The following is a summary of the news, events and happenings of the Tree Society of Rhodesia for 1974 from the records we have


Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter  January 1974

Dear Member,

Your President and Committee wish you a happy and prosperous year in 1974.  At least this year we should not be short of water, whatever else there is in store for us. Standing on a Chipinga farmhouse stoep the other day watching water bubble out of the ground, reminded me of similar good rains in 1957/58.  Then, as a newcomer to Rhodesia, I was surprised to find my leather shoes and photo albums growing blue whiskers.

Dead pine trees in the Salisbury area, standing out brown against the other trees at the moment, remind us of the past dry seasons.

WHITSUN WEEKEND  Salisbury Branch are planning a weekend outing to Sebakwe National Park and invite Midlands members and Bulawayo Branch to join them.

The Lodge, which holds 10 people and the Cottage which holds 6 have been booked.  There is also a caravan and camping area.  Bookings have been made from 1400 hours on Friday May 31st to 1000 hours on Tuesday June 4th, for members who would like to make a real long weekend of it.

The hire of a bus will be considered if needed.  I understand, that if this meeting has to be cancelled due to lack of fuel, National Parks will refund deposits.

If you would like to join us, please contact our Secretary, Mrs. Sybil Duncanson.

NEWS FROM BULAWAYO BRANCH  The Matabeleland Branch visited the dolerite dyke or “Natural Wall” in the Matopos.

Where the Dyke starts beside the Antelope Road we found it very broken and supporting quite dense vegetation mainly Combretum hereroense, C. apiculatum, Pappea capensis, Bolusanthus speciosus, Ficus sonderi with plentiful Securinega virosa around the base.  Passing the Police Camp we noticed a magnificent Acacia sieberiana in flower.  The main part of the wall is in private land and is broken into huge blocks.  The area we explored carried no vegetation save for one plant of Uvaria tenax but close to it on either side were mainly Commiphora marlothii, Olea africana and Kirkia acuminata with Securinega circea and Allophylus alnifolius as the understorey.

TREE CARE  Trees should be pampered, not ignored.  Those leafy wonders that guard your  yard deserve the same care your flowers receive.  So says Millicent Taylor, Garden writer of the Christian Science Monitor, a copy of which was recently sent to the Society.  These may need pruning, bracing, cabling and feeding.  In the States you can buy a ready made spike of tree food.  Five of these, driven into the ground around a 20 foot tree are recommended for a season’s feeding of an American tree.

Yours sincerely,




Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter March 1974

 Dear Member,

The turnout at the AGM was most encouraging and I thank those that were there and those who could not be but sent apologies.  The minutes of the AGM will be in the next month’s Newsletter.

REQUEST FOR SEED  Mr. Anton Ellert  has written to say that he has planted the seed of the fifty eight species of indigenous trees, of which 49 germinated and are growing.  Mr. Ellert would welcome more seed of more species of our trees.  He will try and collect donations where possible.  Could I suggest that those members interested contact Anton Ellert direct.

RANCHE HOUSE COLLEGE, NATURAL HISTORY COURSE on evolution, trees and timber, mornings between July 11th and August 8th.  For further details contact Ranche House.

ZOOLOGICAL PARK   The Zoological Society of Rhodesia have proposed to establish a Zoological Park, on modern lines, at Graniteside and have applied to Salisbury Municipality to lease a site.  They have asked us if we would support their venture.  If such a park were properly developed and supervised, it could be a worthwhile improvement to our Rhodesian scene.  We are not able to help financially, as a Society, and not everyone will agree with the proposal, but I do believe a majority of members would wish our sister society luck in their efforts.

BULAWAYO BRANCH NEWS.  The Chairman, Mr. Best, in his report for 1973 says Bulawayo has 32 member families.  Members have bee naming trees for the Johannesburg Road towards Gwanda and at Gordon Park for the Scouts.

Members also made two expeditions.  One was to find tree ferns in the Matopos where few were found in a gorge on the Lumane River.  The other trip was to find flowering specimens of Ochna natalitia for the Herbarium but this has so far been unsuccessful.

MELSETETER – UMTALI AREA NEWS.  Members in the Eastern Districts are considering the formation of a Branch of the Tree Society of their own.  Mr. Trevor Gordon recently spoke in Umtali and also in Chipinge.  The Chipinge ICA Committee has since written in for more information.

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Ascough  President



Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter April 1974

 Dear Member,

NEXT MEETING is on Sunday 21st April 1974 at the Makabusi Woodland, combined with the Rhodesia Natural Resources Society and Mr. R. B. James, Manager of the Municipal Amenities Department.


The Chair was taken by Mr. W. J. Ascough, President, who declared the meeting open and welcomed the 40 members present.

ADOPTION OF THE MINUTES OF THE LAST AGM.    These having been circulated were adopted and signed by the President.


PRESIDENT’S REPORT   Attached.  The adoption of this report was proposed by Mr. Talbot, seconded by Mr. Irvine.  Mr. Talbot proposed a vote of thanks to the President.

TREASURER’S REPORT.  This having been circulated in the February Newsletter, was adopted.  Proposed by Dr. Morris, seconded by Mr. Tunney. Mr. Hill was thanked for doing the audit.


President                     Mr. J. Ascough

Vice President             Mr. A. Pearce

Secretary                     Mrs. M. Batten

Treasurer                     Miss T. Rose

Committee                  Messrs. Airey, Hall, Petheram, Talbot and Mrs. Irvine


Ayrshire Branch:  A branch of the Tree Society has bee formed in this area and their members have invited the Salisbury members to visit them on Sunday 17th March.

Sebakwe visit:   A combined outing was proposed with Matabeleland and Midlands members to be held at Sebakwe Park over the Whitsun weekend.  However, in view of the present petrol shortage, this visit may have to be postponed.

Sundown Strolls:  have been arranged for the 2nd Monday of each month from 1700 hours to 1800 hours in the Botanic Gardens, initially with Mr. Tom Muller as leader.

History of the Society:  Mr. Hill handed to the President, various slides taken in the early years of the Society’s activities, including one of the Arboretum at Lake MacIlwaine and its official opening.  Also a contour map of the Arboretum surveyed by Mr. Piers and Mr. Reid.  It was suggested that these would be an interesting topic for a members’ evening meeting.

Mrs. Duncanson was thanked for her hard work as Secretary over the past two years.

There being no further business, the meeting was closed.

Mr. Ascough then gave a very interesting illustrated talk on aerial photography, after which members examined the various photographs and tried out the stereoscope themselves.

After the tea interval, the film, “On the Third Day” was much appreciated.


No single outstanding item comes immediately to mind this year, but successes we have had.  These, I believe, show that our Society not only provides an enjoyable service to members, but it is also a useful facet of scientific activity in Rhodesia.

Programme for the past year:    Your committee took cognizance of your comments last year and your varied tastes.  This resulted in a series of all day Sunday visits away from Salisbury, local visits including evening meetings at the National Botanic Garden and Queen Victoria Museum.  Details have been recorded in the Newsletter and Rhodesia Science News.  Attendance has been encouraging with up to 40 members present, including a few new members.

With petrol rationing we will have to reconsider our programme, but visits my still be possible, using a hired bus.

Committee Work:    Another side to the work of the Society is the monthly load of committee work dealt with.  I am pleased to report that the Makabusi Woodland area of Salisbury is to be reserved as a regional open space.  Your committee last year, with others, prepared an objection to the area being used for residential development.

During the year your committee has dealt with such varied topics as complaints of indiscriminate tree cutting, the beautification of our National Roads, liaised with the Salisbury Tree Planting Panel.  With the help of the Natural Resources Board it is hoped to improve the Binga swamp forest near Arcturus.  A watchful eye has been kept on the Lemon Forest at Ditchwe, the flora near Melsetter for the Mountaineering Club Conservation subcommittee, and a prize was donated to the Young Scientists Exhibition.

I am most pleased to report that discussions with residents of the Ayshire District near Banket has resulted in their application to form a Branch of the Tree Society of Rhodesia under the chairmanship of The Lord Forrester.

MATABELELAND BRANCH  This Branch consists of a small but enthusiastic group of members who meet in the Bulawayo area.  They have been active this year naming trees at the Gordon Park and along the main Gwanda Road.

MEMBERSHIP  After updating our membership list we have 282 paid up members.

FINANCE:    The financial statement was circulated and shows a satisfactory situation.  No increase in subscription rates is therefore needed I am pleased to say, but an increase may be needed next year to cover the increased cost of the Science News.

THANKS:  I wish to thank our many helpers.  Among them Mr. D. Aylen for his guidance, Mrs. B. Tunney after many years service on the Committee, Mr. J. H. Hill, our Honorary Auditor, Col. M.H. Kamp at the Lake McIlwaine Arboretum, Mr. W. A. Bailey and Mr. G. G. Jameson our Trustees, the Curator of the Queen Victoria Museum, the organizers of visits, our hosts, speakers, the ladies who have helped with typing, and my Committee members for their tremendous support during the year.

Jeremy Ascough  President



Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter May 1974

 Dear Member,


A working party has been set up to consider the idea of making next year of special importance with respect to trees.  This working party includes members of the YFC, NRB, Forestry Commission, Commerce, the Tree Society and other interested organizations.

The aim is to create awareness and increase interest and knowledge of trees, their value and importance to our life, our well being and our environment.

As a member of the Tree Society will you please help make 1975 the year of the tree?


Historic Trees of Rhodesia:    Mrs. Joan Matthewman, Deputy Director of the Rhodesia Council of Social Services, has written to the Tree Society asking if someone, or a group of us, could help to publish a booklet on historic trees of Rhodesia.

We need a working sub-committee to plan and organize the collection of information from all over Rhodesia, concerning trees that have some historic connection with European and African development of our country.

There is the Mother Patrick tree, the Big Indaba Tree, Chipinga’s Big Tree and those unusual trees on a Macheke farm.  What has Umtali, Enkeldoorn and the Mazoe Valley to offer?

Every little bit would help, as long as you volunteer that little bit.  Can you call, phone or write.  Can you get others to help.  It need only cost you 3 cents for a stamp and a few minutes of your time to record a unique moment in Rhodesian History.  How about it? Support your Society.  Be a conservationist.  Put our best trees on the map.

Christmas cards and Calendars for 1975.  I am told people start planning these early.  Do you have any say in designs for any?  Could a tree picture and or slogan be used?

They say charity begins at home, and we need trees and the products of trees if we are to survive in comfort.

The use of local Parks, the provision of shade, Tree Planting schemes, School visits, Ecological studies, Competitions etc. etc.

 Have you an idea, you could do, to boost the establishment and use of trees for 1975?  There is time to think about it, but not much.  It is May already.

LAST MEETING:  Our members joined with members of several other societies, organized by the Natural Resources Society to hear Mr. Ronnie James, Manager of the Salisbury Municipality Amenities Department, at the Makabusi Woodland.

The Makabusi Woodland is a most interesting area of natural veld within the City of Salisbury.  It covers over 300 hectares and includes difference ecological associations from vlei to good Brachystegia veld.  Mr. James outlined his proposals for dams, access, picnic spots and veld management.  These would develop the potential of the area for people to study, use and enjoy as they wish.

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Ascough   President



 Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter June 1974

 Dear Member,

Following my request for ideas concerning the proposed 1975 Year of the Tree Project, one member wrote in about the Ficus outside the DC’s office near the old Market Square in Salisbury.  Another member has suggested a Christmas Card design.  Two responses from a paid up membership of over 200 is not very encouraging.

Fortunately, support at meetings continues to be good, in spite of petrol rationing.  Members willingly double up to save petrol.  Thank you.

AYSHIRE BRANCH NEWS:  Mr. Geoffrey Moore is in the chair while The Lord Forrester is in England.  Visits are being made around the area and members are discovering there is a lot more to know about trees than they expected.

MATABELELAND BRANCH NEWS:  25 folk visited Ntabazinduna Hill on Sunday 19th May.  To prepare us for the visit, Bill Cameron of the Geography Department at the Teachers’ College gave us a talk in which he described the soils and the geological forces and events which produced this conspicuous, relatively isolated hill, so that we would have some idea of the potential vegetation zones we might expect.

On our visit we found that the north slope on forest sandstone was dominated by Terminalia sericea and three species of Acacia growing particularly densely near the contact with the greenstones of the basement complex.  The few trees on the steeper upper slopes were Terminalia randii, while the slightly domed top of the hill of basalt, mingled with the last remnants of Kalahari sand, taking the form of ironstone, carried a very varied if slightly dwarfed open woodland in which we counted over 30 woody species, including Azanza garckeana, Lannea discolor and Ormocarpum trichocarpum.  We did not see any residual components of typical ‘teak’ forest.

On the more shady south facing slope we found 16 species, including specimens of Cussonia kirkii, Parinari curatellifolia, Protea gaguedi and several specimens of Ficus burkei/natalensis? Remarkable for their great differences in appearance.  It appears as if this side of the hill has long since been cleared of most of what we imagine might originally have been a continuous dense woodland, if the remaining patches can be taken as reliable indicators of the past.  A few unknown specimens were collected for identification.


Botanic Garden visits:   The second Monday of the month.  Mr. Tom Muller has kindly agreed to show us more of his trees.

Natural History Course:    Trees, timber, poisonous plants, evolution and the Botanic gardens.  Five morning sessions in July and August.

Makabusi Woodland Walk.  Walk with Mrs. Judy Reid on Tuesdays at 1600 hours.

The Population Explosion – is there a global solution?    Members of the Rhodesia Natural Resources Society invite us to a meeting on Wednesday 26th June at 1730 at the Ambassador Hotel when Dr. John Hanks and Mr. Peter Dodds will address members.

Your Committee reports:    Wet conditions have held up clearing of Mauritius thorn at Binga Swamp Forest.  The proposed visit to Sebakwe with members from Midlands and Matabeleland has been cancelled due to petrol rationing and accommodation problems.

A letter was received from the Rhodesia Scientific Association in connection with the winding up of the ASSR.  An article on trees has been received from the Christian Science Monitor.  A revised society information sheet and membership application form has been prepared and is now on trial.

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Ascough  President



Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter July 1974

 Dear Member,

Have you a packet of seeds, or two or three packets, put away after a walk about into the veld?  I know some of you have collected seeds.  Now, Mr. Wakefield of Salisbury Municipality Nursery wants seeds of trees to grow for planting in the Makabusi Woodland area.  Can you please help?

Talking of tree planting, the local circulation Representative of the Christian Science Monitor has sent us an article entitled “Timber Shortage – action now can prevent it” from America.  They want to double their forest production in 25 years, to plant 30 million acres by the year 2000.

Nearer to home, the YFCs Year of the Tree project for 1975 aims to plant about 5 million trees next year.

We have a couple of projects ourselves, near Salisbury, but we need more help.

LAKE MCILWAINE, TREE SOCIETY’S ARBORETUM.  Members have created a pleasant woodland area adjacent to the wall and overlooking the lake.  There is Doug Newmarsh’s stone seat, David’s Den, the wooden hut, a landing jetty and small aloe garden, all kept tidy by Anderson, who works for both us and national Parks under the eye of Col. Kemp.

Over the years, members have patiently worked to create this quiet retreat from what was, I am told, an old eroded hillside after the dam was built.

Now there is a plan to plant selected trees along the approach road and the proposed parking and picnic area on the road to the Game Park.  We need a few members to keep an eye on things and help get trees going.  Who passes the dam regularly, or even sometimes, if you pass that way for work?  Could you call in and help for an hour or so occasionally?  Please contact a Committee Member if you can help.

BINGA SWAMP FOREST:  For those of you on the Goromonzi side of Salisbury, Mr. Jeremy Talbot is Convener of a subcommittee arranging to clean up the exotic weeds threatening this interesting area of swamp forest.

This swamp forest is an unexpected find near Salisbury.  It could be used by members, by ecologists and school children for project work and scientific study.  The NRB have offered to have it fenced for protection from over grazing if we clear it up.  The NRB have even offered to pay for the clearing up.  We need members to help supervise an African labour gang who we will employ to do the clearing.  Could you help on a Saturday and or Sunday after Rhodes and Founders until the end of August?

Looking forward to hearing from volunteers to help our projects along.

Yours sincerely,

 Jeremy Ascough  President



Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter August 1974

 Dear Member,

Salisbury members enjoyed a pleasant morning at Mr. Duckering’s last month, near to town.  There were fewer members than usual, so we presume rightly or wrongly that members prefer a trip out into the veld, even if it is a few kilometers further.

BOTANIC GARDEN VISITS:  The second Monday of the month.  Mr. Tom Muller as kindly agreed to show us more of his trees.  Meet at the Herbarium at 1700 hours until dusk.

AYSHIRE BRANCH NEWS:  Members hope to be visited by delegates to “Aloe ‘75” next year.  A combined meeting with the Garden Club was held at Caesar Pass in July.

The Committee are collecting information in the area and from Mr. Cart of the Forestry Commission concerning possible farm afforestation schemes.  For further details contact Beth Jones.

YEAR OF THE TREE 1975:  Mr. Dudley Hall, YFC, National Secretary, has sent more details of proposals to plant at least three million trees in Tribal Trust and African Purchase Lands.  It is also hoped to include European Schools, in fact, anyone interested in trees.

It is proposed to make February 3rd to 9th “Tree Conservation Week” with Sunday 9th as “Tree Sunday”.  The planting of trees in public places by important and leading local people is planned.

The aim is to increase timber reserves but also to make people and children especially, tree conscious.

Dr. W. Gilges has written in with a plea for people to consider smaller, more attractive trees, with flowers, nectar and pollen, rather than what he calls a ‘green desert’ of cypress, pine and gum trees which may transpire large volumes of water, so depleting precious underground water reserves.

The Wild Life Society has written in with details of Conservation Stamps which can be obtained through a printing firm.  The cost could be shared by several clubs or societies such as our own.

YOUR COMMITTEE REPORTS:  A pleasing response to our last and final request this year for subs. Some members seem to need individual statements.  Is this really necessary in a voluntary recreational type society such as ours? Thank you, those that did pay up.

Mr. Alan Pearce has led a team of representatives on the Makabusi Woodland Advisory Committee and discussed possible plans to develop this attractive and potentially useful area for schools, locals and tourists to use, enjoy and learn from.

Passive Recreation and Conservation Areas.  After several years Salisbury Municipality have selected seventeen areas from list provided by us and other organizations for development and use.

BINGA SWAMP FOREST – ARCTURUS:  Mr. Jeremy Talbot has arranged a roster of members to cut and burn the thorn.  Mr. Stan Carey has arranged labour and kept equipment.  Mr. Hodder has arranged finance at the NRB.  Mr. Carey estimates that perhaps a quarter of the thorn has so far been cut back;  It is quite a job, but rewarding when you can see progress and it is a pleasant area to spend a day.  The birds are very active at present.

The team could use some more volunteers.

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Ascough  President



Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter September 1974

 Dear Member,

I have been asked by Matabeleland Branch members for more details concerning the “Year of the Tree” projects.


A working party has been set up to plan this project for 1975.  The Natural Resources Board, the Forestry Commission, Rhodesian Food Corporation and other Government, Quasi government, Commercial and organizations like ourselves have been asked to participate.  The working party was set up through the YFC (Young Farmers Clubs), Mr. Dudley Hall, for many years Headmaster of Norton School, and an active YFC worker is a moving light.  He has toured much of Rhodesia in order to obtain information for the planning of this project.

Project aims include the following:

  1. To promote conservation awareness
  2. To create an interest in trees and an appreciation of their value
  3. To plant trees for material practical and aesthetic purposes
  4. To ensure, as far as possible, the future care of the trees planted for this project

Mr. Hall came to a recent Society Committee meeting and kindly discussed a number of points which we raised with him.  The idea was sparked off partly by the Green Heritage Year in South Africa, and also after seeing the appalling destruction of trees in Rhodesia that is now going on in some areas, both European and African.

There are problems that one could foresee.  However, Mr. Hall and his team are preparing to make a move towards better conservation of trees, better land use and soil conservation through education.  After much consideration this moves at being aimed at the youth of Rhodesia using the common Gum Tree.  It is hoped to plant over three million tree seedlings, very many of these in African areas.

Considering the factors of cost, organization, advertising, education, follow up, seedling provision, timber use, ecology, financial support, staffing and so on, your committee could only close our discussion with Mr. Hall with admiration and good wishes for an ambitious scheme that should make more people more tree conscious than otherwise would be.

SALISBURY AREA VISITS :  The visit to Ruwa Scout Park last month took the form of an informal teaching clinic.  Mr. R. Airey who arranged the visit for us, with three helpers, led the members in four small teams through different parts of the Park.  Members were able to study different aspects of the ecology of the area which Mr. Douglas Aylen had previously pointed out.  The different groups were able to identify 20 to 40 different species depending on their area and the changes in growth form due to frost and cutting in the past.

MAZOE :  We plan to visit the riverine forest below the Mazoe Dam wall.  All riverine forest experts are especially welcome.  It is proposed to make this a morning only visit, but members may stay for their picnic lunch.  We propose to take the footpath near the bridge, going downstream.  The bridge is only about 100 metres from the main Mazoe Road.

Any Ornithologists or Bird members in the area on Sunday will be welcome to join us if they have time to spare on habitat as compared with habitat occupants.


Binga Swamp Forest clearing is continuing.  We have not finished yet, but an acre or so of Mauritius thorn has been cut and burnt.  There seems little else growing to damage.

Makabusi Woodlands Advisory Committee discussed access roads, paths and possible use by cars, horses and bicycles.  The most important thing now is that this area should be used by as many people as possible to show the authorities that it is indeed needed, and money spent on its development and care is not a waste of rate payers’ money.  We believe this scheme to be extremely worthwhile.

Historic Trees of Rhodesia  We have had several responses with information concerning trees with a past.  Thank you, those that have sent us information.  Now we need someone with the time to write up this as a record.

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Ascough  President



 Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter October 1974

 Dear Member,

Last months visit for members in the Salisbury area was to study the riverine vegetation below Mazoe Dam.  This is a highly specialized type of ecology and species are very different to those encountered on most other visits in the Salisbury area.

Mr. Trevor Gordon and Mr. Clive Liddle led the walk.  They were in their element, of course, and made the walk both worthwhile and enjoyable for all concerned.  Thank you very much Trevor and Clive.

YEAR OF THE TREE 1975:  A few members have expressed surprise at the selection of a Eucalypt for the planting exercise.  In practice, this is a sensible choice.  To find 5 million viable seedlings of any other species would be a task all on its own.  It is also most important for people, and children especially, to see results.  Trees are notoriously slow growers.  Also, it is intended  to provide fuel and building material.  The availability of gum poles will save indigenous trees, it is hoped, in the long term.

Indigenous trees could perhaps be compared with coal in its new concept.  Indigenous trees with their variety of form, flower, fruit, cover and use are too valuable just to burn up.

Mr. Ronnie James is hoping to arrange some tree planting shortly in the Makabusi Woodland.  Watch the daily press for details.  The first exercise is hoped to coincide with the first rains and to involve local youth.

GREENWOOD PARK:  Mr. Tom Muller will leave his Botanic Garden venue this month and be with members in this interesting park which was started as a botanic garden at the turn of the century.  Hence the many interesting species.

EVENING TALK:  Mr. Dave Rushworth will address members on plant adaptation which, if you know Mr. Rushworth and his enthusiasm, should prove to be a most worthwhile evening.  This will be at the Queen Victoria Museum auditorium on Monday October 14th.

BINGA SWAMP FOREST:  The Binga Team have been hard at it and hot at it too!  The aim has been to cut and isolate patches of Mauritius thorn and then burn it.  This task has been progressing slowly but very well considering it is being done by just a few voluntary and hardworking members with minimum of expense.

Specialists have been taken out to see and advise.  Some say burn, some do not want burning.  We could slash and paint the stumps of the whole lot with a total herbicide like Tordon, at a price, and it’s still a lot of work.

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Ascough  President



 Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter November 1974

 Dear Member,

Last month’s visit in the Salisbury area was a most enjoyable evening visit to Greenwood Park, led very ably, as always, by Mr. Tom Muller.  Thank you Tom.  This walk proved surprisingly interesting.  We found about fifty six different trees and shrubs growing in the few hectares of a Salisbury Park.  Perhaps not so surprising when we learned that greenwood Park was started early in the century as a botanic garden.  The trees have had a checkered career of interest and lack of interest.  Now there is an extremely interesting selection of trees making a cool and attractive area to the northern end of the Park.  There are several huge figs, one a mystery Indian fig, Rauvolfia caffra, Aloe excelsa, a huge Pavetta asimilis, Albizia gummifera and many other trees of different ecological areas growing together, some of them exceptionally well.  A baobab, a Pretoria Wonderboom and a Mt. Selinda Big Tree grow within sight of each other.

LECTURE AT Queen Victoria Museum:  On Friday 18th evening when we were treated to a most interesting chat by Mr. David Rushworth, very well illustrated by some really attractive colour slides.  Starting with colourful shots of lichens, Mr. Rushworth took us on a guided tour of different ecological areas of Rhodesia, showing us by means of the slides how plants adapt to their environment and how plants, animals, insects and man cohabit an area depending upon the climate.  Thank you Mr. Rushworth for bringing a breath of the bush into the QV Museum.  Good luck now in Salisbury, although I am sure you will be back into the bush as often as possible.

PRINCE EDWARD SCHOOL ARBORETUM: Thanks to the kind permission of the Headmaster, Mr. Suttle, we will be able to see the results of the hard work, care and attention of our members who are creating a small arboretum at the school for instructional and enjoyment purposes.  Meet at the school at 1700 on Monday 2nd December until dusk.

BINGA SWAMP FOREST took up considerable time.  The worst of the Mauritius Thorn has now been slashed and or burned off, but regrowth is already showing.  It is a tough customer.  Mr. Paul Richards of Henderson Research Station Weed Control Unit has kindly advised us and discussed possible control programmes.  This will depend on how far we can stretch the NRB Grant, the weather and the efforts of the keen team supervising the Africans arranged for us kindly by Mr. Carey of Arcturus.

EPWORTH BALANCING ROCKS:  The vegetation is being cleared away.  This area used by different societies for birds, rocks and trees could be a useful park and recreational area.  Mr. Aylen is coordinating work as far as possible as the different organizations seem to have different ideas as to what is required.

RHODESIAN YFC ASSOCIATION –YEAR OF THE TREE 1975:  A small size eleven page booklet on Tree Planting has been received.  By planting enough trees it is hoped to reverse the current reduction in tree numbers in town and country alike.  Apart from their utility as wood and aesthetic value, trees have an important role in conservation of soil, purification of atmosphere, industrial and residential sewage, and in modifying the climate.

Three species of gum with three alternatives are recommended:

Eucalyptus grandis for deep well drained soils, where there is over 750 mm of rain and no frost

E. tereticornis for less favourable areas

  1. E. camaldulensis for low rainfall, harsh areas. These trees grow faster than indigenous trees which will, it is hoped, be saved.

SEED SWOP AND DISTRIBUTION IDEA:  Mr. Nico Smth has kindly written in very appropriately for the Year of the Tree from Fort Victoria.  How about collecting and exchanging seed for your germinating enthusiasts?  Some do and some don’t.  Ask the fundis.

Mr. Smith does not have a seed bank, but is prepared to collect locals such as Trichilia, Schotia, Millettia, Mimusops etc.  Thank you Mr. Smith for the offer.  Any takers?  Remember what Dr. Gilges said about replacing monotonous firs with interesting indigenous trees attractive to both man and bird.

Mr. Don Brown, Provincial Information Officer for Community Development, Manicaland and Mr. Montgomery Cooper of the Photographic Section of the Ministry of Tourism have produced a booklet in colour in the series People and Projects – The Year of the Tree 1975.

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Ascough  President



Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter December 1974

 Dear Member,

The meeting last month, outside Salisbury on Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler’s Farm, Calgary, seemed to be a surprise to most of those who attended.  So close to Salisbury and yet such a beautiful secluded area along the homestead approach road where we found a small gorge complete with stream with a large range of riverine species and the usual exotic escapees.  Mr. Trevor Gordon who led the visit suggested that these exotics are becoming such an established part of riverine vegetation that they may become accepted as indigenous species in years to come.

Then, a short climb out of the gorge and we walked back to our cars through a mixed Mashonaland msasa veld.

SUBSCRIPTIONS:  May I remind you that your subscription for 1975 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 bulk basis.  This is the official journal of the Rhodesia Scientific association of which we are a member organization.

TREE PLANTING;  Saturday December 7th at 2.15 pm.  We need your help to plant trees at Makabusi Woodlands.  The holes have already been dug by Mr. James and Amenities Department.

1975 – THE YEAR OF THE TREE.  The YFC is continuing its series of articles on tree propagation with the picking out of seedlings and plantation management.

On behalf of your Committee I wish you a happy Christmas and good trees for 1975.

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Ascough  President