opened soon by the National Trust. Development of the whole potential will depend upon money availability.
ASSR : Two committee members attended the AGM of the Association of Scientific Societies in Rhodesia in April This Association is a coordinating body or all member societies. Its main functions are producing the Rhodesia Science News and organizing congresses. The next congress will be at the University in September 1974.
W.J. ASCOUGH President
Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter June 1973
MREWA ROAD KOPJIES, MAY VISIT
Fifty two people arrived for a most interesting day and we are most grateful to Paul and Meg Coates Palgrave for inviting us to this happy hunting ground of theirs.
After tea and coffee from our host and hostess, people were divided into six teams for a tree scavenger hunt. The teams vanished into the kopjes with a speed that must have startled even the dassies! Two hours later they returned with their check list and bags full of cuttings for proof of identification.
Several teams identified 30 to 40 species, and one team scored 88 points for 61 species. Well done, everyone, because all seemed to take part. Paul and Meg Palgrave and Clive Liddle who kindly helped with the task of identification considered there were 69 species.
NEXT VISIT, SUNDAY 17TH JUNE AT GOROMONZI
Host and hostess, Dr. and Mrs. Murray at Goromonzi. On arrival small parties will follow a short pre-arranged route with about 5 stopping places. A member has been asked to help at each station with a talk or discussion on some interesting aspect of the trees there. This has been planned as a development of the Cleveland Dam visit/teaching clinic.
Dr. and Mrs. Murray will provide us with tea, but please bring a mug. Then Dr Murray will show us his successes at growing indigenous trees from seed. Then if you would bring your picnic lunch Dr. Murray will take us on a walk around the other side of his property overlooking the Nora Valley. Trees are those associated with Highveld, sandveld and vlei margins. Several will be ones seen at Mrewa, Cleveland and Darwendale Dams.
GARDENING WITH RHODESIAN PLANTS, SHRUBS AND TREES
We have had one reply from Bulawayo about this subject. Thank you, Mr. Caw. Mrs. Irvine has dug back into her Science News and found “Growing Rhodesian Trees and Shrubs” by Mr. Tom Muller, in Rhodesia Science News, Vol. 3, No. 3 for March 1969.
THE RHODESIAN YOUNG SCIENTISTS EXHIBITION, 1973
The Tree Society gave a $20 cash prize for an exhibit concerning trees that did not win a major award. This was won by CalebMakwiranzou, a 19 year old Goromonzi School pupil in VI Form. His exhibit in Class E Section 3 was the results of a 3 year study of African medicines and trees from which they are made. On his stand Caleb had rows of small bottles of medines. He prepared a questionnaire which was given to people in Goromonzi, Mt. Darwin and Melsetter areas asking for details and degree of belief in effectiveness. Tribal herbalists helped him prepare the medicines, it appears. Caleb then started an inventory of trees concerned. A form of chromatography was done on root tissue of Securidaca longipedunculata, the violet tree. He has many pages of notes and records, but has no further plans for the future.
KINGSWAY PALMS Washingtonia robusta
The Salisbury Publicity Association have asked for information and Mr. Drummond and Mr. Avery have said these palms were planted along the stream bed in November 1920 and early 1921 They could grow for 100 years but the new drainage works might alter their growth pattern. It has been suggested that some replacements be planted to ensure the provision of nesting sites for the palm swifts which nest in these palms.
W.J. ASCOUGH President
Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter September 1973
AUGUST VISIT TO DR. J. RITCHKEN’S PRIVATE ARBORETUM
Not many of the 23 members and friends who visited “Upenyo” in Umwinsidale had been there before so they were not expecting the fascinating collection of trees that Dr. Ritchken cares or so close to Salisbury.
Dr. Ritchken started a vineyard in 1958 but, luckily for us, soon changed to planting trees. Seed came from Mr. Blake goldsmith, Mr. Tom Muller and many others. I wonder if any enterprising patient really did try to barter his pills for tree seed!
The original local indigenous trees have been supplemented by species from Chirundu and there are exotics, especially member species of Rhodesian tree families. So, there is a hillside of Commiphora spp. several Cassia spp and others, from Rhodesia, Israel, Malaysia and Australia, for interesting comparisons.
Many of the planted trees are growing extremely well. They have had some manure and have been watered. The power of water is demonstrated by the lush thicket around the reservoir overflow. The soil is probably a red sandy clay, but the land is steep and rocky in places. An Acacia sieberiana and a Brachystegia glaucescens were estimated at about 13 m. Even the slow Violet Tree was 2.5 m high.
Thank you Dr. Ritchken for a most enjoyable morning.
We were pleased to have Mrs. Marjorie Milton with us for the morning, while touring on leave, from Bulawayo Branch.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 16TH, GWEBI AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE
By kind permission of the Principal, Jeremy Ascough and John Petheram will lead a study of trees and their ecology. There will be a walk through a cattle camp from pure vlei, through four kinds of mixed vegetation, to a pure stand of msasa. Land use, values and problems vary as do land slope and soil wetness.
We will meet at the Pavilion where hot water will be available for tea. If you bring a picnic lunch we can then practice our knowledge on another area of varying vegetation.
MONDAY OCTOBER 1ST AT QUEEN VICTORIA MUSEUM
Mr. B. Simon and Mr. G. Pope of the Herbarium will talk about trees and family characteristics.
This meeting is one of a series to be held in Salisbury. The idea is:
- To do something for people unable to participate in our Sunday visits
- To develop a knowledge of the value, importance and pleasure to be gained from trees
- To avoid too much hot October sun.
Come and tell us what you think of the idea.
NEWS FROM MATABELELAND
From Mrs. Bullock. So far this year the local committee has met four times. We have had two outings to Gordon Park (Scout Camp in the Matopos) to identify and attach numbers to trees for them; made a check list of the trees in the lay-byes, Bulawayo to Gwanda, had a ‘learners’ day at Khami Ruins and a well attended outing to two Matopos National Park dams, stopping at stands of mopane and msasa en route. Any specimens not known, are pressed and sent to the Herbarium. We are grateful to the Staff there for their identification. More than once this has led to a new recording which we hope to follow up at the right time to collect flowering material. We would like to place on record our pleasure at the award of the certificate of merit by the NRB made to Mrs. Anne Bean. Her great interest in all round is in no small measure responsible for the happy, instructive outings we have.
NEW BOTANICAL GARDEN OPENED NEAR PRETORIA
In the “South African Panorama” for August, there are pictures and a report on the new botanical garden on the slopes of a range of hills in Brummeria, some 20 km east of Pretoria. There are indigenous trees outside and glass houses to house collections of desert and mountain plants.
This botanical garden belongs to the Botanical Research Institute, a section of the Department of Agricultural Technical Services. The Research Institute supplies information to gardeners, farmers, botanists and applied scientists. Mr. Bob Drummond has recently visited Pretoria to meet and work with fellow Botanists.
BINGA SWAMP FOREST
This interesting area of forest, so convenient to Salisbury, is rapidly being invaded by exotics such as Mauritius Thorn, Cedrela toona and Jacaranda mimosifolia. This protected area can not be used until cleared of these exotics. Some members have been making an annual pilgrimage to attack them but with little long term success. Mr Aylen and Mr.Carey have now arranged for the NRB to help. Ways and means are being discussed.
W.J. ASCOUGH President
Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter October 1973
GWEBI COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE
The day was started by Mr. John Peheram discussing ‘bush’ and veld management. Trees are the natural climax for this area. When farmers stump, cut out trees or ring bark them the result can be a thicket of ‘bush’ regrowth. Chemical control is expensive and does not always work. Examples were shown.
Visitors were then shown an ecological sequence of change from the River Gwebi up to the watershed at the main road Walking up this slope, vegetation pattern and species composition, soil colour and land drainage changed in sequence.
Some 55 tree species were identified and a couple collected for the help of our Herbarium specialists. Parinari curatellifolia were laden with fruit two Faurea speciosa still carried flower remains The Dombeya rotundifolia was still in flower and we found a large Gardenia jovis tonantis.
After lunch in the cool of the pavilion, a few members explored the different vegetation of Gwebi kopje, expertly guided by Mr. Trevor Gordon. There we found some very clean figs and Mrs Petheram has since glaced some.
TREES AND THEIR CLASSIFICATION
Mr. Brian Simon assisted by Mr. Gerald Pope, both of the Herbarium staff, recently gave a talk to members. Mr. Simon traced the history of taxonomy from 300 BC to the present day, explained some of the problems facing a systematic botanist and illustrated tree evolution with photographs and colour slides.
MONDAY 8TH AND MONDAY 15TH OCTOBER AT BOTANIC GARDEN AT 1700 HOURS.
We have planned, as an experiment, these two ‘sundowner’ sessions for people in town.
Meet at about 1700 hours at the Herbarium building in the Botanic Garden for a short guided walk through part of the Botanic Garden, followed by a chat or a question/discussion session as you wish, until the sun goes down
FILM AND COLOUR SLIDE EVENING, QUEEN VICTORIA MUSEUM, 29TH NOVEMBER
A film and colour slide evening.
We have films and colour slides of the Chimanimani and Melsetter area, and we have been asked to re-show the ‘Chironi’ film of the School’s Exploration Society. We would also be delighted to hear from members with film or colour slides to do with trees.
Several people are interested in the possibility of starting a Branch of the Tree Society in this area. If you are interested please be in contact with Mrs. E. Jones.
The main items discussed at the last monthly meeting were as follows:
Dichwe It was agreed to arrange a visit for interested parties to the Dichwe Lemon Forest at Umboe Valley near Mangula to see the condition of this interesting area and consider future management.
Salisbury City Tree Planting Committee: This is reported to be active again and we wish it every success. A plea is to be made for planting suitable attractive indigenous trees along main routes used by visitors and tourists.
Mailing List: Our mailing list for both Rhodesia Science News and this Newsletter is being compared with our list of paid up members and brought up to date.
Gardening with Indigenous Trees: Mr. Trevor Gordon recently discussed this on RBC’s Sunday Magazine. He suggested 10 indigenous trees which would grow easily and provide shade or attractive flowers equal to any exotics and better than some. He included Cassia abbreviata, Bolusanthus speciosus (wild wisteria), Dombeya rotundifolia, the Pink Jacaranda and Violet Tree.
W.J. ASCOUGH President
Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter November 1973
NATIONAL BOTANIC GARDEN: We tried a sundown saunter on two Monday evenings as planned. The 5 o’clock timing was disappointing in not attracting more newcomers and town members unable to make our Sunday meetings. However, both meetings proved both interesting and enjoyable for the faithful, and we thank Mr. Peter Biegel and Mr. Tom Muller for kindly working overtime for us.
THURSDAY 29TH, QUEEN Victoria Museum 2000 hours
- Film and colour slides of ‘The Corner”, Chimanimani National Park and Martins Falls
- Discussion of use and problems in this area
- “Known only to God”, the film of the PE School Chironi Expedition
- “msasa time” filmed in the Eastern Districts, Rhodesian Trees and Wild Flowers
Mr. Trevor Gordon and Mr and Mrs. Ascough attended a meeting held by Mr. and Mrs. Jones on their farm Nchefu, to discuss local problems concerning trees. It appears that the old tobacco farms in the area are being opened up for cotton and cattle production to offset the loss of tobacco income. This is having the effect of a major land clearing programme and a shortage of trees for fuel, timber and leisure is foreseen. Erosion gullies are to be seen.
The farmers and wives present at the meeting elected an inaugural committee to form a local tree society. Lord Forester of Bassett Farm is chairman.
As this is an action committee, created to study a specific local problem, it will not become a branch of the Tree Society of Rhodesia, although this could happen later.
We wish Mrs. Beth Jones, who organized this meeting and Lord Forester with his supporters all success in their task.
A meeting of the Rhodesian Tree Society in the Banket Ayshire area has been proposed for March to learn more about the situation.
We read of pollution and man’s destruction of his environment, but this usually refers to far off places like America, Japan or the Rhine. How this could happen to us – conditions are apparently so different? Hazardous use of land. Balance of nature. Land use pressures. Ecology. The factors are the same. Trees and man are part of a complex ecosystem. Trees are rarely the exploiters, the villains; only when Mauritius Thorn and some exotics run wild, as at Binga. But man has the capacity to destroy. And here is an example of near desert creation, little more than a hundred kilometers out of Salisbury, in an area that many farmers in the country envy good soil and reliable rainfall.
The balance of nature is fine, dangerously fine. A good businessman does not gamble. He weights the risk. He estimates the probability of success and acts wisely. Modern farming is a business. These farmers must assess the balance of nature to ensure long term productivity, success and enjoyable living.
W.J. ASCOUGH President
Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter December 1973
There was an encouraging turnout to the evening meeting, November 29th, at the Queen Victoria Museum for colour slides and films mostly on the Chimanimani and Melsetter area. This area is a delightful and rewarding one for anyone studying natural history generally, or trees in particular, or just as a recreational retreat. Colour slides and Sybil Duncanson’s film showed members in action.
Parquet flooring manufacture is highly mechanized using local indigenous timber. An interesting Rhodesian film, “Man and his forests” showed commercial timber production from seed, collected by a forester climbing selected trees on a tree bicycle, through nursery establishment, forest planting, management and finally timber extraction. To reduce production costs work is mechanized where ever possible.
BOTANIC GARDEN EVENING VISITS
It has been suggested by several members that we arrange more of the 5 – 6 pm. visits during the week. How about one a month for the first few months of 1974. This would allow us to study trees during the season. It is not far to travel, considering petrol saving. And, if we had visits before a Sunday visit we might brush up on our identification. Visitors and new members would be most welcome. What do you think?
When considering our future programme your committee has borne in mind the need to save petrol, the possibility of petrol rationing, the desirability or otherwise of travelling northwards, and the use of a bus.
A joint meeting is proposed by Salisbury for Whitsun weekend at Sebakwe National Park. Accommodation has been tentatively booked for members and there are camping and caravan sites. The lodge and cottage costs $2.50 per person per day. A deposit is needed but this will be refunded in the event of petrol rationing. We would then explore the practicability of alternative transport.
Mrs. Beth Jones has written in with news of their first committee meeting. They are considering becoming a Branch of the Tree Society of Rhodesia and have requested more details which will be supplied. A newsletter is proposed and our joint meeting in March should be interesting.
May I remind you that your subscription for 1974/75 becomes due on January 1st. To ensure that our records are correct and to make payment easier for you we have included a tear off slip at the end of this newsletter for your convenience.
Subscriptions include our newsletter and the Rhodesia Science News, the supply of which is arranged most economically on a bulk basis. This is the official journal of the Rhodesia Scientific Association of which we are a member organization.
CITY OF UMTALI
Following suggestions by member, Mr. McGregor, the Umtali Municipal Parks Superintendent will consider the use of Erythrina species on Christmas Pass and also the use of Craibia brevicaudata in frost free areas.
Another member in Umtali, Mr. Lester Smith has sent in seed of 2 violet trees, Securidaca longipedunculata, which he has grown in his garden. He reports poor germination It is suggested that the wing be pared off, deep enough to allow water into the seed and germination may be improved. Mr Tom Muller has found the seedlings often die when moved to either plant direct into the ground or allow the seedling to grow out well before moving the post at all. Roots may be particularly delicate.
Your President and Committee wish you all a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Jeremy Ascough, President.