The following is a summary of the news, events and happenings of the Tree Society of Rhodesia from the records we have available for 1975


Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter 1 January 1975

Compliments of the Season and 1975 – Year of the Tree. The production of tree seedlings and tree planting have already started. The Gum, although not an indigenous tree here is providing a good choice.  The scheme aims (1) to create a general awareness of conservation needs and more specifically the value of trees in Rhodesia (2) to provide fuel and poles as soon as possible and (3) to ease the pressure on our indigenous trees.  Gum seedlings are easy to obtain, cheap ad they grow quickly into useful timber.  When cut they re-grow quickly on the same area.

If fuel and hut poles can be provided on farm land, both African and European, our indigenous trees will stand a chance of surviving and then providing us with their profusion of flowers pods, medicines, bird habitats, colours and delights.

The old criticism of gums drying up water supplies has been brought up but this is not valid when the situation is understood and if tree planting and timber production is done properly.  A green leaf is by nature a water pump driven by solar energy to feed the plant.  A bigger plant will have more leaves and use more water on a per plant basis.  But, on a per hectare production basis in cubic meters of fuel and poles one hectare of gums may use no more water than say ten hectares of msasas and yet produce the same output of wood or even more.

Excessive over planting of a sponge area with any plant whether tree, maize, tobacco or even grass, may damage the water supply.  Trees need to be considered as a crop if their products are of value, they are worth tending, feeding and watering.  Reports can be found in the literature both supporting and criticizing tree planting.  A careful study of each situation will always, as far as I am aware, show a different set of conditions and a different emphasis on what is important.  In our case, Rhodesian land requires a protective vegetation cover, protection from the pounding rain drops, an open soil structure to facilitate rain infiltration and a healthy habitat for flora and fauna.  But, our rapidly growing African population needs fuel, timber and more good European farming methods are now more intensive due to changing markets, shorter crop rotations and bigger tractors and equipment.  We require a reappraisal of old methods and their effects upon our national resources, our heritage and our ability to stay alive until tomorrow.  And that is not the tomorrow that never comes, but in 24 hours or 365 days time.


Since reporting on our outing to Ntabazinduna Hill the branch has held three meetings.

On our expedition to the riverine area at the foot of Siloswe, Matopos, we found splendid specimens of Ficus capensis and Heteropyxis dehniae and of specimens sent for identification of Nuxia floribunda will be a new record for Matopos when we can get more material.

Lastly we visited the Gampa Forest Reserve, by permission of the Commission.  This is a relic teak forest and a list of the species seen is being compiled to produce at our local AGM.

Bearing in mind Mr. Tom Muller’s plea for seeds we were able to send him some of Xeroderris stuhlmannii.


Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter 2 February 1975

 Dear Member,

On behalf of the big crowd which visited Darwendale last month I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Trevor Gordon for a most interesting and enjoyable day.

EVERY TUESDAY:  Makabusi Wanderers 1630 hours.


Notice is hereby given that the 25th Annual General Meeting of the Tree Society of Rhodesia will be held on Friday, 21st February, 1975 at 2000 hours in the Auditorium of the Queen Victoria Museum, Rotten Row, by kind permission of the Curator.


  1. Reading of the Notice Convening the Meeting
  2. Apologies for Absence
  3. Adoption of Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting
  4. Matters arising from the Minutes
  5. President’s Report
  6. Treasurer’s Report
  7. Election of Officers
  8. Any other business


Colour slides by Mr. W. J. Ascough and Mr. Anton Ellert

Mr. Ascough will retire after two years as your President.  Mr. D. Airey who has been an active and enthusiastic member since coming to Salisbury, has been proposed as President for 1975.

J. ASCOUGH President


Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter 3 March 1975

 Dear Member,

About 40 people attended the AGM and their support was much appreciated.  An exhibit of pictures, maps and information depicting the work of the Society was on view during tea.  Mr. Jeremy Ascough expanded on the work of the Society using colour slides, including the official opening of the Society’s Arboretum at Lake McIlwaine by Sir Humphrey Gibbs.  Mr. Anton Ellert concluded the evening with some very fine colour photography.

It is with regret that we note the death of Mr. J. H. Hill of Avondale, as reported in the President’s report below.  The President has written to Mrs. Hill on behalf of the Society.

EVERY TUESDAY:  The Makabusi Walkers meet at 1630 hours at the gates next to the big white entrance into ITC Msasa, along the road opposite Rhodesville Police Station.


A regular programme of Sunday field visits has continued again this year.  Members have saved petrol by willingly sharing transport, and a bus has been used for longer trips.  Details have appeared in our monthly Newsletter and Rhodesia Science News.  I would like to highlight the interesting and enjoyable series of evening visits at the National Botanic Garden led so well by the Curator, Mr. Tom Muller.  Also the regular Tuesday meetings of the Makabusi Woodland Walkers and the interesting teaching arboretum at Prince Edward School, resulting from the patient efforts of Mesdames Irvine, Maasdorp and Trice.  A few enthusiastic individuals can do so much.

Matabeleland and Ayrshire Branches.  In both areas, as small group of enthusiastic members have arranged their own programmes suited to local needs and problems.


The Binga Forest sub-committee under Mr. J. Talbot and Mr. R. Petheram with Mr. S. Carey’s local assistance have strived through cutting and burning to save the swamp forest from being smothered by Mauritius Thorn.  Funds were provided by the Natural Resources Board who are now helping to fence the area prior to a herbicide follow-up.

The Society is represented on the Makabusi Woodland Advisory Committee, and members have supported Mr. James’ programme of development through self help to create a useful asset and resource.  We are now at “year 5 minus 1” with less than four years left to show why this woodland area should not be used for building development.  This is definitely a call of ‘use or loose’ to people such as ourselves.  It is up to us.

After Mr. Dudley Hall attended a Committee Meeting, the Society was represented on the 1975 Year of the Tree Planning Committee.

During the year, the mailbag has included comment and requests for advice concerning indigenous trees from individuals and Chipinga I.C.A.; an idea for making fuel brickets from sawdust; suggestions for the Rhodesian Tree list; the role of the Conservation Trust of Rhodesia; the possibility of establishing a branch in the Eastern Districts; the role of the Society in Adult Education and the saving of a pink Jacaranda on a building site in Rhodes Avenue.  Mr. Muller has agreed to provide a site for the Willoughby Memorial Sundial in the National Botanic Garden.

A review of areas of activity shows a considerable work load, often of a very technical nature for a Society such as ours.  Regrettably our resources have been stretched beyond our means, and rightly or wrongly we have concentrated on some areas of activity to the neglect of others.

Reading back through the minutes, I read that the President, Mr. D. Aylen asked in March 1970 for a review of Policy.  He asked if, in its 21st year, the Society was a social club, a select society or a national body?

In 1968, the President, Sir Humphrey Gibbs had hoped that more young people could be interested in the Society and Mr. Trevor Gordon and Mr. Ronald James hoped more people could be persuaded to take an active part in the work of the Society.

It was suggested that the very important work of secretary ship be spread and divided into routine typing and executive duties.  We have, I believe, been practicing this businesslike approach to some extent with satisfying results.  So, we have a minutes secretary, a Newsletter secretary, a meetings programme co-coordinator, the Binga Forest sub-committee convener and a transport officer.

In this day and age of social, political, economic and technological ferment, with an increasing need to secure our resources and sources of food, the Tree Society of Rhodesia would appear to have a useful and challenging future.

To conclude, ladies and gentlemen, I should like to thank our many helpers, our hosts, visit organizer, those of you who have sent in information on interesting trees, my committee, Col. Kemp at Lake McIlwaine and the Curator of the QV Museum for facilities here tonight.  Also the Society owes a debt of gratitude to the late Mr. . H. Hill who audited our books for many years, until now, so continuing his long and close association with our Society and its work as a founder member, committee worker and vice-President.

J. ASCOUGH President


 Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter 4 April 1975

 At the last AGM the following officers were appointed:

President                   N. M. Airey                             Secretary       Mrs. M. Batten

Vice President          Mr. R. W. Petheram             Treasurer       Miss T. Rose

Committee                 Mrs. L. Irvine, Mrs. S. Duncanson, Mr. A. Pearce, Mr. G. Hall and Mr. A. Ellert

Mr. Jeremy Ascough was thanked sincerely for all his work as President over the past two years.  I am very sorry to say that pressure of work has kept Jeremy from continuing as president, unfortunately also he could accept nomination for the committee work.

In my new capacity as President I must state at the outset that the Society is deeply indebted to the ladies, Mrs. Batten as Secretary, Miss Rose as Treasurer, and Mrs. Duncanson and Mrs. Irvine on the committee.  These ladies get through an immense amount of hard work, I appreciate it tremendously.

The male members of the Committee are also hard working and very valuable people.  I am most grateful for all their assistance.

MARCH 1975’s VISIT to Makabusi Woodlands was a morning only outing.  We were delighted to have Mr. Doug Aylen lead us on this expedition.  There was a very good turnout of members, who were delighted to see the rehabilitation.  There I go with this word again, which has taken place since the area has been fenced.

SPECIALLY FOR BEGINNERS.  Would any beginners who would care to attend an occasional mid-week or Saturday afternoon ramble close to Salisbury with the idea of concentrating initially on the identification of a few of the more common trees, please contact Dick Petheram.   Transport probably would have to be shared.  Dick has very kindly offered to take beginners “under his wing” at club outings so that they do not become ‘overwhelmed’ by too many trees.  This is a great suggestion and will be most helpful to newcomers as well as some of our not so new members.  Many thanks Dick.

SOUTH AYSHIRE I.C.A. INVITATION.  At the tree planting demonstration on Mr. Hoes’ farm, Perth, Raffingora, to which the committee was invited Mrs. Irvine, Mrs. Duncanson, Miss Granelli and Mrs. Bell accompanied me.  There was a very full turn out of I.C.A. members together with Mrs. Beth Jones and Lord Forester with their Ayrshire Branch Tree Society members.  This invitation and the afternoon spent there was most appreciated.  Mr. Howes’ efforts on Gum tree planting, E. robusta and saligna were most impressive.

 Prior to that meeting the four ladies were entertained at Mrs. Kimble’s home at Mtoroshanga.  Mrs. Stein and Mrs. Kimble took them for a walk to see the trees in the area and then to a delightful lunch prior to proceeding on to Perth Farm.

LATE AFTERNOON OUTINGS.  Within the next few months we hope to be shown the Botanic Gardens again by Mr. Tom Muller and his staff.  These visits were held last year once a month in the winter.  They were most instructive and were greatly appreciated by the members of the Tree Society.  We will try to arrange this with Mr. Muller from sometime in May.

We hope also to be shown round Greenwood Park again by Mr. Muller.  It would be delightful if the flat dwellers in the area could join us in these proposed trips, as most of their flats look over the beautiful indigenous trees that have grown so magnificently in this area.

Yours sincerely,

M. (DIX) AIREY, President


Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter 5 May 1975

Dear Member,

There was a very good attendance, over 40 members and visitors, at Danbury Park Farm on April 20th, by kind courtesy of Mr. and Ms. Tom Bayley.  More of this will be reported later on in this newsletter.  The visit was indeed a highlight and full of interest.

EVERY TUESDAY:  Makabusi Woodland walk.  Meet at 1600 hours at Gate No 3, next to ITC Main Gate at eastern end of Hillside Road extension.  All welcome.  If new or intending members would like more details could they please ring Mrs. Judy Reid 45389.

In August a visit has been planned to have a day’s outing with the MATABELELAND Branch. It is to be hoped that as many members who can make the trip will do so.

I have looked into the possibilities of train travel and air travel, and the various suggestions regarding days.  One suggestion is we travel to Bulawayo by train leaving Salisbury either Friday night or Saturday night arriving in Bulawayo next morning, leaving Bulawayo that night after a day’s outing and arriving Salisbury early next day.

The trains run as follows:  Leave Salisbury Friday nights and Saturday nights at 2100 hours.  Arriving Bulawayo next day at 0730 hours.  The trains from Bulawayo leave at similar times.  Fares cost $21.35 First Class return, $14,25 Second Class Return.  A reduction of 20% for a party of ten or more all travelling together.

The Air travel details are as follows : Leave Salisbury on Saturday at 0700 hours or 0730 hours and return same day leaving Bulawayo at 1830 hours or 2035 hours or leave Sunday at 0730 hours and return same day leaving Bulawayo 1900 hours, 2030 hours or 2105 hours, or, if you wish, leave Salisbury Saturday morning and return from Bulawayo on Sunday night for the same excursion fare, viz $24,80.  Will members please think over these suggestions and let the committee know if you would like to join this visit.  I have read, with great interest, in Rhodesia Science News accounts of the outings of the Matabeleland Branch and I look forward to being shown the indigenous trees in whatever area they select for that day in August.

FUTURE OUTINGS:  As a committee we try to create as much variety as we can in our choice of venues for visits each month.  If any members would like to send their selections or preferences for areas to visit we would appreciate hearing from them.

THE DANBURY PARK VISIT:  This was held on Sunday 20th April, my apologies to those who took the date as the 19th given in my last Newsletter.  We are most grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Tom Bayley for this delightful outing, to Mrs. Lola Irvine for arranging it, and to Mr. Trevor Gordon for showing the members around, thank you very much, all of you.  The new members were under Mr. Dick Petheram’s wing and they appreciated the day greatly according to their accounts.  Mr. Tom Bayley went to a great deal of trouble preparing roads and we are greatly indebted to him.  To see the area around the top of the first hill we visited was an education in itself.  From a borehole below the hill was pumped to the top and was then led in furrows to where it was required.  The hill was grassed with star grass and the whole area had benefited tremendously from this treatment. A visit to another hill followed, and then a special trip was made to see the immense girthed Parinari curatellifolia, and then to the top of Mount Hampden.  From my own point of view I regret immensely that I was not in at the finish.  Unknown to me there was a leak in my radiator and I had to turn back some way off the top to allow my engine to cool down.  Thank you again Mr. and Mrs. Bayley, and, speaking on behalf of all the members, may we please visit you again in the not too far distant future?  To Mrs. Lola Irvine and to Mr. Trevor Gordon again thank you both very much.

On another item of interest the details given on Willard’s Corn Flakes Packets on Rhodesian Trees have occasioned much favourable comment from our members and the public alike.  This information, with the excellent reproductions, is an excellent way of disseminating information on our beautiful indigenous trees.  Thank you very much Willards.

To the new members of the Society I extend a warm welcome.  As I stated in his Newsletter, from all accounts you enjoyed your first outing with us, and I am sure you felt, from the start, that you were amongst friends and friendly people.  Thank you for joining us.

From my own personal view, I enjoy every outing and I look upon each one as a most relaxing day.  I revel in the surroundings and in the company that attend these meetings.  I appreciate it all immensely.

Yours sincerely,

D. (DIX) AIREY President



Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter 6 June 1975

Dear Member,

TREE LIST:  A new check list of Rhodesian trees, shrubs and woody climbers, nearly 1200 of them, is in the hands of the printers.  More information on this when we ascertain from the National Herbarium which of “Kirkia” to buy.

ALOE 75:  Eastern tour July 8th to 12th; formal Congress in Salisbury 14th – 20th; Western tour 21st – 27th.  The Congress programme embraces a most interesting and varied series of addresses, discussions and visits, and deserves our fullest support.  Details available from The Convener, Aloe 75, P.O. Box 8514, Causeway.

BINGA SWAMP FOREST:  The battle goes on. Last year’s Binga “team” will have received my recent report and appeal for week-end assistance.  I am glad to say that through the interest and generosity of the Natural Resources Board the tree line has now been fenced. Recipients of the last report will be kept informed of any re-direction of attack on the encroaching exotics, and a fuller report will be prepared for wider distribution, possibly through the columns of “Science News”.

Special thanks to Stan and Valerie Trice for their recent help at Binga.

JUNIOR BRANCH OF WILD LIFE SOCIETY AND YOUTH FOR CONSERVATION:  The Society has been privileged to play a part in recent activities of these organizations.  There was no time to circularize members in general, but Mrs. Duncanson and Miss Granelli and Messrs. Pearce, Ascough, Hall and J. Petheram were asked to assist in the first outing and Mr. Ascough in the second, a talk designed to help Y.F.C. members under the President’s Award Scheme.  My thanks for the prompt response.

HISTORIC AND HISTORICAL TREES; Dozens of letters have been sent out on the subject, some to members, many to people further afield.  The replies have been greatly appreciated.  Although, unfortunately, some hitherto notable trees seem no longer to exist, or appear to have lost their local impact, there remains an interesting range on which to base a paper.  This will be attempted when a few more non member replies come in.

MAY 1975 VISIT:  The Saffron Walden outing on the 18th was led by Mrs. Gill Masterson and Mr. John Petheram, John having arranged the visit on the Society’s behalf.  There seems an added touch of enjoyment to outings which reveal a wealth of indigenous plant life close to a city.  With our letter of thanks to the landowner, Mr. Ross Hinde, we have sent a list of 74 trees and shrubs identified.  To Gill and John, thanks for a lighthearted and informative day.

FRIENDS OF THE BOTANIC GARDEN’: Membership costs $4 per annum.  Whatever your reactions to Press correspondence on tree/dog affinities, how about becoming a member?

SEEDLING BANK: Mr. Anton Ellert, c/o Kutsaga Research Station, has a gift for raising seedlings, on which we might call.  If you have seeds of indigenous plants to spare, will you kindly let him know.

Yours sincerely,

W. PETHERAM – Acting President


Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter 7 July 1975

 Dear Member,

BINGA SWAMP FOREST, ARCTURUS:  Mr. Dick Petheram reports that it has now been fenced.  He feels that the indigenous tree seedlings will now be protected from the cattle, and hopes they can now also be saved from being smothered by the Mauritius Thorn.

Aided by Mr. Anton Ellert he cut and treated several thorn clumps and he feels that more removal of thorn should be done quickly and that this should be followed up by the recommended spray.

THE LEARNER GROUP: This group has had a great start under the aegis of Mr. Dick Peteram.  Newcomers to the Society are taken out in a group and helped to recognize a few trees at a time.

Mr. Dick Petheram reported as follows:  “Members led by Mrs. Masterson spent an enjoyable afternoon at the home of Mrs. C. S. Davies at Monovale.  Some of the more experienced members also attended and everyone was most appreciative of Mrs. Davies’ hospitality and Mrs. Masterson’s expertise.  A bumper tea was provided by both ladies, which, also was much appreciated.

It is intended to carry out a revision of the trees ‘covered’ in previous meetings in subsequent outings”.

THE TROJAN MINE VISIT: On Sunday 22nd June this visit was held.  The members were invited to refreshments on their arrival at the Mine offices.  Mr. H. Brown, the Acting Manager of the Mine (Mr. J. Carr was on leave) welcomed the members and told them about the operations of the company and of the rehabilitation work done on the current slime dams.  Mr. Harwood de Kock, a senior official of Trojan Mine then took over the guidance of the party.  Prior to reaching the mine offices the beautifying of the approaches to the mine was praised by all members.

The first port of call was the main adit of the mine.  Here gardens surround the portal and the aspect was delightful.  An old saying in mining circles is that when a well kept garden is seen at a mine around the offices and the area generally then that mine is ”spick and span” underground and very efficient, as members saw the underground offices, change houses, and tips were kept in an immaculate condition.  From the adit the party proceeded to an area near the Poti River where many tree species were recognized, the exact identity of some Acacias causing some conjecture until Mrs. Masterson explained what they were.

From the Poti valley a site was selected for lunch near the slime dams.  Mr. de Kock then explained how the rehabilitating work was done and members were shown over the areas where this is carried out at the same time as the deposition of current slimes is made.

The end of the tour of the mine area was a visit to the north side of the Cardiff Hill caving area so that members could see this feature.

Thank you Mr. Harwood, your efforts are most appreciated, and by the numbers of questions asked you by the members you must have realized at the time what great interest you had created.

Thank you also Alan Pearce for the travelling arrangements which were excellent.  I think it was most important that members could see that mining companies beautify their surroundings where at all possible and necessary slime dame areas are converted from stark reminders of mining operations to grass covered pyramid looking mounds most pleasing to the eye.

On behalf of the members I thank the Manager, the General Manager, the Consulting Engineers and the Directors of Trojan Nickel Mine for their courtesy in allowing this visit.

August 17thfor those members not going to Bulawayo a visit has been arranged to Epworth Balancing rocks.  Meet at 0900 hours at Widdicombe Road, Park‘ride Car Park, just across the railway line.

The outing to Trojan Mine was exceptionally well attended.  Two further long trips are planned this year as stated, Mbagaziwa and Mangula.  They are planned for the cool weather months.

Yours sincerely

M. (DIX) AIREY President


Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter 8 August 1975

Dear Member,

The Tree Society extends to Mrs. Sally Aylen and her family its sincere condolences on the death of Douglas.  We wish them to know that all members are truly proud to have known Douglas and to belong to a Society with which his name was, and will remain, so closely associated.

His advice, guidance and leadership, in one form or another, was given unstintingly for almost twenty years, and his election in 1970 as Honorary Vice President and Honorary Member was but a small token of the esteem in which he was held.

THE MBAGAZIWA VISIT: This was held on Sunday 27th July.  Fifty one people attended and the success of the day must be attributed to the great assistance received from Mr. Peter McGaw, Manager of African Chrome Mines Limited, Mtoroshanga, who arranged with Mr. Standage for the grading of the road, and with the “ferrying” bus.  Also, to Mr. Tim Harrington, Mr. Mac Dodd and Mr. Alan Crouch for the great help they gave us on that day.  It was greatly appreciated.

Mr. Trevor Gordon identified fifty one species of trees in the short walk in the vicinity of the Mbagaziwa Hill.

Through the efforts of Mr. G. G. Jameson, the Manager of African Chrome Mines Ltd., at Mtoroshanga an area of 815 acres at Mbagaziwa was declared a National Monument in a Government Notice Deed 28.6.1957.  Mr. Jameson has been one of the Trustees of the Tree Society for some years past.

Mr. Tim Harrington is the Honorary Warden of this area which comes under the aegis of the Ayrshire Tree Society.

It was a day of great interest, the Bushman Paintings are magnificent and the conducted walk through the forest area with Mr. Trevor Gordon was most stimulating.

My thanks also to Mr. Alan Pearce for the excellent bus service laid on, with, as usual, a most careful driver.

Mr. Peter McGaw arranged for the ACM Club to be available for Tree Society members in the afternoon, and the opportunity to wash the dust off our countenances and obtain cool drinks to wash the dust down was much appreciated.  Thank you Peter and all for a most memorable day.

September 21stMangula Mine.  The consensus of opinion of the members during the trip to Mbagaziwa was that the setting off time for the trip to Mangula should be at 0700 hours.  Lunch at the Mangula Club will be provided by M.T.D..Mangula, Ltd., at the kind invitation of Dr. F. Jantzon, General Manager.

NOTE: Mangula Mine Visit:  The bus fare will be approximately $4 per person.  A tear off slip will be added on the September Newsletter regarding the booking for this trip.  It may be necessary to take more than one bus.  If members book early it will be of great assistance to Mr. Alan Pearce who kindly makes all the transport arrangements.

Yours sincerely,



Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter 9 September 1975

 Dear Member,

THE EPWORTH BALANCING ROCKS VISIT:  This was held on Sunday 17th August and was fairly well attended.  Mrs. Masterson led the advanced class and I took the Learner Class.  It was very nice to see one of our new members, the Rev. Keith Hoaton, there.  Unfortunately he could spare only an hour from his duties but it was nice to see you Keith.

Mrs. Masterson identified over 40 species of trees, an unexpected amount in this particular area which is very well worth another visit next time we do not want to travel too far from Salisbury.

THE BULAWAYO VISIT:  This was kindly arranged by Mrs. Wendy Bullock.  I am indebted to Mr. George Hall, Committee Member for this account.

Great credit is due to the Bulawayo Branch for arranging on Sunday 17th August a very good programme for the small party of Salisbury members.

The high point was a drive around the Matopos Circular Drive with stops at points of interest.  Trees of particular appeal were Enterospermum rhodesiacum, Vepris reflexa, Teclea rogersii.

Also the party was shown how the Klipspringer marks his territory and a “domestic” squabble involving a pair of hawk eagles and a crowned eagle was observed with much interest.

On the way back to Bulawayo two interesting Acacias, A. mellifera and A. tortilis were noted.  A Berchemia zeyheri was also seen.

Then followed a tour of Bulawayo Historic Trees highlighted by the magnificent Combretum imberbe, the Missionary Tree at Umvutcha.

On the previous day the early arrivals were taken to the site of old Bulawayo and the old Jesuit Mission.  After this they were shown Mr. and Mrs. Bullock’s garden.

The Salisbury members are most grateful to Mrs. Bullock for the excellent arrangements and the extremely kind hospitality shown to them.  Thank you very much Mrs. Bullock and congratulations to your Matabeleland Branch.  The details of your visits which are given in the Rhodesia Science News are followed with great interest by us all.  We hope you and your members will be able to accompany the Salisbury members on one of our visits to the countryside in this part of the world.

The journey to Mangula Mine is some 126 miles on tarred roads, but it does involve an early departure, 0700 hours, from Salisbury and this particular time was voted during the Mbagaziwa visit by intending participants.

YOUNG SCIENTISTS’ EXHIBITION:  A junior member of our Society, L. Waters, Chaplin School, Gwelo, won the Tree Society prize for his paper “Indigenous Trees on N’Tabasimbi, Hunters Road”.  He won also the Natural Resources and the Young Farmers’ Prizes for his two year study.  Our congratulations to him, we are very proud of this achievement by one of the members of our Society.

BINGA SWAMP FOREST:  Mr. Dick Petheram reports that the area was hit by frost so that the spraying programme will be delayed until September.  Meanwhile volunteers for supervising the cutting of the Mauritius Thorn would be appreciated.  Please contact him by telephone if you would like to help, Salisbury 701153.

LAKE MCILWAINE ARBORETUM: Colonel Kemp gave a review of events there.  Thank you Colonel, for all your help.

Yours sincerely,

M. (DIX) AIREY, President

Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter 10 October 1975

Dear Member,

The visit to Roxburgh, Ruwa, was held on 12th September and was well attended.  In this area of 30 acres, not 15 as stated previously, 49 species of trees were identified.  It is a delightful area and the Society would be most grateful to Mr. and Dr. Sugden if they could visit there again.

Muriel and Marcel were excellent hosts and the attending members enjoyed their day immensely.

The Mangula Mine Visit was held on 21st September.  A full bus, but for two seats paid for and not taken up, made the trip.  A short distance from Sinoia on the Banket side a ‘Rhodesia Jacaranda”, Stereospermum kunthianum, was seen in full flower, a magnificent sigh.  It was surrounded by ploughed lands and it had obviously been spared by the farmer for he benefit of passersby.

On reaching Mangula Mine Club the party was met by Dr. Jantzen and his sons and a most welcome tea was provided.  Dr. Jantzen then led the way to the rehabilitated dump, which, fortunately, the bus was able to climb via the approach road.  On top of the dump some members found it difficult to realize that all the vegetation growth seen grew from a tailings dump material until they had seen the surface scratched and saw the fine sandy tailings material exposed.

The party, after admiring and walking over a fair expanse of the dump then embussed and traveled to the Ditchwe Lemon Forest where Mr. and Mrs. Walker were waiting to show the members over this primeval forest area.  This was a most interesting visit, the ‘citrus lemon’ trees seen were carrying fruit, and the many species of trees seen evinced great interest.

From the Ditchwe Forest the members returned to the Mangula Club for drinks and a delicious luncheon.  After lunch the members travelled by bus through the staff residential quarters area and saw the wonderful facilities made available by the mine to the employees and the attractive gardens that the employees have made.

In all, it was a most memorable visit.  Some of the members had not seen a large Rhodesian Mine before.  They saw the wonderful facilities made available by the Mining Compact to make their employees comfortable, and for them to create their homes there.  The great work done by the company in rehabilitating that vast tailings dump, and so changing its appearance that the surface looked meadow like, was appreciated by all the visiting members.

Lastly, to Dr. Jantzen, for giving up his day of leisure to entertain the visitors, for the much appreciated hospitality in the welcoming tea, the drinks before lunch and the magnificent lunch the Tree Society gives its most grateful thanks. The Makabusi Woodland walkers were delighted to have a Bulawayo member in their midst last month.

The Obituary written by Mr. J. L. Reid on the late Mr. Douglas Aylen was complimented widely by readers of Rhodesia Science News.

Referring to Rhodesia Science News the articles on two trees presented each month by Mr. Trevor Gordon continue to create great interest.

This Newsletter cannot end without a tribute to Mr. Tom Muller.  The Monday walks in the Botanic Garden are greatly appreciated.

Mrs. E. C. Strover wrote from Fort Victoria saying how much she had enjoyed her association with this Society although living so far away.  The interest in, and study of, indigenous trees has given her endless pleasure.  It was with great regret that it was learned that severe damage to her eyes at the end of last year has left her very handicapped as far as reading is concerned.  The Society wishes her a rapid recovery to her eyesight.  Her letter was greatly appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

M. (DIX) AIREY, President


Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter 11 November 1975

Dear Member,

The Greenwood Park Stroll.   This was held on Monday October 6th, with Mr. Tom Muller.  A reference to this walk was made by ‘The Carpenter’ in ‘Cabbages and Kings’, The Rhodesia Herald, that day, for which the Society is most grateful.  At the time of the start of the walk some 46 people were present, which number swelled to over 70 by the time it was completed.

It was hoped that this visit would interest the flat dwellers living in the vicinity of Greenwood Park, and which it did.  Mr. Tom Muller was delighted with the turnout and the visitors in turn followed every word and description of Tom’s with great evident interest.

Thank you Tom, thank you Carpenter and thank you to those who attended.  In all it was a great success.

The Arboretum visit, Lake McIlwaine, Sunday 19th October.  In all there were some 25 members who attended.

Colonel Kemp has done a great job of work at this delightful area.

The party was led by Messrs. Alan Pearce, Dick Petheram and George Hall.  Dick Petheram identified some 57 species in the space of the morning and a further 30 in the afternoon.

The party started off by climbing 400 feet to the top of the hill.  This was an easy walk, up a zig zag well defined path.  The view from the top was terrific.

But before the hill climb was made it was delightful to see a Banket Mahogany, Khaya nyasica, which had grown to a good height from its position on the bank of the lake.  The ‘burning bush’, Combretum microphyllum, was unfortunately, just past its best.  The highlights were possibly the Tree Violet, Securidaca longipedunculata, the Rhodesian Jacaranda, Stereospermum kunthianum and the Tree Wisteria, Bolusanthus speciosus all in flower.  The Mukwa, Pterocarpus angolensis, were also in flower and the Mountain Acacia, Brachystegia glaucescens, were showing their early red leaves.

The check list of the trees at the Arboretum shows 115 species.

General:  The Society extends its congratulations to Mr. Tom Muller on his promotion to Officer in Charge, National Herbarium and Botanic Garden.  Mr. Tom Muller has been a great friend to the Society and its members, who are delighted with this news.

The letters of appreciation to the Society for the Mangula Mine visit were very much appreciated by the Committee.

Yours sincerely,

M. (DIX) AIREY, President


Tree Society of Rhodesia Newsletter 12  December 1975

 Dear Member,

THE KUTSAGA VISIT:  This was held on Sunday 21st November with Mr. Anton Ellert in charge.  It was very well attended indeed, and after the members had visited the various areas selected by Anton, they were shown his collection of seedlings of many indigenous trees.  It was a pleasant duty to welcome two visitors to our Society, Mr. and Mrs. Hill from England.

I wish to thank Mr. A. D. Brock, Secretary of the Tobacco Research Board of Rhodesia for giving permission for this visit and to Mr. Anton Ellert, Senior Agronomist there and committee member of our Society, for arranging it.


This was well attended.  A wonderful effort has been done with this addition to the delightful area in Salisbury, the Botanic Garden.  Though the lake was recently constructed it has already the air and appearance of having been well established for many years.  It is well stocked with fish, the aquatic plants are in flower and aquatic birds are nesting in the rushes.  Congratulations, Mr. Tom Muller, and the many compliments given to you on that day were most well deserved.

THE FINAL BOTANIC GARDEN STROLL FOR YEAR was held by Mr. Tom Muller on 10th November.  This too was very well attended, and more people, interested in indigenous trees, congregate each month.  From the Society, Tom, a hearty vote of thanks for all this work of yours and for making it so interesting to all those attending.

MINUTES OF 25TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING.  In accordance with past practice these are included in this Newsletter for circulation prior to the next Annual General Meeting.


The Chair was taken by Mr. W. J. Ascough, the President, who declared the meeting open and welcomed the 35 members present, also Mr. Wright and Mr. Bullock from our Bulawayo Branch.

ADOPTION OF THE MINUTES OF THE LAST AGM These having been circulated their adoption was proposed by Mr. Pearce, seconded by Mr. Reid and signed by the President.


PRESIDENT’S REPORT:  This was published in the Newsletter, March 1975.  The adoption of this report was proposed by Mr. Petheram, seconded by Mrs. Batten.  Mrs. Reid proposed a vote of thanks to the President.

TREASURER’S REPORT:  This, having been circulated, was adopted.  Proposed by Mr. Ellert and seconded by Mrs. Duncanson.


President                   Mr. Airey                    Vice President                      Mr. Petheram

Secretary                   Mrs. Batten                Treasurer                               Miss Rose

Committee                 Mr. Ellert;  Mr. Pearce;  Mr. Hall;  Mrs. Irvine;  Mrs. Duncanson


Makabusi Woodland: In connection with the President’s remarks about Makabusi Woodland and the fact that we now have less than 4 years left to show why this woodland area should not be used for building development Dr. Morris said that there was no possibility of the resent Council members binding the new Council members after the next election in August, to a decision like that.  He suggested that candidates for election should be approached with the object of getting them interested in Makabusi Woodland before they could get our votes.

Mrs. McBean and Mrs. Reid would like to see something done in recognition of Mr. Douglas Aylen’s dedication to the cause of the Makabusi Woodlands.  Suggestions were made of a bench near the water slide or of entrance gates.  The President asked members to let the Committee know what they would like to be done and suggested that the new President consider this at the next committee meeting, together with some commemoration.

 Binga Swamp Forest. Mr. Petheram thought the members would like to know that the battles at Binga had led to the conclusion that it would be undesirable to allow this exotic scourge Mauritius Thorn, to spread through lack of knowledge.  It takes over in a big way, becomes impenetrable and has smothered some fine trees at Binga.  We have approached the Government to warn of them of the danger of the Mauritius Thorn and the Government have agreed to consider the inclusion of this menace in the list of ‘noxious weeds’ to discourage the spread.

Historic Trees. Mr. Petheram as taken over the task of recording the Historic Trees.  He has corresponded with people all over the country, the Forestry Commission and National Monuments Commission have both been very helpful.  One delightfully encouraging letter he received was from Mr. Darrell Plowes of Umtali.  His son, at the Umtali Boys High School, comes home with the news that the History Society would undertake the task of enquiring into Historic Trees in that area.  This was a rewarding result because of the interest shown by the boys.

There being no further business, the meeting was closed.

After the tea interval, members were able to examine some items of interest brought by Mr. Ascough and watch slides of trees shown by Mr. Ellert.


Ladies and Gentlemen.  I have pleasure in presenting my report for the current year.  There has been a full and varied programme with average attendance of ten members.  Leaders, this year, have done a great deal of homework, in every case paying preliminary visits to the chosen venue and preparing charts for members benefit.  This has involved a great deal of work for the leaders but has helped the learners enormously, and we are extremely grateful to all those who have led parties, for all the time and thought they have given to their outings.

These have been to the Old Gwanda Road, led by Robin Denny, to Little Efifi to study vegetation which grows on dwalas, led by Anne Bean and Janet Webber; to the Matopos Dam and the vicinity of the Research Station to study Acacias, led by Robin Denny, during which outing we were instructed in methods of making our own identity keys; to Hillside Dam to study Combretum and Ficus, led by Wendy Bullock and Robin Denny; to the Nyamandhlovo Road to observe the way in which vegetation varies with the soil, led by Robin Denny; today’s visit to Mr. Raylton’s farm, organized by Janet Webber; and  visit from members from Salisbury, organized by Wendy Bullock, during which they were taken to the Circular Drive in the Matopos and then to see the historic trees in and near Bulawayo.  In this connection, I should like to draw your attention to the excellent guide to the Historic Trees of Bulawayo, written by Wendy Bullock.  I suggest that the Publicity Association might be interested in producing this for the benefit of visitors.

There have been two evening meetings, a film “Man and his Forests” and a teach-in at the Training College, conducted by Anne Bean, on the parts of a flower.  It is disappointing that, in spite of advertising, the film evening was not well attended.

The local Branch offered its services, in return for a small fee, to the public in the naming of indigenous trees on their properties.  This was taken up only by two organizations, Baines School and the Boys’ Brigade, who wishes to have the trees on their Matopos camping ground named.  This exercise will be completed in the near future; the boys have made their own labels and it remains for them to be affixed to the trees.

The membership remains small and this will present a problem during the ensuing year.  Anne Bean left during the year to make her home in the Cape, and I think you will agree that this was a grievous loss to the Society.  You will have noticed how often Robin Denny has undertaken the leadership of outings and will appreciate the amount of time he has given to the Society – not only in instructing but in attending committee meetings.  He has now informed us that, owing to many other commitments, he is unable to continue his membership.  We are terribly sad to lose him, but want him to know how grateful we are for all he has done for us.  We must thank Wendy Bullock for carrying out the secretaryship since 1972 and accept with regret her resignation from the post.  I thank, too, the remaining members of the Committee, Janet Webber ad Alec Dry, who replaced Anne Bean, for their help.  I, too, shall not be continuing as chairman.

It is obvious that there are problems to be sorted out today, is our membership large enough to enable us to continue?  And who will be willing to come forward to run the local branch?  Our members, though few in number, are enthusiastic and our outings are always enjoyable and rewarding, and I feel that, if these problems can be solved, it is well worth while to carry on.


With best wishes to all Members for Christmas and for the New Year from the Committee and myself.

Yours sincerely,

M. (DIX) AIREY, President