MAY 2017

ANNUAL SUBS ARE DUE – please pay your $10 now (see payment details at the end). You can also pay at the AGM.


Sunday May 23rd: Tree Society of Zimbabwe Annual General Meeting. You will have seen this in April’s Tree Life.  Please make an effort to attend and if possible bring a plate of snacks. After the meeting Dave Hartung will be giving a presentation of the trip to Humanii Ranch and also show some of his remarkable photographs.

Saturday May 29th: Outing to Dombombira, Ruwa. Directions to get there will be forwarded to you before this date. It is an attractive venue and a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon.


Notice is hereby given that the 67th Annual General Meeting of the Tree Society of Zimbabwe will be held at the Rondavel, Mukuvisi Woodlands on Sunday 21st May 2017 at 9.30 am.

Any proposals/resolutions and nominations for office bearers (and any volunteers to be on the Committee) should be forwarded by email to the Secretary Teig Howson at by Sunday 5th May if possible, although proposals and nominations will be accepted from the floor.


  1. Notice convening the meeting.
  2. Apologies.
  3. Minutes of the 66th A.G.M.
  4. Matters Arising.
  5. Chairman’s Report.
  6. Treasurer’s Report.
  7. Election of Committee Members.
  8. Any Other Business.

As detailed earlier, after the AGM there will be a photographic presentation by Dave Hartung about last year’s Tree Society trip to Humanii, in the Save Conservancy.



By two-thirty on 22nd, all interested had gathered at the gate of Haka Nature Reserve, Cleveland Dam. The entry fees had been reduced to $3.00 per person, cars free. It was a small group, 10 of us, but promised to be enlightening and entertaining as Meg was there besides another welcome scholar, Karl.

Ready to go and eager to learn, full of expectations to recognise our familiar trees, to find that unusual one or that special one we haven’t seen yet or too long ago. The small river was easy to cross and we soon reached a very lush spot.

Here we saw Vangueriopsis and compared it with Vangueria infausta that was standing a few metres away. The latter with leaves more hairy, less dark on top and more elliptical (Vangueriopsis more oblong).

Finding an Ochna schweinfurthiana not far from an Ochna puberula (but not hairy) we could again compare them and see the difference in leaf size.

We saw Rotheca wildii (Smooth-leaved Cats-whiskers) and a huge Albizia antunesiana, nearly mistaking it for a Burkea africana. Meg also showed us an Eriosima ellipticum, this being a shrub not a tree. There were also a lot of Syzygium guineense (Waterberry), Parinari and Erythrina.

Next stop was Ficus burkei. Our guide Zacharias, with his knowledge of trees and its folklore, directed us for some more comparison to a Ficus natalensis subsp. graniticola (this one with mid-vein stopping before the apex edge, as Meg told us). We also saw Ficus sur – leaves with three veins from the base.

Then Zacharias brought us to a Lannea discolor and shared with us that it is believed locally that this tree, when full of seeds, promises a drought year. And, in passing a Gymnosporia senegalensis, told us the use of their confetti flowers, even the branches, at funerals,

We saw Pavetta schumanniana and Faurea rochetiana. Then Karl enlightened us about an invading weed growing nearby that is an Eupatorium species that is poisonous for horses.

At the next stop all the cameras came out to capture the majestic white blooms of Tetradenia riparia (gingerbush).

Tetradenia riparia – photo by MCP

Tetradenia riparia – photo by MCP

Psorospermum febrifugum then brought Zacharias back on stage with the story of how this tree’s leaves cause disunity between people when it is in their possession, and how it is used by unhappy parents to disrupt unity between lovers.

It was time to leave. Driving back we saw some zebra and an elegant giraffe on the road was leading the way. We made one last stop, where Zacharias wanted to show us a small tree of which there was only one in the whole reserve. Meg took a sample because it was difficult to identify – a slight possibility of it being a Brachystegia utilis.

An interesting autumnal afternoon.

-Jan van Bel



Aeschynomene schliebeniiView fromGeorge's Point. Photo: Jenny Mackay